Casie Ammerman and Eliza Stein know a thing or two about championships. The two lined up across each other in field hockey state title games four times in high school. Both Ann Arbor natives, Ammerman played for Huron High School while Stein played for Pioneer.
On the field they were fierce rivals, splitting the four state championships. Off the field, they were lifelong friends.
“There was a really big rivalry between us, but also being best friends, it was really fun to play against each other,” Ammerman said.
Ammerman and Stein grew up together in Ann Arbor playing on the same youth soccer and field hockey teams, always pushing each other to get better. After four years in different uniforms, the two reunited in 2013 on the Michigan field hockey team.
“When we both decided to go to Michigan, it was great,” Ammerman said. “We were going to be able to be on the same team and working toward the same goal. It’s incredible to share these experiences with her because we have gone through so much together already.”
Since becoming Wolverines, Ammerman and Stein have had different experiences. Ammerman redshirted her freshman year, while Stein saw action in 13 games her first year.
“(Redshirting) was a real advantage for me to learn the game more my freshman year,” Ammerman said. “I learned so much from the coaches and the older players that I played with. … The next year I was able to get into games and make a positive influence on the team.”
In their third year in the program, they have both seen an increase in their roles on the field. Through eight games, Ammerman has already doubled her number of starts from last year from two to four, and Stein has appeared in seven games.
“(On the field) I could feel a connection playing with her,” Stein said. “ I would play the right back and she would play the right midfield position, and we had an instant connection with passes. I think we really understood how each other moved from playing so many years with each other.”
In college, Ammerman and Stein have realized two of their dreams from growing up together: playing on the same team again and stepping on the field to represent Michigan. Both Ammerman and Stein grew up just down the street from campus and remember attending Wolverine sporting events growing up. They have also enjoyed having their families close by and having their support at games.
“You grew up wearing maize and blue every Saturday and being able to hear the crowd from the football game at your house,” Stein said. “Being able to do that is one of the coolest feelings. I would always go to the (field hockey) games when I was younger and look up to those players so much, so being able to be in their shoes was kind of always a dream of mine.”