The Dexter field hockey program won its first MHSFHA Division 1 State Title on Saturday with a 3-0 victory over longtime state power Pioneer under a steady rain and before a large crowd at Chelsea High School.
Dexter, which won the Division 2 State Finals in 2014, played in its third state finals in the last four years but lost the previous two including to Pioneer in 2016. The two teams split during the regular season including a 1-0 victory for Pioneer on Oct. 14.
The Dreadnaughts dominated the first half against the Pioneers and after a few close calls got on the board at the 21:53 mark with a goal by Claire Vaughn off an assist by Abigail Tamer.
Dexter made it 2-0 on a goal by Tamer with 6:50 to play in the first half.
Tamer scored again, falling down while firing a shot from about 20 yards out, to make it 3-0 with just 2:08 left in the first half.
Both teams had some chances in the second half and was a little more evenly matched than the first half. But the damage was already done.
Despite a steady rain that lasted the entire game, the Dreadnaughts were all smiles, high fives and hugs after winning the school’s first D-1 State Title.
Maggie Jones earned the shutout for the Dreadnaughts.
Pioneer scored a 1-0 victory in overtime over a very good Saline team in the semifinals to earn a trip to the championship game.
Playing for a state title has been almost a regular part of the schedule for the Pioneers. Pioneer had won three straight before Huron won in 2017 and 2018. Pioneer won the 2012 state championship, ending Huron’s two-year state title run (2010-11) and were state champions from 2005 to 2009. They also won three straight starting in 2000 after winning every state title in the 1990s except for 1996.
All four teams in Saturday’s Division 1 and 2 finals were SEC teams.
Skyline defeated Chelsea 2-1 to win the Division 2 title. With the win, the Eagles will move back up to Division 1 next season.
Morgan Nalepa scored an even-strength goal at 24:45 of the first half to give the Eagles the lead.
Chelsea tied the game at 1-1 on a goal by Madison Vogel at 27:55.
But playing in extra time, Jessica Courtright scored the game-winner on the power play to win it for the Eagles.