After winning the state championship at Division 2 last year, the Dexter field hockey team was elevated to Division 1 and supposedly tougher competition. That collective yawn you hear is from Dexter.
The Dreadnaughts have not missed a beat or a victory after starting the season 5-0 despite playing some top-level competition.
Dexter hosted its second Ohio team of the season on Monday when Maumee Valley made the trip north. The Hawks came in with a 2-1 record and were hoping to pin Dexter with their first loss of the season like they did in 2014.
Though Dexter controlled most of the play from the opening whistle, it took about 10 minutes of play before the Dreadnaughts could get the ball across the goal line. When they did, though, they did it in impressive fashion with two extremely well played crossing passes by both Megan Niswonger and Taryn Damm who gave the Dreadnaughts a 2-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Dexter put the game out of reach with four goals. Niswonger scored her second of the game and two powerful shots to the back of the net by Emma Tamer and a crossing pass tip by Mary Squire finished off a 6-0 win.
The defense was outstanding throughout the game and combined with goalie Anna Love’s three saves gave Dexter the shutout.
“The coaching staff is liking what they see in how the players are executing on the field,” coach Craig Flocken said. “They are buying into the system which we had changed slightly and it shows they are beginning to understand it.”
The Dreads, who outshot their visitors 18-3, wore Maumee Valley down as the game progressed.
“The players were passing everywhere and the Hawks were having difficulties keeping up,” Flocken said. “When they did get the ball, our defensive effort by all players got the ball back quickly.”
On a rainy Saturday, the Dreadnaughts headed to Grand Rapids and came back with two wins.
Dexter opened with a 5-0 win over East Grand Rapids.
Dexter scored the first goal about 10 minutes in when Niswonger fired a shot into the net on a corner play. Then in the final 10 minutes of the first half, Dexter’s offense kicked into high gear with three goals from Lexi Heath, Rachel Mount and Kelly Stabler to give the Dreadnaughts a 4-0 first half lead.
Sam Bremmer scored the only goal of the second half.
Goalie Anna Love got the shutout.
The Dreads dropped Grand Rapids Forest Hills 4-1 in the second game.
Dexter came out at the opening whistle and dictated play on the field. Though the possession was mostly in the Dreadnaughts favor, Forest Hills held strong. The key for Dexter, though, was the number of corner opportunities they were getting and as would be expected, it eventually was the downfall of Forest Hills.
In a 5-minute span midway through the first half, Dexter converted on two of those corners (Niswonger and Marin Waddington) to go up 2-0. Another goal by Kelly Stabler just before halftime gave the Dreadnaughts a comfortable 3-0 lead.
In the second half, Forest Hills tightened up defensively but the corner opportunities kept coming for Dexter. A score by Tamer on a corner play with just about 5 minutes left in the game gave the Dreadnaughts their fourth of the day.
Even though Forest Hills tallied their own corner play goal late in the game, it was much too late to mount a comeback and Dexter triumphed 4-1.
Dexter holds a 10-1-1 all-time record against Grand Rapids teams.
“This was a good day for us as both games were well played in regards to our game plan and execution of play,” Flocken said. “We came to Grand Rapids wanting to see some improvement in how we played together on the field. What the coaching staff saw on display what just that, an organized team playing all facets of the game as a team.”
Photos by Joanna Zabriskie