Skyline Eagles Edge Rival Pioneer in Overtime to Win D1 Field Hockey State Championship

Proving victorious after the State Championship game versus Pioneer, the Skyline field hockey team is on an all-time high. The team has a successful track record of two previous D2 state championships in 2013 and 2019, but this was the first D1 win. Nicole Barrett, coach for all three victories, feels it’s games like these that “validate all of [their] hard work.” 

The stage was set. Cross-town rivals, Skyline and Pioneer, were set to meet in the D1 Field Hockey State Championship. Despite the nerves heading into the game, Skyline jumped to a quick 2-0 lead behind goals from sophomores Cami Wiseman and Coco Courtright. Morgan Nelapa found the back of the net before the half, and Skyline held a commanding 3-1 lead at the halftime break. Wiseman notes that Skyline “had a lot of control of the ball in the first [half].” However, Pioneer managed to claw back in the second half, scoring two unanswered goals and tying the match at 3 apiece. Regulation ended in a 3-3 tie, and overtime began.

Overtime rules reduce the total amount of players on each team from 11 to 7, and a 10 minute half is played. With so much more space to work with, Skyline capitalized, scoring a goal 6 minutes into extra time. Sophomore Sadie Schultz played a long ball to Wiseman, locked in a footrace with the Pioneer defender. She received the pass, turned, and shot. At first, Wiseman thought she had missed the shot. When she heard the cheers from her teammates and the Skyline fans, she began celebrating. She remembers this moment as an “amazing feeling.” Due to all the excitement, she remembers almost hyperventilating. This go-ahead goal proved to be the game-winner, and Skyline were state champs. 

Vigorously practicing 5 days a week to prepare, the girls were “optimistic about how the season was going to go,” says Captain Morgan Nalepa. Throughout the season, the team lost twice to Pioneer, but they didn’t let that take a toll on their morale. Assistant Coach Andrew Nalepa notes “they were a different team” since both games against Pioneer and “just had to live up to [their] potential.” The girls all have teammates from their club teams and friends playing for Pioneer, which “made the game more intense.”

 “Everyone did their job and contributed to our victory,” Nalepa said. “We were all so proud of each other and what we had worked together to accomplish.” Wiseman hopes to “repeat as state champions next year, and even go undefeated.”