Female Athlete of the Week

Elizabeth Kench - Women's hockey

Elizabeth Kench Women’s hockey
Elizabeth Kench Women’s hockey

Scoring four points on five Queen’s goals against the Western Mustangs on Sunday, women’s hockey forward Elizabeth Kench has propelled herself to third in OUA scoring, behind teammates Becky Conroy and Kelsey Thomson.

The team is ranked seventh in the country and sit second in the OUA in Matt Holmberg’s first year as head coach.

Kench said the coaching change over the summer energized the team.

“When I found out that Matt would be our coach, right away things started coming together and positive things started happening,” she said. “A lot of the girls needed that little bit of change, and with the new coach it brings a lot of new aspects to the game and new energy that comes with a new coach. ... Pretty much the first game of the season I knew the team wasn’t going to be anything like a team we’ve had in the past few seasons.”

Kench, a Gananoque native and 2007 OUA rookie of the year, said hockey came to her naturally.

“My whole family plays hockey, I have three older brothers who play and my sister plays too. I followed in my next oldest brother’s footsteps,” she said.

Even with a family that plays hockey, though, Kench said she’s made it the furthest.

“I made it on the Ontario team and I’ve been on the CIS All-Star team for a year,” she said. “As for my family, I think I’ve made it the furthest—my brothers only made it to Junior B.”

Kench said the time commitment required from playing varsity athletics is more of a blessing than a burden.

“I love the team atmosphere, I love going on road trips and getting new friendships and stuff like that. I don’t think I’d be able to go through school without being on a team. It keeps me sane.”

A fourth-year history student, Kench said the ability to balance work and play came during high school.

“When you’re going through high school playing, you have to learn young to balance because when you’re gone every night or travelling,” she said. “I get a lot of help from my friends and team to balance and getting help with schoolwork.”

An upper-year player on a young team, Kench said her leadership role comes naturally.

“This year we have a great group of girls and I always want to show them and help them when they need help with anything,” she said. “When you’re an upper-year player you have a leadership role to step into and younger players naturally look up to you.”

—Amrit Ahluwalia

Childhood dream job?

I think every female hockey player-athlete always wants to have something to do with the national team, so that was my dream. I don’t know if it’s a job, but it was my dream to be on the national women’s hockey team.

Favourite bar/club?

Recently, Joy.

What would you choose as your last meal?

Chicken parmesan.

If you had a free plane ticket, where would you go?

Probably Australia.

With the success of your team, what type of reaction have you gotten from the community?

“It looks like a completely new team,” and that’s kind of a nice thing to hear, I think.

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