WORCESTER — To raise a Division 3 trophy for the third straight season, and extend their state record with 21 championships, the Watertown field hockey team simply leaned on the most prolific scorer in program history.
The Raiders were challenged like no other time this season, or in recent memory, by a resilient Newburyport squad. But Molly Driscoll, the driven Boston University-bound senior, tallied her third goal of the game a minute into the fourth quarter — the 150th of her stellar career — to propel top-seeded Watertown to a 4-3 victory over No. 2 Newburyport Saturday night at WPI’s Alumni Field.
The Raiders’ national record for shutouts was halted at 41, but they capped a 22-0 season with their 75th straight win.
“If that wasn’t a girl fighting to help her team win, I don’t know what was,” said Watertown coach Eileen Donahue of Driscoll, who finished her senior season with 61 goals.
It did not take long for Watertown to get on the board. Driscoll sped from midfield to the Clipper net to score unassisted just 1:11 in. On the Raiders’ third corner of the game, Aislin Devaney tipped in a shot to give her team a 2-0 lead.
Newburyport goalie Cody Saboliauskas made the save of the night on a Driscoll shot a minute into the second quarter, jumping into a split to make the stop.
Newburyport (21-2) turned the tide midway through the second. On a corner with 5:38 to go, Clippers midfielder Ciara Geraghty scored off a rebound.
In the third, Saboliauskas made another highlight save on a Watertown corner, setting up a Newburyport possession that resulted in Delaney Woekel’s game-tying goal. A Driscoll slap shot 3 minutes later re-established Watertown’s lead.
Undeterred, Morgan Valeri answered for Newburyport, scoring with 6:39 left in the third to tie the game again.
Driscoll entered the fourth quarter determined. “We knew we had to pepper this goalie,” said Driscoll. “I just wanted to keep getting shots on net.”
A minute into the frame, Driscoll did just that. Her third goal of the game was the winner, and Watertown’s seven corners in the fourth held Newburyport at bay.
Kat Cornetta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.