The Watertown High School Athletic Hall of Fame presented the following profile:
By the time fall came around in 2001, the nine returning seniors on the field hockey
team already had an impressive resume. The program had won three straight
Middlesex League titles, multiple players earned substantial awards, including
League MVP, All-Scholastic, and even All-American. But one big albatross loomed
large over Victory field during the heat of August and steam of pre-season practice.
None of the nine was a State Champion.
The Red Raiders made it all the way to the title game during their sophomore campaign, only to lose a heart-breaking overtime thriller. And after an impressive undefeated regular season as juniors, the girls of Autumn lost a triple overtime game in the North Section Finals. No senior class had graduated without winning at least one State title since 1986, and they were determined to not be the first.
As the team headed into Labor Day and approached the season opener, Coach Eileen Donahue was optimistic. She told us the team “had a very good pre-season, and with our versatility we switched a few positions around. But the one key thing we were showing was a very, very strong defense.” And that’s curious commentary
coming from a coach who had no goalies on the roster with varsity experience. But
that’s what Hall of Fame coaches do well. They figure it out. Naturally, it also helps
to have a dynamic offense, and this team was loaded. Led by senior co-captains and
leading scorers Sara York and Jay Quinn, the offense would prove to be explosive.
The margin of victory in the team’s first five games was 20-1, the only goal allowed
was in a 3-1 win over Melrose. Naturally, the captains led the way offensively, but
others began to step up as well. Junior Mary Rogers was beginning to show her
dominance, and was aided by classmates Nicole Bryant, Anita Anastasi, and
Christine Woodland. Not to be lost in the entire offensive firepower however was
junior net-minder, Meghan Dorsi, who stepped up and solidified the team in goal.
The sixth game of the year was a battle for first place on the road at Reading. After
trailing 1-0 and 2-1, Rogers would eventually even it up at two to salvage the tie.
Afterwards, Donahue noted “we were down twice, but it was nice to see us come
back twice. Meghan (Dorsi) made some huge saves for us and played a solid game.”
In addition, senior Caroline Vo, Junior Krista Dicker, sophomore Angela Falco, and
freshman Kayla Romanelli all began to contribute on both ends of the field.
After the match up for the top spot, the girls went on another run, outscoring their
opponents 25-3 in the next 5 games, including a 3-1 win over Lexington that gave
Donahue win number 300 for her illustrious career. Coach proudly stated she was
“happy about this for all the players and coaches who have worked with me through
the years, and I appreciate all of their support and hard work.” From there the Red
Raiders pitched shutouts in each remaining game, outscoring opponents 32-0 en
route to the Middlesex League title and a 17-0-1 overall record. Along the way the
rematch with Reading was not as close as the 2-0 final scored would indicate. For
their outstanding efforts, Quinn was named the League MVP, while York, Rogers and Vo were named league all-stars. But as York pointed out, “getting back to the
tournament is something we’ve been working on for the last couple years. But as
Coach says, it’s always one game at a time. We can’t rely on our past, just focus on
And the present was a Division 2 North top seed and after a bye, a second round
match up with Rockport. Game, set match: a 4-0 shutout win. One down. Fifth seed
Tewksbury went down 7-0 in the next game. Quinn said “we all played with lots of
intensity out there. We worked on a lot of offensive plays in practice and it certainly
showed.” Two down. The D2 North title game was a nail biter against No. 6
Georgetown. Although outshooting their opponent by a 19-2 margin, the Red
Raiders had to go an extra session to clinch the victory. Tied at one after regulation, it took just 3 minutes for Rogers to bury the game winner and cue the bedlam. Three down.
The Eastern Mass final saw the Red Raiders score early and often against Dedham in a 6-1 blowout and clinched a trip to Worcester for the State title game. The offense was on fire, and the defense was immense. A perfect recipe for greatness. Four down, and one to go, and Nipmuc Regional was in the way.
In its storied history, the field hockey program was 7-1 in the title game, but history
means nothing in the chilled hills of Worcester in November. However, the game
was played on York’s birthday. Certainly that could bring good luck to the team? It
certainly helped early as Sara buried one for a 1-0 Watertown lead. Then something
happened on the way to the title. Nipmuc tied it, and gained momentum late in the
second half as Quinn went down with a badly sprained ankle. It wasn’t long before she was out and suddenly the Red Raiders were down 2-1 as she heard the crowd roar behind her. The pain was brutal, and the scoreboard was ticking. Finally, with just over 6 minutes left, Donahue called timeout and told her team to “look at the clock!
We can score lots of goals in 6 minutes. We’ve done it all year.” And with that Quinn re-entered the game, and re-energized the whole team. With just over 5 minutes remaining, Quinn fed York, and suddenly the game was tied at two. The place was going nuts. Neither team could bury the game winner in regulation, so it was on to OT. Although playing with a serious limp, Quinn courageously led the suddenly awakened offense. And finally about 6 minutes into the extra session on a corner play, York completed the birthday hat trick and the celebration was on. Of the winning goal, York said she “was just trying to get my stick on it. I was paralyzed when I realized it went in. I couldn’t feel my entire body. Everything we’ve worked for, everything we’ve put into this, it was worth it in the end.” Donahue concurred, adding “it was a brave effort by Jay Quinn too. She showed a lot of heart and desire.” Quinn added “I couldn’t really give it my all, so it was tough. I tried to run as fast as I could. I honestly don’t remember exactly what I was thinking as the game went on other than I knew my teammates needed me in there. I had to get back in.” Five down. State title number eight was in the history books. Mission accomplished.
For their efforts, Quinn, York, Rogers, and Vo were named League All-Stars. Quinn (23 goals, 33 assists) and York (35 goals, 16 assists) were named All-Scholastics, with Jay also being named the Player of the Year. In addition, York earned first team All-American status, while Quinn and Rogers were named Northeast Regional All-Americans.
Tickets are now available for the Watertown High School Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet to be held at the St. James Armenian Church Hall on Saturday October 21st. For more info contact Mike Venezia at 617-359-2788, or firstname.lastname@example.org