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Savage's Hat Trick Leads Dartmouth Past UC Davis, 4-3

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By John and Matt Risley

BERKELEY, Calif. — A hat trick and seven-point performance from junior Ali Savage helped the Dartmouth field hockey team pick up its first win of the 2013 campaign Sunday afternoon.

The Big Green (1-1) knocked off UC Davis (1-2) at Cal’s Maxwell Family Field in the first-ever meeting between the two programs, holding on in the late goings for a 4-3 victory.

For Savage, it was the first three goals of the season after registering an assist in the opener Friday night on the same field against the hometown Bears. It also marked the third hat trick of her career as she had one in each of her first two seasons, including one against Bryant as a freshman (9/18/11) and a four-goal performance against Vermont (10/17/12) last fall as a sophomore. The eight points against the Catamounts that day remain her career high after Sunday’s three-goal, one-assist showing came up just short.

Sophomore Jessica Barfield also made a splash on Sunday against the Aggies. Her goal in the 53rd minute of play not only gave her team the 3-1 lead and some breathing room, but also marked the first tally and points of her collegiate career. Savage’s assist came on Barfield’s first, helping to set up the sophomore’s memorable goal.

Though she didn’t find the back of the net herself, junior Janine Leger had an outstanding day setting up her teammates. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native finished with a career-high three assists, all to Savage, for her first three points of the season.

While a turnstile of three goalkeepers rotated in for UC Davis, it was the steady junior Ellen Meyer in the Dartmouth goal the whole way. Her 11 saves in the game were a new career high and the most by a Big Green keeper in two seasons.

However, things didn’t always go as planned for the team in green on this day. After Savage’s third goal made it 4-1 with under 10 minutes to play, the Aggies turned up the intensity. Two goals in roughly a minute’s time from Danielle Koehne (67th) and Jamie Garcia (68th) made it a one-goal game again and put pressure on the Green and White to stave off the comeback bid.

The defense did just that as Dartmouth withstood the late UC Davis surge to hold on for the first victory of 2013. The Aggies pulled their goalkeeper in the waning moments in favor of the extra attacker, a move rarely seen in the game and ineffective against the Green on Sunday.

UC Davis held a 19-16 advantage in shots, while Dartmouth’s overwhelming dominance on corners resulted in a 13-4 figure.

The Big Green return to action on Friday, Sept. 13 when they travel to Boston to take on Northeastern at 6 p.m.