Sudden Death for Pioneer and Okemos

At 7:59pm on Apr. 17, Hill Pool at Pioneer High School was silent. At the end of the game, it was anything but silent. The water polo match went on to a stunning eight periods before Pioneer claimed victory with a score of 7-6 after losing their previous game against Okemos.Kira Peck

The smell of the chlorine pool filled the space as both teams prepared for the game to begin.

As the referee blew the whistle at eight o’clock for the game to start, both teams sprinted to the ball with determination, but Okemos just barely beat Pioneer to the ball. This didn’t stop Pioneer’s dedication to the game as they got a quick steal and Kira Peck – junior – scored on Okemos’s goalie within minutes. Towards the end of the periods, Okemos scored one goal making the final score for the first period 1-1.

In the second period, Okemos once again got to the ball first for the sprint, but Abby Stepnitz – junior – scored two goals for Pioneer making the score 3-1. Pioneer held onto possession for most of the period, however, with an ejection for Pioneer, Okemos got in another goal due to a six to five player advantage making the final score 3-2.Abby Stepnitz

In the third period, Okemos continued to win the sprint and take possession of the ball before Pioneer had a chance. Within the first two minutes, Okemos managed to get a goal making the score tied at 3-3. Sophie Anderson – senior and captain for Pioneer – got in a goal towards the end of the period putting them in the lead with a final score of 4-3.

By the fourth period, both teams have strong commitment and dedication to the game as Okemos wins the sprint. Okemos gets another goal making the score 4-4 tied. Towards the end of the fourth period, Stepnitz manages to score her third goal for Pioneer making the score 5-4 but within seconds Okemos comes right back makes the final score 5-5.

Overtime has begun.Brianna Coury

During overtime, there are two three minute periods. If no goals are scored, it’s sudden death. Sudden death consists of two more three minute periods and the first goal to be scored wins the game. If no one scores during sudden death, there is a shootout to determine the winner.

In the first period of overtime, Lehna Smallwood – senior and captain for Pioneer – scores almost immediately after the sprint is won by Pioneer. The score for the first overtime is 6-5. Pioneer wins the sprint again and Okemos gets a goal during the second period of overtime making the score 6-6. The game continues to sudden death, leaving not a single person in the pool or in the audience relaxed.

No goals were made during the first period of sudden death as both teams fought hard. During the second period, Elizabeth Erkkine – senior and captain for Pioneer – scores the winning goal making the final score 7-6.

Brianna Coury
Goals for Pioneer were made by Abbey Stepnitz (3), Kira Peck (1), Sophie Anderson (1), Lehna Smallwood (1) and Elizabeth Erkkinen (1). Goals for Okemos included Alex Chow (2), Sydney Fountain (2), Carly Seeterlin (1), and Sarah Williams (1).