Heading into the home stretch of her collegiate career, Kenzie Kent has some unfinished business. The Norwell native has accomplished the rare feat of playing for Boston College in hockey and lacrosse since arriving as a freshman in 2014.
Not merely a participant, Kent has excelled in her collegiate career at both. So far in hockey, she has 31 points in 36 games, and on the lacrosse field, she was one of the most dynamic players last season, chalking up 77 points in just 12 games. While the ongoing hockey season has officially been underway since October, lacrosse is simultaneously off and running. Kent will once again join her lacrosse teammates pretty directly after hockey season ends.
Boston College has never won a title in women’s hockey or lacrosse — despite the latter reaching the final a year ago — but for Kent and her teammates, a national championship trophy is the dream. The first of Kent’s final two chances gets underway Saturday when the Eagles take on Ohio State in the first round of the 2018 NC Women’s Hockey Championship.
Kent recently made time to speak with Boston.com about the upcoming tournament, the unique challenges of a dual-sport lifestyle, and her possible future in the National Women’s Hockey League.
What are your thoughts going into the tournament? Do you allow yourself to think about what it would mean to win it all?
Kent: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think that’s everything to our team. Obviously going game-by-game is really important, so we’re only focused on beating Ohio State, but in the long term, winning a championship has been our goal every single year.
What’s been the standout moment for you so far this hockey season?
Kent: I think my favorite moment so far was winning the Beanpot. We came from behind and then won in overtime. I just thought that was amazing, especially after having Toni [Ann Miano] put the team on her back right there. She’s another senior and one of my good friends.
After hockey season ends, how fast is the turnaround for lacrosse? Do you get any days off?
Kent: It’s different every year. I think my freshman year was the shortest time off, and then sophomore year, I think I took like a week off. So it just depends on how I feel after the hockey season. And then it’s really just up to me, which is awesome.
When you’re in hockey season, but lacrosse season is going, how much contact do you have with your lacrosse teammates?
Kent: Definitely all of my focus is on the hockey team just given that we are in such an important part of our season when playoffs are coming, but when I’m not with the lacrosse team, I’m definitely their No. 1 fan, always checking in, always watching their games when I can. I have a really good relationship with everyone on the team and the coaches, so it goes both ways. They come to all of the hockey games they can.
You were selected fourth overall by the Boston Pride in the 2017 NWHL draft. Have you considered playing professional hockey, or are you still undecided?
Kent: Yeah, I mean, I’m definitely undecided. It’s a great opportunity, and I don’t want to close any doors, so I’m just going to try and wait it out and see how I feel when I’m done at B.C.
This is the fourth year you’ll be playing two Division I sports. Does it get easier for you, or does the grind become more difficult?
Kent: It definitely has gotten easier. I think just with the relationships I’ve built, and I’ve just come into the season with more confidence than I had the year before.
Before you started school, did you know you’d be playing multiple sports for Boston College? Were you recruited for both?
Kent: Originally I came on a visit for the lacrosse team. And it just happened to work out with hockey where they were interested. That’s kind of how I even started thinking playing two sports in college, just because both coaches were so awesome and so reasonable about what they wanted. So it definitely wasn’t what I thought I was going to do until I met both of these coaches.
What was your first thought when you realized you would be playing two sports in college? And what was the reaction of the people around you?
Kent: I had been doing it obviously my entire life, playing multiple sports. My parents knew I always wanted to stay busy. That’s what I’ve always done best in every aspect of my life, socially, academically, and just everything. I think my dad questioned it a little at first, but he got on board after the first year when I told him how much I loved it. But yes, I knew it was going to be a lot of work.
How have you balanced your academic workload as you’ve gone through such a rigorous athletic schedule?
Kent: We have an academic advisor who helps us out a lot. We had study hours as freshmen. But I just think that going through this with a bunch of your closest friends, everyone’s going through the same exact thing with the workload. If you just stick together with your teammates, and you take a lot of classes with your teammates and other athletes, it’s definitely still tough. Especially when you’re traveling a lot and with the hours, it’s hard. But you have a lot of support around you.
What advice would you give a high schooler who’s considering playing two sports in college?
Kent: Keep your options open. I would say not to rush into one sport. I know hockey can be pretty time-consuming, or even soccer. The coaches of those club teams definitely want that to be your only sport. It takes up so much time. I would say just don’t jump to any conclusions with any sport and just kind of do what you want. You don’t have to be stuck into one.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for length and clarity.