The Skyline field hockey team learned a few valuable lessons on Monday night.
One is that to be champion you must beat the champion. And while Dexter won the Division 1 Field Hockey title last season, Pioneer remains the standard by which all other programs are measured.
And on Monday, Skyline didn’t measure up very well.
Another lesson learned is that the Eagles aren’t going to sneak up on anyone – especially a city rival.
Over the past few seasons, Skyline has joined the elite of the sport and are clearly one of the best teams in the state again this year. They are well-coached, have some exceptional players, strong role players and solid depth.
Now, they must figure out a way to beat the champions if they are to become champions.
Pioneer scored first on a perfect night for field hockey and never looked back in a 4-1 win over the Eagles in the second matchup of the season between the two powers. And while three goals separated the two teams on the scoreboard, the play on the field was much more even.
It came down to Pioneer finishing their scoring opportunities and Skyline unable to complete their chances. It was a fast paced, very well played and intense matchup between two city rivals who could meet again next month in the D-1 state finals.
Pioneer won the first match 1-0 back in August in a very different game. There were no goals until the Pioneers found the back of the net in the game’s final minutes.
Pioneer is now 8-0 on the season and have won seven of those games by three or more goals. Skyline falls to 7-2 on the season with both losses to Pioneer. The Eagles have won all seven of their games by five or more goals including five mercy games.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Pioneers struck first. Natalie Millman scored with an assist from Zoe Bormet at 12:48 to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
But the Eagles had an answer.
With 5:33 left in the quarter, Skyline sophomore Cameron Wiseman scored to even things up at 1-1.
It looked as if the game would head to halftime all even but the Pioneers earned a late corner and took advantage. With just 10 seconds left on the clock, Millman passed to Ceci Maixner who found the back of the Skyline net to push Pioneer back in front 2-1.
At the 6:30 mark of the third quarter, Pioneer’s Kate Soldan scored with an assist from Gracie Harlock to give the home team a commanding 3-1 advantage.
With 11:45 to play in the game, Soldan scored again to make it 4-1. Zoe Bormet earned the assist on the final goal of the night.