By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
A young Dexter Field Hockey team dropped their game against Ann Arbor Pioneer yesterday, 4-0.
In the last three years, the Dreadnaughts and Pioneers have met in the semi-finals of the state tournament, twice, and the finals, once. Last season the teams met three times with Pioneer winning 2 of 3 meetings.
Both teams came into the contest tied for fourth place at 3-1. Both teams were coming off of their first losses of the season. The Dreadnaughts to Saline on Aug. 22 and Pioneer to Ann Arbor Huron on Aug. 30.
In the first half, the difference maker was Pioneer senior Sam Kass. She scored off of an early corner for Pioneer less than two minutes into the game. A series or two later, she would score again, sliding home a crossed ball for the 2-0 lead with just over three minutes played.
The Dreadnaughts had a good look off a corner five minutes in but couldn’t find the back of the net as the ball rolled out of bounds. After the opening scoring for the Pioneers, both teams settled in, with halftime arriving with the same score.
After halftime, Dreadnaught junior Erin Baldwin had a scoring chance in the first two minutes after beating a Pioneer defender, but her shot went just wide.
Dreadnaught junior goalie Maggie Jones kept the contest closer than it could have been, with 27 minutes remaining, she saved two consecutive shots, the first a kick save followed by sliding for a follow-up shot. Five minutes later, she came out from her net again, making two saves before a defensive clear.
The Pioneers would score again with 17:13 left and 2:36 left to seal the game, a 4-0 victory.
Coach Trish Machemer was encouraged with the performance of her young team, out of last years’ 19-member team, seven were seniors.
“We can’t prepare (for a game of this speed),” said Machemer on some of the newer players seeing a varsity field for the first time. “They don’t get it. We had to see it and feel it. We looked at this game as their reality check on where we’re at.”
Machemer mentioned working on communication and specific game skills during the post-game talk, and at the same time, found positives in the performance of the team.
“Despite the fact that they’re young, despite the fact a lot of them were playing their first varsity game against Pioneer, they were in it,” said Machemer. “ The score wasn’t as indicative of how we played, they weren’t ever out of it. For them, they saw they could do it, they learned. We definitely made mistakes, but it wasn’t like they were so much faster, or we couldn’t possibly keep up. The system we’re playing is completely different for a lot of them, and they were starting to understand it that game which was encouraging for us, for what we’re trying to accomplish.”
The Dreadnaughts will be in action next on September 11, the team travels to Detroit Country Day.