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Watertown field hockey head named "Coach of the Year" by national association

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  October 10, 2013 03:05 PM

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Jon Mahoney/Globe
Eileen Donahue
Eileen Donahue, coach of the championship-winning Watertown girls' field hockey team, has been dubbed the 2013 "Coach of the Year" by the National High School Coaches Association, the organization recently announced.

Donahue beat out all other field hockey coaches in the country for the national designation.

Donahue's nomination is far from bewildering. The coach has only seen 30 game losses during her 28-year tenure as head of the field hockey team, and as of Sept. 29, the Lady Raiders hadn't lost in 1,653 days, going 96-0-3.

The last time Watertown lost in field hockey was Nov. 12, 2008. That means that freshmen who walked into the high school in 2009 and graduated this spring did not lose a game.

The team has also won the MIAA Division 2 title for the past four straight years.

The Watertown team has already broke the Massachusetts record for most consecutive undefeated games by a field hockey squad when they beat Arlington, 2-0, on Sept. 10, passing the mark established by Walpole High in the mid-1990s. Only two other programs nationwide, one in Oklahoma and one in New Jersey, have done better.

Many current and former Watertown athletes cite Donahue's no-nonsense attitude and ambitious goals as a reason for her success.

“She always pushes us as far as we can go,’’ Jess Doggett, then senior co-captain, told the Globe in 2010. “She really does get the best out of us.’’

Donahue has also recently taken over the Watertown girls' lacrosse team, so far succeeding in taking them from losing two-thirds of their games to winning the majority. In 2012, the lacrosse team had only won 10 of 34 games. But by May 2013, after Donahue took over, the team won all 14 games they had played.

"I’m pleasantly surprised where we’re at, knowing where we were at day one," Donahue told the Globe in May of the lacrosse team. "Basic skills still have to improve, but I have to give my team credit.”

Donahue will be honored at the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum in Easton, Pa. She was also sent a trophy and a certificate recognizing her award, said the association's executive director, Bob Ferraro.

Globe Correspondent Jason Mastrodonato contributed to this report.

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