Watertown hits trifecta
WORCESTER - With its third state field hockey title win in as many years, the Watertown trophy case is getting packed.
The Red Raiders (21-0-1) defeated Oakmont, 3-1, yesterday at Worcester State to extend their unbeaten streak to 69 games and lock up their 12th state title since coach Eileen Donahue took over in 1986.
“It’s been a long journey for us this year,’’ Donahue said. “We replaced a lot of people, they fought for it all year, and I’m very proud of them.’’
A well-executed give-and-go between Erika Kelly and Meaghan Kelly gave Watertown a 3-0 lead with 20:54 remaining in the second half. Erika, who scored twice, broke into the top of the circle and found Meaghan to her right, who fed it right back in front for Erika to finish.
“The forward line up is really close,’’ said Erika, who netted two goals in the final high school game. “We just know where each other are all the time.’’
Devan Wirtanen put Oakmont (13-1-7) on the board with less than eight minutes remaining, but the three-goal deficit was too much to overcome.
“I can say one thing for my team, they’re not quitters,’’ said Oakmont coach Leanne Roy. “They don’t quit and they didn’t today when they could have.’’
Lauren Giordano gave Watertown its initial advantage off a loose ball with 17:27 remaining in the first half after a shot from the top of the circle by Allie Doggett found its way through to the front of the net.
Solid defense in front of Oakmont goalie Kayla Costa by Morgan Caisse and Brianna Baril kept Watertown at bay for most of the half.
With 3:52 left in the half, Erika Kelly extended Watertown’s lead with a backhander from 10 yards out after crossing up Baril with dazzling stick work at the top of the circle. With Meaghan Kelly in front, Costa was looking for a redirect and Erika’s shot found the bottom left corner.
“Outstanding performance,’’ Donahue said. “But knowing Erika, she’s more concerned about the team results . . . that’s what our program is all about, team play and togetherness.’’
The approach pays off seemingly every season. But even after a dozen titles, Donahue is careful not to get ahead of herself.
“We may never have this moment again,’’ Donahue said, “so we might as well enjoy it.’’