When the final whistle blew concluding the 2014 Field Hockey State Championship, the Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers had topped the Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles by a score of 1-0, polishing off an undefeated season.
“Winning the State Championship was the best part of this year’s season,” said senior and team captain, Elizabeth Erkkinen. According to Erkkinen, the culmination of all the effort put forth, beginning in the off-season, was best represented best by the unconquered season.
However, many preceding seasons have not ended on such of a high note. Last year, led by a strong senior class, Pioneer was defeated in the State Championship by cross-town rival, Ann Arbor Huron. “Last year we had thirteen seniors, so this season we kind of had to start with a whole new group,” said Erkkinen. “I was a little bit unsure, but I shortly found out we were very good and how much potential we had. Then we reached that potential.”
Over the course of the season, many players stepped up and performed well to meet demands on and off the field. Junior Meghan Foster was elected the most improved player for her abilities to adapt as the season progressed. Erkkinen believes along with Foster, many of the underclassmen grew an impressive amount and developed over the course of the season.
“We had a lot of sophomores who came on and kept on working hard and they got so much better over the course of the season,” said Erkkinen.
Although it was their final season, both Huang and Erkkinen, are excited for the years to come. “I can’t wait to see how we do. We’re already so good now, and there is so much potential,” said Huang.
Success has been a tradition throughout history in the Pioneer Field Hockey program. “It’s great that everyone now has experience winning States and I think next year they now know how much work it takes to win. So I hope everyone goes into next season with the same mentality as they did this year.”