Field hockey offense leads to two wins

by Jehanna Axelrod | 9/29/14 2:48pm


A nine-goal offensive explosion lifted the field hockey team above Brown University and Bryant University this weekend, its first two wins of the year. The Big Green (2-5, 1-1 Ivy) dominated Brown 6-1 Saturday, then edged out Bryant 3-2 in overtime on Sunday. Dartmouth’s offensive performance marked a great improvement for the team, and suggests that their early season woes might be over. The weekend ended a two-game goalless streak and a five-game losing streak.

Head coach Amy Fowler said the team focused on its offense, noting that the team scored five goals in the first half against Brown — its total for the season before that point.

Tri-captain Ali Savage ’15 starred over the weekend, notching four goals and one assist to reach 104 points and 42 goals on her career, placing her in fourth and third all time, respectively.

“It’s a huge honor to have your name next to the likes of Kelly Hood [’12] and Lauren Welsh [’03],” Savage said. “I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season because we’re really starting to play like Dartmouth field hockey for the first time.”

Against the Bears (4-2, 0-2 Ivy), the Big Green took a 3-0 lead before the game was eight minutes old. Savage got the home team on the board first with her second goal of the year off an assist by tri-captain Janine Leger ’15.

Fowler said she moved Leger up to the front line and Savage back to the midfield “to ignite a little bit of a spark for the team.”

Just 56 seconds later, Brown was penalized for an infraction in the circle, resulting in a Big Green penalty corner. Anna Rowthorn-Apel ’18 was called off the bench for the penalty. She stepped up and drilled it into the back of the net for the first goal of her collegiate career.

Just 1:12 later, another freshman, Julia Donald ’18 found the back of the cage for her first collegiate goal, which put the Big Green up 3-0.

“We had pretty high expectations for the seven freshmen coming in,” Fowler said. “The freshmen needed to come in with a lot of confidence and the ability to shake out those freshman nerves and really play like an upperclassman, and all of the freshmen contributing have done a great job.”

The Dartmouth women were not done, however, as they would put up two more goals before the halftime whistle courtesy of Heather Zezzo ’17 and Savage.

With just under 1:30 left in the half, Brown got on the board thanks to a goal by sophomore Jaclyn Torres.

The teams calmed down in the second half, as Donald was responsible for the only goal of the frame. Her tally in the 42nd minute came off an assist from Savage.

While the Big Green dominated on the scoresheet, it did not control the statsheet. Brown had more shots on goal than Dartmouth (12-11) and nearly matched total shots (22-23). Goalkeeper Ellen Meyer ’15 made the difference, tallying eight saves in 61 minutes of work for her first win of the season.

“We really played all 70 minutes and had our best game,” Savage said. “We were really working on our short passes, and I think it all came together for us on Saturday, and we were all confident heading into Bryant the next day.”

Donald and Savage picked up right where they left off, notching all of the team’s goals in a 3-2 overtime win over Bryant (2-7). Meyer was again solid in net, stopping six shots in almost 76 minutes of game time.

Savage got the scoring started on the afternoon with her fourth of the season, coming in the 23rd minute again off an assist by Leger.

Bryant freshman Bethany Winkin provided the answer, scoring twice on either side of the half to give her team a 2-1 lead.

As the Big Green pressed to tie the game, senior goalkeeper Megan Hancock stood tall, finishing the contest with seven saves.

The Dartmouth women finally broke through with just 1:31 remaining on a rebound goal by Donald, her third of the weekend.

Savage tallied her fifth of the season 5:50 into the extra frame. The play started with a defensive stand that saw the ball cleared up the field to the senior. She turned, juked through a couple defenders and found the back of the cage to give the home team a win.

“It was high intensity, really exciting at the end,” Meyer said. “We have a lot of momentum going for us as we had just scored with a minute and 30 seconds left, so we just had to take the momentum that was in our favor and keep the attack up.”

The team returns to action for the final game of its three-game homestand next Saturday at noon against the University of Pennsylvania.

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