Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Oct. 21, 2015 — A mission and a place in history

This afternoon, the Watertown (Mass.) field hockey team, ranked No. 8 in the Top 10, will be hosting Melrose (Mass.) tonight at Victory Field.

But it is not going to be your ordinary matchup in the Freedom Division of the Middlesex League. Far from it.

For Watertown is aiming for a place in history by the time the day is through.

The Raiders have not lost a field hockey game in some 6 1/2 seasons — 153 games, to be exact. Last Monday, the team tied the old National Federation record for consecutive games without a loss, held by Voorhees Eastern (N.J.).

Given the fact that Melrose has won only one match in 13 outings this season, and lost 5-0 in the reverse fixture in late September, it would be easy to say that Watertown has the record in the bag even before the game is played.

And herein lies an interesting bit of comparison. Can you compare the Watertown streak against Eastern’s previous streak, and judge them impartially?

Both Watertown and Eastern built their long-term unbeaten streaks not only on their performances in championship games and state tournaments, but also by being merciless on their regular-season opponents. They both brought their “A” game every time. It did not matter if the opponent had won only once, or had 20 victories in a given season.

Eastern was just starting to play interstate matches when its unbeaten streak was approaching 130 games back in 2004, eventually losing to a very good Emmaus (Pa.) team that would win three TopOfTheCountry trophies in four years; since then, the Vikings have put as many as three out-of-state opponents on the schedule every year.

Watertown, however, is constrained as to what it can do with its schedule not only because the Middlesex League calendar is 95 percent of the schedule, but Massachusetts law, under Proposition 2 1/2, limits expansion on school spending.

But here’s the thing that makes Watertown’s current streak truly remarkable. Since the MIAA Division 2 semifinal round in 2013, a span of 40 matches, the Raiders have conceded exactly one goal.


It’s the kind of defensive form that I’d have loved to have seen tested by an Eastern, or by a Donegal, or a Lakeland, or a First Colonial. Conversely, none of those defenses have yet seen Watertown junior Kourtney Kennedy, who has been playing awesome thus far this season.

But all of that speculation is off in the future. Watertown’s field hockey team, head coach Eileen Donahue, and the school community are focused on the now. Focused on the game.

And focused on putting the number 1-5-4 into those floor-to-ceiling office windows facing out onto the street on the school campus.


No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: