Ann Arbor Pioneer Beats Ann Arbor Skyline 5-0 at Pioneer Invitational

Leah Weingarten (Pioneer) takes a shot on Allie Millot (Skyline) during the second quarter of the final game at the Pioneer invitational.

Following the intensity of Okemos and Saline’s game at the Pioneer invitational for women’s water polo on Sat., March 26 (6-5 Okemos), Ann Arbor’s Pioneer and Skyline prepared to play the last water polo game of the tournament. Pioneer had a shutout all four periods, taking the victory over the final game.

After a minute of warming up on their respective sides, six players from each team lined up, waiting for the referees to start the game. At 1:30 p.m., the sprinters from each team, Brianna Coury (Pioneer) and Miranda Stewart (Skyline), raced to the ball. Coury grabbed the ball just before Stewart got there, and passed it to her teammates. Both teams played with dedication throughout the quarter and about halfway through, Leah Weingarten scored the first and only goal of the quarter for Pioneer, ending the period, 1-0.

In the second quarter, Coury and Stewart sprinted again for their teams, and Coury took possession. Maggie Stevens (Skyline) got an exclusion due to a personal foul, and two minutes in, Coury scored on Allie Milot, goalie for Skyline, making the score 2-0. For the duration of the period, Pioneer continued to press on Skyline, although Skyline’s offensive didn’t give up as many attempts were made to score a goal. Following the four minute marking, Coury scored for Pioneer, and almost immediately after, Weingarten scored again. Pioneer called one time out as the period continued, and the game resumed shortly after. With exactly one second left, Weingarten scored her third goal for Pioneer, which made the ending score for the quarter 4-0.

After switching sides, both teams pushed on throughout the third quarter. In the stands, anticipation for both sides was spread and the levels of intensity were rising. The same sprinters, Coury and Stewart, made an effort to obtain possession, but both teams made fouls, resulting in a neutral throw (similar to a jump ball in basketball).

Coury grabbed the ball before Stewart had a chance and within the first minute and a half, Coury scored for Pioneer, making the score 5-0. Both teams made attempts to make a sixth goal for Pioneer and a first for Skyline, but the scores stayed the same as each goalie finished the period strong as it came to a close.

By the fourth quarter, both teams encouraged each other to finish the game strong. Abbey Stepnitz (Pioneer) and Stewart sprinted for the ball, and Stepnitz beat Stewart just barely. The period went on and Skyline called one time-out with about two minutes left after Skyline had possession. It was a quick turnover as Pioneer gained possession following the timeout after hard pressure is put on Skyline.

Shortly following, Skyline got the ball following a penalty by Cristina Pappas, which gave Skyline a chance to get a goal. As a nervous tension triggered through the room, Skyline’s player threw the ball, but it went over the crossbar. The score remained the same for the rest of the game, with Pioneer winning 5-0.
Goals for Pioneer: Leah Weingarten (3) and Brianna Coury (2).