It wasn't a shock that Billerica (Mass.) Memorial High's girls hockey team knocked off a tough Waltham (Mass.) High squad on Saturday. Even the final, 7-3 score wasn't necessarily a shock.
What was surprising was the player who accounted for more than half of those goals for Billerica: Seventh-grader Kate Piacenza.
Like a handful of states, Massachusetts allows girls hockey teams to sport players who are still in junior high or middle school on varsity high school rosters. That practice opened doors for Piacenza to join the Billerica varsity squad despite being as close to elementary school as she is to traditional high school age.
As noted by the Lowell Sun, in the Merrimack Valley/Dual County League game against Waltham, Piacenza scored a hat trick and added an assist, pacing her squad to a dominant victory.
That hasn't been the first time this season that Piacenza has helped a still evolving Billerica squad find its footing, either, with the diminutive seventh-grader proving to be a key cog in the 3-2-1 Indians improvement, which could land the squad in the running for regional media rankings, if not further plaudits earned in the playoffs.
Regardless of whether that happens, Piacenza has already achieved something unusually rare: She's scored a hat trick while playing against entire teams of players who are at least four to six years older than her.