WORCESTER – The national-record, 41-game shutout streak has ended, but Watertown field hockey’s title reign is still very much alive.
Senior Molly Driscoll snapped a tie early in the fourth quarter with her third goal of the Div. 3 state final at WPI on Saturday, helping the top-seeded Raiders (22-0) clinch a 4-3 win over No. 2 Newburyport for their third straight title.
The Clippers twice rallied in this instant classic, scoring three times the amount of goals Watertown had allowed over the last two years combined. But Driscoll’s hat trick gave it the last laugh, sealing the program’s third three-peat while ending her career with 150 goals and zero losses.
Only two other programs have three-peated. Watertown is the only to do it three times. Longtime head coach Eileen Donahue now has 23 state titles, though she’s focused on just one.
“I don’t know what that feels like, I just know what this feels like – that I’m very proud of all the girls, and the coaches, and all the people that have supported us,” Donahue said. “I’ve got to give, obviously, credit to Newburyport … to tie it like that. And credit to our own team and our own program, making a lot of adjustments this year.”
“It definitely did seem more special, this was our senior year for three of us,” Driscoll added. “We knew we could do this, it was just a matter of if we were going to show up, if we were going to step up to do it.”
Behind Driscoll’s first goal within the opening two minutes and Aislin Devaney’s tally shortly after, Watertown looked like it might roll to another title with a 2-0 lead in the first quarter.
But Newburyport’s Ciara Geraghty scored with 5:35 left in the half, snapping the long shutout streak while cutting the deficit to 2-1. The Clippers defense held Watertown scoreless in the frame, and Delaney Woekel tied it up at 2-2 just 1:08 into the second half.
The Raiders reclaimed the one-goal lead about two minutes later on Driscoll’s second goal, but Morgan Valeri tied it again for Newburyport with 6:39 to play.
After the Clippers threatened to take the lead late in the frame, Driscoll started the fourth quarter with a highlight-reel goal on a corner for the eventual game-winner. Watertown picked up nine corners in the fourth to keep the ball out of its end and seal the title.
“I just wanted to keep getting shots on net, didn’t matter where,” Driscoll said. “(The group’s composure) was honestly really impressive. … I was definitely super proud of the girls.”