While the prelims had to be played, the finals of the MHSFHA Division 1 State Finals game was pretty much set before the first pass was made, the first shot was taken or the first goal was scored.
On paper, it appeared Pioneer would meet city rival Skyline in Saturday’s championship game at Chelsea. And that’s exactly how it played out on the field in the D-1 field hockey playoffs.
The Eagles, seeded No. 2, opened with an 8-0 win over Novi in the first round and then scored a 7-0 win over Saline on Thursday in a semifinal game at Dexter. It was an impressive victory for the Eagles who tied the Hornets 1-1 in their last meeting Oct. 6. Skyline won the first game 2-1.
Meanwhile, top-ranked and top-seeded Pioneer rolled over Forest Hills in its first playoff game. On Thursday, the Pioneers knocked off and out defending champion Dexter 3-0 in a game much closer to when the teams played earlier this month when Pioneer scored a 7-1 win.
The Pioneers head into Saturday’s championship game with a perfect 16-0 record which includes two close and well-played wins over Skyline. The two teams opened the season way back on Aug. 25 with Pioneer scoring a 1-0 victory. On Sept. 27, the two teams met again at Pioneer with the home team winning 4-1 in a game much closer than the final score.
Skyline enters the finals with a 14-2-1 record.
The championship game is at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Chelsea. Admission is $11.