Watertown field hockey team extends national record, hands Donahue 750th win

WAKEFIELD — By earning a 7-0 Middlesex League win against Wakefield in the regular season finale on Thursday, make it 750 career wins and counting for longtime Watertown head coach Eileen Donahue.

Molly Driscoll’s hat trick in the first quarter kicked off a milestone-filled night for the Raiders (17-0), extending their win streak to 70 games and their national-record shutout streak to 37.

All seven goals came in the first nine minutes of play, but no highlight stood taller than Donahue reaching a win total just five other coaches in the country have before her. In 38 years of coaching, she is now 750-34-36 with 20 state titles.

Only former Nauset and Harwich/Monomoy head coach Cheryl Poore also has 700-plus wins in Massachusetts.

“I am proud of all the players that I coached, the coaches and the community for supporting us,” Donahue said. “We just had the superintendent come to our game for this moment. That really says a lot. It’s been a lot of hard work doing this, but you get kids to buy in all these years and have coaches support you – it’s a big thing. Just proud of everyone that played a role in this win, which is a lot of people.”

A corner led to Driscoll’s first goal, only 1:02 into the game. The Warriors (6-10-2) stacked the circle and cleared a couple of dangerous bids, but relentlessness helped Driscoll score twice more for her 13th hat trick of the year within the first five minutes.

It was only fitting she scored each of the first three goals in Donahue’s 750th win, having been on the team for all 70 wins over the last four years.

“Obviously we wanted to do this for Ms. Donahue and for the past teams, and obviously for us with all the work we’ve put in all season,” Driscoll said. “It definitely means a lot to not just be a part of it, but also to add to it. … I’m just glad to say that I could contribute.”

Rachel Egan chipped in a pair of goals, Adrianna Williams also scored, and Regan Driscoll added a goal and assist.

Egan’s second goal came with 6:39 left in the first quarter, leading to no more shots on net from Watertown as it played keep-away. Wakefield got the ball to the Watertown circle twice and drew one corner, though the Raiders prevented any shots to preserve a long shutout streak that dates back to the third regular season game of last year.

Breaking that national record for shutouts drew much more focus from the players than extending the win streak to 70 games. Attention is on winning every game they can: Milestones come as a result.

That mentality is sure to help Watertown in its bid to three-peat as the state tournament begins next week. But that doesn’t mean the Raiders won’t celebrate milestones and the team was sure to get flowers, a “750” balloon and cake to present to Donahue afterward.

Donahue is thankful for all the players to came through a program that also has the Massachusetts-record of 20 state titles, as well as national records for consecutive wins (124) and games unbeaten (184). She also thinks of her family, especially her late father Jack Donahue as her coaching influence.

“He would be just as proud because he’d be on the 50-yard-line, watching the games,” Donahue said. “He was with me from the beginning, he’s always going to be with me no matter what.”

Watertown coach Eileen Donahue celebrates her 750th win in field hockey against Wakefield on Thursday. (Staff Photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)

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