Coming into the 2020 field hockey season, Senior Abby Tamer knew that she and her dreadnaughts were going to have a target on their backs coming off of last year's state championship run.
“ We knew right from the start of the season we were going to be the team to beat. This just meant that each day in practice we had to hit a new peak every day. We knew how to work hard and deal with the pressure during last years season, so this year was about doing just that to execute the same outcome as last year.”
“When the horn went off there was a huge whirlwind of emotions,” Tamer said. “It is sad that I’ve officially finished my last Dexter field hockey season with these 2021 seniors. But also this feeling of pride and joy. We left everything out on that field and no one failed to bring anything but their best during that game. So coming out with the win was nothing less than exhilarating.”
This year's state title game, a repeat of last years match, was set to be a nail biter from the beginning. Dexter (15-0-1) faced off against Ann Arbor Pioneer (11-1-1) at Dexters very own Al Ritt Stadium. The game started off as a back and forth battle between the two teams, with plenty of shots, but none that seemed to find the net.
That was until, Tamer, a University of Michigan commit, stole the ball at midfield and weaved her way into the circle. Tamer then fired a shot that found the back of the net for the first goal of the game for the Dreadnaughts.
“Scoring the first goal of the game was such a relief ,” Tamer said. “It took a lot of pressure off, being able to play with a cushion. Pioneer always fights back harder though, so we knew we had to keep the pressure on”.
This time Tamer stole the ball on the baseline and delivered a perfect pass to junior Gracie Burns, a Michigan State commit, who buried it into the net for Dexters second goal of the night.
”Scoring the second goal [of the game] was one of the best feelings, but it was only the second quarter” Burns said. “Pioneer has talented athletes and always comes back harder so we knew we had to come out even stronger during the second half to keep the two-point difference.”
Pioneer increased their offensive pressure in the second half, but Dexter's defense didn't give in. After many spectacular saves by Sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Baldwin and the rest of the Dreadnaught defense, the Pioneers got on the board with a penalty shot with five and a half minutes left to play.
Although the Pioneers had a few other opportunities to tie the game up, with only a few minutes left in the game, Dexter held on to its lead and became back-to-back Division 1 field hockey state champions.
Ryan Maki and Sophia Plantz