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Savard leads Yale to playoffs

Framingham's Kristin Savard, a sophomore at Yale University, has had a big hand in the success of the women's ice hockey team that was participating this weekend in the Eastern College Athletic Conference playoffs.

Savard led Yale in scoring last season with 14 goals and eight assists and was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team. Last August, the Milton Academy graduate earned a spot on the USA Hockey Women's Festival roster and played with and against several US Olympians in a round-robin tournament.

This season, Savard helped lead Yale to a school record for victories (Yale was 14-14-1 overall and 12-7-1 in the ECAC) and home ice advantage in the playoffs for the first time in the program's history. Entering this weekend's best-of-three quarterfinals against Princeton, Savard had eight goals and 13 assists. She was leading Yale in assists and was fifth in team scoring.

''I love playing for Yale," said Savard. ''Unlike many of the teams we play against, there aren't any heroes on our team. We need every player to do her part if we want to win. We have great team unity because we keep a small roster and everyone on the team is needed in every game."

Savard, who played for the Concord-based Assabet Valley club program, is described as a person with a passion for the sport by Yale head coach Hilary Witt, a former Northeastern University player.

''Kristin is an outstanding hockey player but an even better person," said Witt. ''Her love for the game and the passion she plays with go above and beyond all expectations . . . It's a pleasure to coach her."

Savard had an assist when the Bulldogs defeated Vermont, 3-0, on Feb. 19 for their school-record 13th victory. It was one of several benchmark games for Yale, which defeated archrival Harvard, 3-2, last November in New Haven.

It was Yale's first win against the Crimson since 1984 -- the year before Savard was born. And Yale's 4-2 decision against Princeton in the regular-season finale -- the team's fourth over a Top 10 opponent this season -- earned the Bulldogs home ice advantage for the conference quarterfinals for the first time since the women's varsity ice hockey team was started 28 years ago.

''These were all great milestones for us," said Savard, ''but we still have a lot left to prove. We're a developing program and need to prove that we can play with the teams at the top of the rankings."

While at Milton Academy, Savard was an All-Independent School League selection for four seasons and was honored as team MVP. She was All-ISL as a member of Milton Academy's field hockey team, which won the New England prep championship in 2001.

Krems setting Wesleyan records

Newton North High graduate Kate Krems, a freshman at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., was a standout at the New England Small College Athletic Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Middlebury College. The former North tricaptain set team records in the 50-yard butterfly (26.41 seconds) and the 100-yard butterfly (58.44). The latter qualified Krems provisionally for the NCAA Division 3 championships. She was also part of three school-record-setting relay teams at the meet -- the 200 medley, 400 medley, and 400 freestyle -- that were also provisional qualifiers. Krems broke her own school record in the 50-yard butterfly, set in the season's second meet against Amherst. The previous Wesleyan record holder in the 100-yard butterfly was Holly Sorensen (59.48 in 1994). Sorensen was the NCAA Division 3 national champion in the 200 butterfly in 1994 and 1995 and a two-event All-American. Krems also improved by nearly 10 seconds over the course of the season in the 200-yard butterfly.

''We expect more of the same from Kate," said Wesleyan assistant swim coach Mollie Parrish, ''because she's a really hard worker. She's very mature for a freshman and she's on course for the NCAAs next year. Kate asks the right questions and is a great learner. She applies what we tell her very quickly, and she was someone we definitely wanted for our team in the fly events."

Krems started swimming competitively at age 7 in the Newton city recreational program and is a member of the Brandeis-based New England Barracudas club team. At Newton North, she was the team record holder in the 100-yard butterfly and was part of three record-setting relays (200 medley and 200 and 400 freestyle). As a high school junior and senior, she placed third in the state meet in the 100-yard butterfly and was a junior national finalist in the 50-yard butterfly two summers ago while with the Barracudas.

Local wrestlers meet up again

There was a Bay State Conference reunion at the recent New England Collegiate Conference Wrestling Association Championships at Johnson & Wales University. Former Needham High captain Scott Moskowitz, a senior at Williams College, placed fifth in the 149-pound weight class and achieved All-New England status, as did Framingham High grads P.J. Rovinelli and Oded Carmi. Rovinelli, a senior at Springfield College, was second in the 184-pound division, and Carmi, a senior at Trinity College, placed sixth in the 197 class. Rovinelli, a football, lacrosse, and wrestling captain in high school and a wrestling captain at Springfield, will play for the nationally ranked men's lacrosse team this spring. Carmi had a breakout senior season with a 25-12 match record.

Moskowitz, Rovinelli, Carmi, and Natick High's Brian Young, now wrestling at Roger Williams (he also competed at the conference championships), competed for Team Massachusetts in the summer of 2000. It was an All-Star team of high school wrestlers that participated in freestyle tournaments and the AAU Junior Olympics in Orlando, Fla. ''We're all pretty close and stay in touch," said Moskowitz, who was also on the cross-country team at Needham High, ''so it was good to see each other at Johnson & Wales. It was the first time that Oded and myself were All-New England, but it's also bittersweet because it's the last time we'll be at the same meet at the same time."

UAA cites staff, players at Brandeis

The Brandeis University women's basketball team received several honors from the University Athletic Association after finishing the regular season with a 20-4 record and earning the top seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship tournament for the second consecutive season. Head coach Carol Simon, associate head coach Anthony Ewing, and assistant head coach Todd Goclowski shared UAA Coaching Staff of the Year honors with the staff from Washington University. First-year guard Jaime Capra became the first Brandeis woman to earn conference Rookie of the Year accolades. Sophomore center Caitlin Malcolm was a first-team UAA choice, while Capra and junior center Christine Clancy were picked for the second team.

Brandeis opened the season with a 14-game win streak and had an 18-game unbeaten skein dating back to the previous season. On the Brandeis men's team, freshman guard Florian Rexhepi was the UAA's Rookie of the Year (another Brandeis first). Senior center Bryan Lambert was All-UAA first team for the second consecutive season.

If you have a suggestion for a SportsWest item, contact Marvin Pave by e-mail at; by telephone at 508-820-4223; by fax at 508-820-4258; or by mail at The Boston Globe's West office, 111 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.

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