WORCESTER — The numbers continue to rise in incredibly staggering and efficient fashion for the Watertown field hockey program.
On Saturday morning, the Raiders finished off a 23-0 season with a 4-3 victory over Oakmont Regional at WPI for their eighth straight Division 2 state championship, extending their winning streak to 123 games, and their unbeaten streak to 183.
Watertown allowed multiple goals for the first time this season, but senior Kourtney Kennedy capped her stellar career with a pair of goals, including the winner with 8:49 left. She never experienced a loss in four seasons at Watertown.
“Every team we’ve played this season, from scrimmage to regular season to the tournament, has been a challenge,” said 31-year Watertown coach Eileen Donahue. “Because us, ourselves, had a lot of work to do to even get to this game, and they know it.”
The scoring came early for Watertown, but not before Oakmont pressured with three straight corners. The Raiders surfed down field and Kennedy scored while Oakmont was shorthanded.
Oakmont (15-5-1) netted the tying goal when senior Cassidy Driscoll elevated a shot past Watertown keeper Jonna Kennedy.
But with 2:40 to play in the first half, junior Maddie Leitner tapped one in to give Watertown a 2-1 lead.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Watertown earned a corner and capitalized on a tap-in by sophomore Gabriella Venezia for a 3-1 cushion.
Oakmont, however, responded six minutes later when Driscoll scored her second for a 3-2 game.
When Oakmont’s Sarah Craig struck with 10:58 remaining, it was a tie game. But two minutes later, Kennedy tallied her second on a backhander from just inside the circle for a 4-3 lead that held up for the 16th championship for Watertown.
“All the teams to this point have been strong,” said Donahue. “We’ve had a lot of challenges, and regardless of scores, lots of things to work on.”
“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the whole team,” said Kennedy, who will play at UConn. “Obviously the state final is special.
“And for us seniors [including Aurora Fidler and Olivia Venezia], it’s awesome.”