Field Hockey: Rematch of last year’s state finals features two teams without a loss

One and done doesn’t appear to be a slogan the Dexter field hockey team is familiar with. The defending Division 1 MHSFHA State Champions have won their first seven games heading into today’s (Oct. 1) showdown with Pioneer, the team Dexter beat in the state finals last season.

The Pioneers visit Al Ritt Stadium tonight (5:30 p.m.) without a loss this season. Pioneer (4-0-1) tied Skyline on Sept. 16 but have won three straight tough games against Saline, Huron and Skyline coming into the Dexter matchup.

Dexter also comes into the rematch of last year’s state finals on a roll. The Dreadnaughts improved to 7-0 on the season with a 6-0 win over Mercy on Monday.

But it’s not just that Dexter is winning, but how they are winning. The Dreadnaughts have not allowed a goal this season and have scored 44 goals in their seven games. A 3-0 win over Saline has been the closest they have been challenged in 2020.

In the win over Mercy on Monday, Ella Howatt earned Dexter’s Golden Stick Award for being an “absolute brick wall in the backfield.” Dexter coach Keely Tamer has liked what she’s seen so far from her hard working defender.

“As we looked to replace 75 percent of our defense from last year we knew someone would need to step up,” Tamer said. “Ella has shown nice consistency and patience, her possession and strength continue to improve and she continues to grow her compete level. I have been very happy with her contributions this year and how she has met the challenges we have given her.”

Plenty of Dreadnaughts have been stepping up on the offensive end. In the win against Mercy, Annalisa Shehab had two goals. Abigail Tamer, Kylee Niswonger, Faith Anderson and Shannon Schoch all scored in the win.

Dexter goalies Esther Hashikawa and Hannah Baldwin, who have been splitting the goaltending duties, combined for their seventh straight shutout.

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