Left, Ania Dow was a tremendous team captain for head coach David Dwaihy and the Liggett girls' varsity soccer squad. Right, Ania Dow played the best hockey of her four-year high school career, which helped the Knights win a Division 1 state title. photo by Bob Bruce/Renato Jamett.
August 07, 2014University Liggett 2014 graduate Ania Dow has put one chapter in the books and is ready for the next one, college.
The 18-year-old Grosse Pointe Farms resident graduated in June and begins her freshman year at the University of Michigan in September.
"I learned a lot at Liggett, and it's going to help me a lot in college and later in life," Dow said. "They taught me how to be a leader, and I think I did a good job of it during my final year of high school."
Her leadership abilities were evident on the athletic field as she was named a team captain for the field hockey, ice hockey and soccer squads she played on her senior year.
All three squads played well, thanks to Dow's ability to get everyone on the team to play as "one."
"I had a great senior year, and it started in field hockey," Dow said. "It is the sport I'm best at and it was great to see us play so well."
The Knights nearly won a division title and earned a No. 4 seed in the Division II state playoffs. They outplayed visiting Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central in the playoff game, but lost 1-0.
"It was a tough game because I think we outshot them and outplayed them," Dow said. "We really thought we could get to the semifinals. At least we, as a team, and myself individually, had a great season.
"It was nice to start my senior year off with such a great field hockey season."
For her hard work, Dow earned Division II All-State Second Team.
That success carried over to ice hockey where head coach Cassie Jaeckle named Dow the captain. She took it upon herself to contact the incoming freshmen and introduce herself, as well as the program's mission, to these young players.
The extra care to do this was one of the key components to the Knights' putting together the best season in program history, going 16-3 (second place) in the regular season.
The Knights won two tough playoff games, 4-3 in double-overtime over Livonia Ladywood in the quarterfinals and 2-1 over Ann Arbor in the semifinals to make the state finals on home ice against defending Division I state champ and regular season champion Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood.
Dow and the home team fell behind 2-0, but stormed back to tie it 3-3 when Dow scored an unassisted goal midway through the third period to help send the game to overtime.
Jena Pangborn poked a loose puck into the back of the net early in OT to help Dow and the rest of the Knights celebrate the state championship, winning 4-3.
"That was the best moment I had in high school athletics, that is for sure," Dow said. "It was great to contribute to such a wonderful moment for all of us and the entire school. Winning the state championship is something I will never forget.
"Playing for coach Cassie was a great experience and she made it a point that we needed to play as a 'team' to win this thing. Not many people thought we could beat Cranbrook, but we did and coach Cassie did."
Dow had 10 goals and a league-high 22 assists in the regular season. It was her most productive season since first playing the sport as a freshman at Liggett. She earned All-State Honorable Mention this year and was the team most valuable player.
The elation continued as head coach David Dwaihy named Dow a captain for the girls' soccer team.
This made it a perfect 12-for-12 for Dow. She made the varsity team for each of her four high school years in field hockey, ice hockey and soccer.
She improved each year and her captainship was well earned.
Dow played a large part in helping the Knights win a Michigan Independent Athletic Conference co-championship, as well as a district crown.
She had 10 goals and 12 assists as the Knights finished with double-digit victories yet again. She was the team most valuable player, too.
"Coach Dwaihy and coach (Andy) Knote make playing soccer a lot of fun," Dow said. "They are serious and they really know the game. Their coaching helped us become a very solid soccer team.
"I will miss the girls, but it's time to start a new chapter in my life."
The 5-foot, 9-inch Dow narrowed her college choices to the University of Michigan and William & Mary in Virginia.
She was accepted to U-M and is going to be a freshman at the school in the fall. Dow is also going to try-out for the women's ice hockey team. A tall challenge, but attainable.
"I have been working out and skating a lot, so I feel confident in my ability to make the team," Dow said. "I can skate fast, so that is a skill I have to utilize during tryouts.
"I want to make the team, but if I don't, it's not the end of the world."
She moves into her dorm room at Alice Lloyd Hall and has a class schedule of English, Polish and communication her first collegiate semester. She is undecided on a major, but has an interest in creative writing.
"I can't wait to meet new people and enjoy my experience at U-M," Dow said. "I loved Liggett and I'm sure my time at U-M will be memorable."