Savitcheff is in the Record Books, But the Senior is Not Done Yet
Dakotah Savitcheff took a pass from Sarah Martin and scored a goal versus Vermont with 14:12 remaining in the first half, just like the two have done so many times in the past four years.
Except this goal was unlike any other.
On April 5, Savitcheff broke the University at Albany women’s lacrosse scoring record with her 176th goal. The following week, after scoring the game-winning goals against No. 8 Cornell and New Hampshire, she earned U.S. Lacrosse’s Player of the Week.
“I never thought from the start that I would accomplish something like this [record],” Savitcheff said. “But once I started hearing I was this close and could possibly beat it, I just wanted to work as hard as I could and do my best.”
From the moment she stepped on to John Fallon Field as a freshman, Savitcheff became a scoring machine for UAlbany’s offense. After receiving America East All-Rookie honors in her first season, she set a UAlbany all-time single season record with 64 goals in her sophomore campaign.
As a junior last season, she was nemd to the IWLCA All-Northeast Team for the second consecutive season and was given America East All-Conference First Team honors.
When Savitcheff looks back at everything she’s accomplished, she raves about her teammates who allowed her to have so much success as a Great Dane.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Savitcheff said. “I love working with everyone.
We all have each other’s backs and not one person on the offense is selfish, which I think has helped us a lot.”
Savitcheff’s teammates have been with her every step of the way, especially this year’s senior class, which includes Tewaaraton Award nominee Sarah martin, defender Sierra McIver, and midfielder Emily Mizer
“It’s crazy how time flies that we are graduating soon,” Martin said. “I’ve been working with Dakotah on offense for so long now. We have a really great connection and I can always sense when she’s going to get open. She catches anything I throw her. She just makes my job so much easier.”
It’s not just Savitcheff doing the scoring. Martin leads the Great Danes with 83 points this year (53 goals, 31 assists), including a 10 goal explosion in a 13-11 win over Yale on Feb. 18.
Savitcheff is a nightmare for opposing defenses. The teammates who face her in practice every day certainly are aware.
“She’s a wizard,” McIver said. “You think you have her, or you think your stick is in front of hers, but somehow she’ll move it or find a way to go through yours.”
But behind every great player, there’s an even greater coach. John Battaglino, now in his 7th season at UAlbany, has nothing but love for his star attack.
“She’s innately competitive and she loves to play the game,” Battaglino said. “She just loves to compete. She’s hard on herself. When she gets into a little funk, she might get frustrated, but I can see she just keeps going at it and she doesn’t give up.”
As Savitcheff puts the finishing touches on a historic college career, she has one final goal in mind.
Savitcheff and her senior teammates have lost to rival Stony Brook in the final of the America East Tournament each of the last three seasons. Savitcheff is confident there will be a differen outcome in 2017.
“I truly believe this year we can win an America East Conference Championship,” Savitcheff said. “Because of all the hard work, effort, and time we have put in all year long.”
Regardless of what the future holds for Savitcheff, she’ll never forget all of the amazing she’s met along the way and the moments she has spent representing everything it means to be a Great Dane, on and off the field.
Savitcheff and the Great Danes will have a chance to bring the conference title home beginning on May 5. They’ll travel to Stony Brook to face UMBC in the semifinals on May 5, with the hope of advancing to face the Seawolves in the championship game two days later.