Boston College lacrosse was the only team in this year’s Final Four to enter semifinal play with two, let alone one, 70-plus goal scorers. And if Kenzie Kent didn’t miss the first 12 games of the season, the Eagles might have had another.
Because she also plays ice hockey, Kent misses a significant portion of the regular season every year. In each of her three seasons on the ice for BC, the Eagles have made a legitimate push for a national title. Consequently, she still finds herself throwing on shoulder pads and skates in late March—close to two months after the start of the lacrosse season.
Yet when she finally gets on the field, she is not only one of the best BC players, but also one of the most lethal attackers in the country.
Kent’s statline is deceiving. If you don’t take into account the amount of games she actually plays, her numbers look good, but not great. In just 11 games this season, Kent has scored 34 goals and has assisted on 33 others. Her 67 points are the fifth most on the team. Yet if you take those same stats and project her season totals, as if she would have played all 23 games, the results are staggering.
Assuming that she would have averaged her 3.09 goals and three assists per game in the 12 games that she missed at the beginning of the season, Kent would have put up about 71 goals and 69 assists. Nationally, she would rank eighth in goals, second in assists, and most importantly, second in points—a full 25 points more than actual second place holder and teammate Sam Apuzzo.
When Kent joined the already established scoring tandem of Kate Weeks and Apuzzo, BC underwent an unprecedented transformation. Without her, the Eagles averaged 14.25 goals. But with her, they posted 17.18 goals per game. To put that in perspective, No. 1 Maryland—the most prolific scoring team in the nation—averaged 17 goals during this year’s campaign. Now, BC is seventh in the country in scoring and features its highest scoring offense in program history.
Numbers aside, what Kent really added, was more versatility. It was hard enough for teams to guard both Weeks and Apuzzo, but as soon as Kent was joined the mix, it became virtually impossible.
With five different players who have netted at least 30 goals during the 2017 campaign, head coach Acacia Walker feels like anyone on the field can carry her team, if need be. Kent sure has: In BC’s semifinal game against Navy, the All-Region and All-ACC Tournament honoree scored five goals—three of which came in the Eagles’ come-from-behind second half.
BC is different with Kent on the field. This isn’t the same team that lost to Maryland back on March 8. That being said, she’ll need to provide more than just her presence during Sunday’s national championship. The Eagles will need her to dominate like she has all postseason if they want any shot at upsetting the undefeated Terps.
Featured Image by Keith Carroll / Heights Staff