Ali Savage ’15 leads field hockey to 6-1 win over Vermont
By Josh Koenig
Published on Thursday, October 18, 2012
Powered by a strong first-half display and four goals from Ali Savage ’15, the Dartmouth field hockey team cruised to a 6-1 win over the University of Vermont on Wednesday at Chase Field. In a game referred to as the Connecticut River Challenge, the Big Green (8-5, 3-1 Ivy) came out strong and never looked back, recording its seventh win in the last eight games.
Savage, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week, opened the scoring just five minutes into the contest with a one-time shot off of a centering feed from Sam Anderson ’14. Four minutes later, Savage converted again on a loose ball rebound before finishing off her strong first-half display in the 23rd minute with a redirected goal on a pass from Sam McPherson ’13, who notched her first assist of the season. Factoring in a final unassisted goal in the second half, Savage has now scored six goals in the last two games and leads the team in goals scored with nine. The 5’9” forward also set a personal mark for most goals scored in her collegiate career.
“It’s a really good feeling to know that all of my goals were built up by my teammates,” Savage said. “Today just reflects a whole team effort.”
Holding a 4-0 lead heading into halftime behind Savage’s efforts and a contribution by Brooke Van Valkenburg ’16, the Big Green expected the Catamounts (1-14, 0-3 America East) to come out strong in the second half. Dartmouth remained aggressive, scoring twice more before conceding a late goal with only four minutes left in the contest.
“We would have liked to preserve the shutout, but most teams come out harder in the second half, and we did a good job of controlling most of it,” Dartmouth head coach Amy Fowler said.
Holding a comfortable 6-0 lead before Vermont notched its late goal, the Big Green drew on its deep bench, allowing every player on the roster to see field time.
“Because everyone got to play, it was a really fun way to win,” co-captain Lisa Masini ’13 said.
Jenna Stearns ’13 started in net, recording one save and allowing no goals in 35 minutes of play, lowering her goals against average to 2.43 on the season. Ellen Meyer ’15 played the entire second half, making four saves while giving up one goal.
Outshooting the opponent by a margin of 24-9 and finding the back of the net with nearly 50 percent of its shots on target, the Big Green played with well-deserved confidence following a key win against Yale University on Saturday. The Big Green has also played sound defense in its last eight games, conceding an average of 2.38 goals per game.
“Our last couple of games, we’ve really come together,” Savage said.
The Catamounts, on the other hand, came into the game in the midst of a bad year, having started the season with eight consecutive losses before notching their lone win on Sept. 23 against Siena College. Vermont leaves Hanover on a six-game losing streak, having lost every game since grinding out the 1-0 win against Siena, including a tough 3-2 overtime loss to Yale (4-8, 1-3 Ivy) in Burlington, Vt., on Sunday.
When the Big Green and the Catamounts met last year, Vermont emerged victorious on a winning goal scored with just 54 seconds left in the game. Even without an established rivalry, the close proximity between the two schools heightens the tension each time they play, according to Fowler.
“The game against Vermont is always a big game because regionally, we can’t afford to drop it,” she said.
The Big Green will head to New York City on Sunday for a key matchup against Columbia University. Dartmouth is currently tied for second in the Ivy League with Columbia (8-5, 3-1 Ivy), while Princeton University, who dealt the Big Green its only conference loss of the season, remains unbeaten and is in first place in the league.
“We’ll continue to prepare hard and come out ready to play against Columbia,” Masini said.
With only four games left in the regular season, the Big Green will play its last home game over Homecoming weekend, going up against Harvard University on Oct. 27 at Chase Field.