Saturday's victory in the MIAA Div. 2 field hockey state final gave Watertown its fourth straight championship and completing another unbeaten season, moving Watertown just one win or tie behind the longest unbeaten streak in Massachusetts high school field hockey.
Walpole owns the longest streak, at 93, but Watertown's 1-0 win over Oakmont in the state final give the Raiders 92 straight wins or ties - they went 90-0-2. The streak also ranks among the longest in the nation. The Raiders tied Darien, Conn., for the fourth longest streak nationally, according to TopoftheCircle.com. The longest ever is Vorhee's Eastern, N.J., at 153.
Heading into the 2012 season, many thought this was the year that Watertown field hockey team's unbeaten streak would end, even those on the team. But Saturday in Worcester the Raiders won the state title and completed a perfect 22-0 record.
Watertown field hockey coach Eileen Donohue said it took most of the season to get the Raiders clicking, because the team relied on so many young players.
"We are an extremely young team," Donohue said. "Like I said, from our first preseason game, we went through a lot of frustrations through the year. Yes we were winning but the streak thing was the furthest from our mind, believe it or not."
Senior Lauren Sutherland finished her high school career without ever losing. As the season began, however, she thought the team would struggle to keep the streak alive.
"Absolutely not (I didn't think the streak would keep going). We knew that it was going to be a really hard season," Sutherland said after winning the state final on Saturday. "We never thought we would get this far, but we really pushed and everybody really stepped up to the plate and we exploited our strengths as players and we got here, which was crazy."
While she has never lost, Sutherland has experienced a couple ties during her Watertown career. Asked what it feels like to tie, she said, "It sucks. It really sucks."
Watertown's last loss came in the state semifinal in 2008 when the Raiders lost to Hopkinton 3-2. Next season, the Raiders will be within reach of not only the Massachusetts record, but also of moving up to second overall nationally, which stands at 106 for Oklahoma City Casady School. The Raiders also own the 10th longest streak nationally, at 77.
The national record will take some time to reach. Watertown needs 61 wins or ties to tie it, which would take about three seasons.