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West Babylon's Sam Apuzzo leaves deep imprint on Boston College women's lacrosse program

Sam Apuzzo #2 of Boston College Eagles runs

Sam Apuzzo #2 of Boston College Eagles runs toward the goal before scoring the game-winning goal against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second overtime of the 2019 NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship Semifinals at Homewood Field on May 24, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland.  Credit: Getty Images/Patrick Smith

BALTIMORE — Their legacy will live on.

Sam Apuzzo, Kenzie Kent and Dempsey Arsenault were brief and reserved. Arsenault had to pause during a response in the postgame news conference to collect herself and wipe away a stream of tears.

Clearly, the trio was struggling to cope with the Boston College women’s lacrosse team’s third straight loss in the NCAA championship game. Maryland defeated the Eagles, 12-10, on Sunday afternoon at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field, ending the careers of the trio who revolutionized the way outsiders look at BC lacrosse.

“Boston College wasn’t a lacrosse school four years ago, and now it is,” coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said. “Now, because of them, lots of little girls want to come play at BC and a lot of the top players in the world want to come play at BC. So because of what they’ve built, the legacy will live on.”

Apuzzo, a West Babylon product who won the Tewaaraton Award as a junior last season, scored the double-overtime winner against North Carolina in one of Friday night’s semifinals and has left an indelible mark on the program.

She left West Babylon as a star high school player with room to grow and blossomed into a nationally recognized talent for the Eagles. Despite missing much of her freshman year because of an injury, she finished her career with 283 goals — a BC record — and 114 assists. She’s also the program’s all-time leader in draws (458) and points (397).

“She really has a knack for taking coaching and applying relentless work ethic, and that’s why she’s the tremendous player that she is,” Walker-Weinstein said.

A Tewaaraton Award finalist again, Apuzzo could become the fifth woman to win the award multiple times since its inception in 2001. Another finalist, Maryland’s Megan Taylor, was a key reason why Boston College couldn’t overcome the Terps. Taylor made 10 saves and stymied the offense.

“Maryland has a very strong defense,” Apuzzo said. “They stay in. They like to play 1-v-1 defense. Megan Taylor’s an awesome goalie, too. They were prepared.”

Apuzzo helmed the trio of Boston College scorers who made headlines week after week for their fast-paced, flashy play. Apuzzo, Arsenault and Kent were taken Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, in the 2019 Women’s Professional Lacrosse League spring draft in late April, signifying their importance to the growth of the sport.

“It’s so fun to coach them,” Walker-Weinstein said. “It’s so fun to even just be a spectator of the three of theirs’ athleticism and teamwork. I think three of the best players of all time.”

They put Boston College on the map as both an ACC and national powerhouse.

“They really are the most impactful players we’ve ever had,” Walker-Weinstein said. “Because of that, they have a legacy that will last way beyond this afternoon.”

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