It’s one thing for Kenzie Kent just to make the jump from hockey to lacrosse. It’s another thing for the freshman standout to make an impact on both teams, and this impact is coming at the right time.
In the Eagles’ (13-2, 5-2 ACC) 13-11 road victory over Virginia Tech (6-9, 0-6 ACC) on Saturday afternoon, Kent registered a hat trick in just her fourth game of the season. Having only recently been able to join the team after serving as one of the catalysts in a highly successful—yet ultimately disappointing—season for BC women’s hockey, Kent showcased the natural talents that will make her a crucial component of the team’s future success.
The victory was an important one for the Eagles, completing their ACC schedule and pushing the team to a 7-0 record on the road. Perhaps most impressively, the win was the team’s second consecutive without Mikaela Rix. The senior superstar missed her second consecutive game due to a head injury suffered during the home loss against Duke last Saturday. The injury left head coach Acacia Walker with a gaping hole in the lineup, a hole that only one person remaining on the roster had any chance to capably fill. Kent has started both of those games, tallying five goals, admirably taking on a vital role in the team’s offense only two weeks after playing in her first game.
In addition to Kent’s heroics, the team also utilized a balanced attack to offset the loss of Rix. Seven different Eagles found the back of the net in the first half, including substitutes Kara Magley, Kate Weeks, and Kate Rich. The Hokies, however, went blow for blow with the Eagles, responding to each BC tally with a goal of their own, and the first half finished 7-6 BC.
The Eagles stepped it up a notch in the second half, as they outshot the Hokies 16 to 11 after only tallying one more shot than the Hokies in the first. The game still remained close for the first 20 or so minutes of the second, until Kent completed her hat trick and gave the Eagles enough momentum to pull ahead. Bolstered by Kent’s third goal and another goal from Sarah Mannelly, BC took a 13-10 lead with a little more than eight minutes remaining in the second half. From there, the defense, led by goalkeeper Zoe Ochoa, clamped down, allowing just one goal the rest of the way. Ochoa finished with four saves in the win. On the other end, Covie Stanwick was able to step into a secondary role with the emergence of Kent, as she finished the game with the Eagles’ two assists—both to Kent—alongside her goal.
The game was not the prettiest of victories, but there certainly will not be any complaints from the team, as any victory without Rix is an added bonus for the nation’s No. 4 team. With the ACC Tournament coming up in two short weeks, the team knows crunch time approaches. While the Eagles hope Rix can return to the lineup soon, the hole in the roster no longer appears as gaping as it initially did, with Kent proving to be filling the shoes of the team’s top scorer.
Featured Image by Amalie Trieu / Heights Staff