The last time Dexter met Pioneer in field hockey a state title was on the line. While Thursday’s game didn’t have the weight of a state championship it was still a very, very big deal as two unbeaten teams met in a regular-season showdown at Al Ritt Stadium in Dexter.
Dexter won that championship game last November in Chelsea and they won again on Thursday with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the visiting Pioneers. Dexter improves to 8-0 on the season while Pioneer falls to 5-1-1.
“It was a tough game, but gives us inspiration to keep on working hard,” said Pioneer Coach Jane Nixon. “We love this team because of the competitive spirit, great chemistry and never ever ever give up mindset! This game was a total team effort and we fought to the bitter end.”
There were a few “firsts” in this game. It was Pioneer’s first loss of the season and Dexter allowed a goal for the first time all year.
Dexter’s Annalisa Shehab scored with an assist from Shannon Schoch to make it 1-0 in the second quarter. The Dreadnaughts led 1-0 at halftime.
Dexter took a 2-0 lead when Taylor Shook scored in the third quarter. With 5 minutes left in the game and down 2-0, Pioneer came out strong to score on an offensive corner with an assist from May Flanders and goal from Zoe Bormet.
With seconds on the clock, Pioneer continued to pressure on goal with an offensive attack and almost came up with the equalizer.
Senior goalie Ella Roberts had an outstanding match with 13 saves for the Pioneers.
Dexter’s Esther Hashikawa and Hannah Baldwin split the goaltending duties for Dexter.
The Dreadnaughts host Saline at 5:30 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 2).
Pioneer hosts Chelsea at 7 p.m. on Monday.