SOUTHINGTON — In his lacrosse playing days, Kyle Savage was a standout goalie at Southington High School who went on to great heights at Eastern Connecticut State University.
His accomplishments will soon receive the ultimate honor.
The 36-year-old Savage will be inducted into the Eastern Connecticut State University Athletics Alumni Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the school’s student center.
“It’s an honor,” Savage said. “But it doesn’t happen without our team in 2009, which was filled with players that are deserving to be in the Hall of Fame. There are a lot of deserving players.”
Savage is the first men’s lacrosse goalie to be inducted into Eastern’s Hall of Fame and the eighth member of the program overall to get the honor.
He was a four-year All-Little East Conference selection who started all possible 70 matches in goal during his career and backstopped the Warriors to two NCAA Division III Tournament appearances between 2006 and 2009.
With Savage in net, the Warriors won three Little East Conference regular-season flags and two Little East Conference playoff titles. The two NCAA tournament appearances included the program's only NCAA victory in 2009.
The team had an overall record of 45-25 during Savage’s tenure. In the Little East, the Warriors went 24-1.
Savage was a two-time captain and first-team All-Conference as a senior in 2009, when the Warriors won the Little East regular-season title in unbeaten fashion for the third time in four years.
They went on to their second LEC Tournament title in four years with a 12-8 home win over Keene State College. Four days after that championship game, Savage made 15 saves to backstop Eastern to its first NCAA Tournament win, a 10-9 overtime road victory over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
In that victory, Savage’s twin brother Matt scored three goals, including the one to force overtime with 34 seconds left in regulation.
In 2009, Kyle Savage set ECSU single-season goaltending records that still stand today: appearances (19), starts (19), wins (15) and minutes (1,021).
His save total of 219 was six shy of his career-high of 225 attained in his sophomore season. Those 225 saves remain the third-highest total in a season in program history.
Also during that sophomore season, Savage’s save percentage of .612 ranked 12th nationally in Division III.
Savage played all but 300 of a possible 4,200 minutes in his career and 14 years after leaving the program he still ranks first all-time in career appearances, starts, minutes (3,923), wins (45) and saves (829). He ranks fifth all-time in both career save percentage (.577) and goals-against average (9.28).
Savage earned a business degree from Eastern and is now a senior sourcing manager at Stanley Black & Decker.
He also co-founded Savage TeamWear, LLC in 2017. The Southington-based company started by mainly outfitting lacrosse teams in Southington and surrounding towns, but has since expanded to other sports, including football, basketball and soccer.
The co-founder is Savage’s wife of 10 years, Kelly (Freer) Savage, who also played lacrosse at Southington High.
The couple has two boys, 7-year-old Brennan and 5-year-old Camden, and a 14-month-old girl, Quinn.
Savage coaches Brennan and Camden in the Southington Lacrosse Association. He coaches the organization’s Rising Star program (3-6 years old) as well as the U8 team.
Savage went through the Southington Lacrosse Association himself with his twin brother. They started as third-graders.
Eventually, the two of them ended up at Eastern and starting as freshmen. Matt Savage still holds the single-season scoring record at Eastern with the 53 goals he tallied in 2009.
“We weren’t planning on going to the same school, but our mom pushed us to stay together and I’m glad we did,” Kyle Savage said. “When the coach told us we would both play as freshmen, that was good, too. I was used to playing and that’s all I cared about.”
Now Savage is looking to grow the sport with the Southington Lacrosse Association. He said numbers have risen in the Rising Star program over the years.
He said he’s looking forward to the Hall of Fame ceremony next month.
“It will be special,” Savage said. “I’m looking forward to seeing my teammates and former coaches. It will be good feeling for me, with my kids involved in the sport and having them sharing it with me. People tell him dad used to play and now I’m getting older.”
The social hour starts at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 and the ceremony follow at 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be reserved by contacting committee chair Scott Smith at (860) 465-4326 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.