Dakotah Savitcheff and Kendall D’Amore both put up big numbers for the Canandaigua girls lacrosse team this spring. The midfielders said the origins of the Braves’ potent offense can be traced back to their start in the area’s youth program back in second grade.
“We had a ton of seniors on the team, and usually six of our seven on the offensive end were seniors,” D’Amore said. “Just having had so many years with the same girls, we’ve had a lot of time to groove, practice together and really click.”
Savitcheff finished with 61 goals and 4 assists, and D’Amore finished with 48 goals and 12 assists. The seniors are the Daily Messenger’s 2013 Girls Lacrosse Co-Players of the Year.
The daughter of Serge and Katrina Savitcheff completed her fourth year on the Braves’ varsity team. The midfielder said she wanted to improve her defense and left hand in her final season at Canandaigua. Coach Sue Ellis also saw Savitcheff take on more of a leadership role this spring.
“She just has amazing athletic ability and she knows when to turn it on,” Ellis said. “She’s fearless and she also brings some calmness to the team. She’s probably the most accurate (on the team) with eight-meter shots.”
The highlight of Savitcheff’s season was a 13-12 come-from-behind overtime win over Brighton. She tied the game with 1:07 left in regulation and finished with four goals. The midfielder also scored seven goals in a 10-9 overtime win over Webster Thomas. The Braves went on to capture their second straight league title this spring.
Savitcheff earned the Monroe County League Division II Co-Player of the Year award at the conclusion of the 2013 season. She also won the Daily Messenger’s Player of the Year honor in 2012. The highlight of her lacrosse career was going to states in both 2010 and 2012. The senior also played varsity basketball and volleyball at Canandaigua.
In the fall, Savitcheff is going to attend the University at Albany, where she’ll play lacrosse for the Great Danes.
“I know it’ll be a step up, but I’m excited,” Savitcheff said. “I had it down to three choices and after going to each of the camps I came to Albany and found I fit in with the players and coaches.”
D'Amore, the daughter of John and Kim D’Amore, also finished her fourth season on the varsity team. Ellis saw her become more aggressive and confident on the field this past season.
“She’s definitely the workhorse of our team,” the coach said. “She contributes on both ends of the field. She’s able to play defense, get the ball back, get it through transition and still be able to score or assist on offense. She leads by example in practice, in games and in the hallways of the school.”
Page 2 of 2 - The highlight of D’Amore’s season was the preseason trip to Maryland, where Canandaigua faced some of the top teams in the country. The senior said how close the girls were this year made the week special.
D’Amore also came up big in the win over Brighton, recording six goals and two assists. She scored four goals in a 10-9 regular season win over Irondequoit, including the game-winner with two seconds left. The senior was named first team all-country.
Both Kendall and her twin Lauren are going to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Both girls will play lacrosse for the Quakers, and Kendall plans to study business in the Wharton School.
“It was about being able to combine an Ivy League school with a team that won the Ivy League championship,” she said. “The atmosphere with the girls on the team and the coach is great, and we really liked the feel of Philadelphia.”
D’Amore also ran varsity cross country and indoor track at Canandaigua. She also was involved with National Honor Society, math team, MasterMinds and Key Club, and served as a class officer.
Ellis believes both girls will be successful in college.
“I think they’re going to learn so much more at the college level,” the coach said. “They’re also going into college with great attitudes. They know they still have to work hard, and they’re humble. They love the game of lacrosse.”