Huron, Pioneer, Greenhills and Saline advance to field hockey state quarterfinals
The top-ranked Huron High School field hockey team struggled for the first 20 minutes of its second round Michigan High School Field Hockey Association playoff match against the Washtenaw Whippets, but eventually found the scoring touch that has kept the defending state champs atop the polls all year.
“The Whippets came out very hard and played very well,” said Huron coach Tia Sutton. “In the first half we came out a little slow. We were our usual selves in the second half.”
The River Rats were able to get on the board in the 22nd minute and from there the flood gates opened. They would score seven goals in the remaining 38 minutes to defeat the Whippets 7-0 in Saturday’s matchup.
“The girls started playing better as a team in the second half and communicating each other,” Sutton said.
Whippets co-coach Roxy Block was thrilled with how her team handled playing the River Rats.
“I’m incredibly impressed because Huron did not score on us until the 22nd minute of the first half,” said Block. “Our girls hung together well and supported each other.”
Huron advances to play a quarterfinal against Grosse Pointe South at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Detroit Country Day's indoor facility. The semifinal and finals will be held at Dearborn Edsel Ford on Thursday and Saturday.
“The only way to get to Saturday is to play each game. We’re just going to keep playing hard and do our best,” said Sutton. “I think the girls realize that if you don’t play each game like it’s your last, it could be your last.”
Close game are nothing new for Dexter. Unfortunately for the Dreadnaughts, their latest will be the last of the season.
FARMINGTON HILLS MERCY 2, DEXTER 1
Dexter finishes the season 12-5, with all of its loses coming by one goal.
“In all the games we played, we finished 12-5 and you can’t argue that is a successful season,” said coach Craig Flocken “When you look at the big picture, we had a good year. Is it disappointing? Sure.”
The Dreads fell behind 2-0 in the first half but a Megan Flocken tally with 16:55 left in the game cut the lead in half. Mercy was able to hold on for the win.
“We just couldn’t get that tying goal in the last 10 minutes,” Flocken said. “Execution of corners is probably what did us in.”
Dexter outshot Mercy 9-6, but Mercy overcame the Dexter attack. Although he was not happy to have lost, Flocken is excited for next year and what lies ahead for his program.
“The girls had a great season, we just fell a little short, we’re going to regroup and come back strong next year.”
A lone second half goal by Sarah Ball helped push Saline into the third round of the MHSFHA tournament.
SALINE 1, EAST GRAND RAPIDS 0
“I wish we had more goals to show for it, but we’re happy with a 1-0 win,” said Saline coach Don Hes. “I think we should have had more goals based on ball possession.”
The Hornets came out strong, almost scoring in the second minute of the game. But play leveled out and the two teams went back and forth until halftime where the score remained 0-0.
After the break, the Hornets came out on the attack again and were able to maintain possession most of the early part of the second half. That’s when Ball was able to score the only goal of the day.
Saline advances to face Pioneer at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Pioneer High School.
MORE FIELD HOCKEY
Pioneer 7, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 0: Game details not available. Pioneer will play Saline at Hollway field at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Greenhills 3, Detroit Country Day 2 (OT): Game details not available. Greenhills advances to play Farmington Hills Mercy at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Detroit Country Day’s indoor facility.
Grosse Pointe South 2, Skyline 1: Game details not available.