Watertown got on the board early and kept rolling during Wednesday night's MIAA Div. 2 field hockey state semifinal against Apponequet, earning the Raiders another trip to Worcester to play for the team's fourth straight state title.
Raiders field hockey coach Eileen Donohue said the team made the adjustments they needed to improve after Monday's section final against Manchester-Essex.
"We felt needed to play a little better and were a little more confident out on the field," Donohue said. "In one day we prepared for (Apponequet) and it paid off - (practicing Tuesday) out in that freezing rain."
Sophomore Emily Loprete led the scoring for Watertown (22-0), tallying just three minutes into the game and once again just minutes into the second half. Both goals came off of penalty corners, with senior Melissa Butler providing the assist on both goals.
"(Scoring the first goal) felt great, because we were up ahead, and it was right in the beginning (of the game)," Loprete said. "And it gave us more confidence."
South Section champions Apponequet (19-1-1) had a shot go just wide a minute after Watertown's first goal, but struggled much of the game just to get the ball into the Raiders' half of the field. Donohue said her team played well as a unit, and credited everyone for getting back on defense.
In the second half, play got chippy, and with 11 minutes left in the second half Apponequet's Jade Rodrigues got a yellow card for pushing over Watertown's Rachel Campbell. Rodrigues was sent off for 5 minutes. The Raiders kept their cool, Donohue said.
"We just had to remained composed out there. We can’t retaliate on things and we have to remain composed, and that’s not easy," Donohue said.
Campbell made the Lakers pay by taking a pass, dribbling in and firing the ball past Apponequet goalie Jenna O'Leary, with under 10 minutes left the game.
Watertown advances to the Div. 2 state final on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Worcester State University.