WORCESTER — Watertown, led by veteran coach Eileen Donahue, captured its fourth consecutive MIAA Division 2 state field hockey championship, defeating Oakmont, 1-0, at Worcester State in a rematch of last year’s championship game.
The seniors have never lost in their tenure at Watertown, leading the Raiders to a 92-game unbeaten streak. Watertown finished this season a perfect 23-0, and claimed their 13th state title in program history.
“I feel like I’m on Cloud Nine,” said senior captain Lauren Sutherland. “At the beginning of the season we used one word and that was overwhelmed. We had so many new people on our team. We tried to exploit our strengths and we came out today and did it.”
The Raiders came out aggressive with Sutherland, Alyssa Carlson and Allie Doggett leading the offensive charge. Sutherland was unstoppable moving the ball up field, showcasing her stick skills to dribble by multiple defenders to find the holes.
Eleven minutes into play, the Raiders earned their second penalty corner and capitalized. Carlson pushed the ball to the top of the circle and Sutherland sent a rocket shot on net, and sophomore forward Emily Loprete managed to get a stick on it and deflect it home.
Donahue said her team spent a lot of time practicing on that corner play.
“The last couple of games [Lauren’s] been popping it up because she was excited, so we’d been working on that,” said Donahue. “She got a smash. Emily is so good around that net. It was nice we were able to hold that off.”
Oakmont (18-1-3) did not give up. Rejuvenated after the break, the Spartans forced two quick corners to start the second. Seniors Sarah Morse, Kristin Aveni and Darcy Brown sent multiple shots on net, but were shut down by goalie Maddie Rocklin.
Rocklin, a sophomore soccer player, started playing field hockey this year. She said her teammates encouraged her to try out.
“I couldn’t play in the field so I tried goalie and I really liked it. I felt a little pressure but I knew they’d understand I’ve never done it before,” said Rocklin. “I knew I had to pick it up quickly to keep up with them.”
Taking shots from the top field hockey team in the state at practice paid off. Rocklin made nine saves to earn the shutout.
“They were aggressive,” she said. “There were some great players on the other team. But in that situation you really have to stay calm and collected and do what you do. And that’s what I did.”
Donahue added, “It’s a wonderful feeling. I’m very proud of the girls to be able to pull this off. From preseason the way we looked and the way we finished is just amazing.”