Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tobin's Game-Winner Lifts Reading Lacrosse Past BC High

By Michael Abelson (@ABELS0N)

READING - Reading senior Kevin Tobin was having a rotten day against BC High for much of the game.

Tobin was called twice for not wearing his mouthpiece, and his offense sputtered as BC’s defense closed on him often. He took out his frustration on the sideline as the game went on, but in 20 seconds of overtime everything turned around.

On a man advantage to start overtime, Tobin cut to the net, took a perfect pass from Ryan Melley and put it home to send the Rockets into a frenzy, and secure an 8-7 win over last year’s state runner-up.

“I think I was playing a little selfish,” Tobin said. “I tried to do it all myself a few times, and I was frustrated. Once I started to calm down, move the ball, things happened themselves. It feels good because I was frustrated all game. [The final play] was coach Hardy. That was the play design.”

Tobin’s winner capped an all-around strong game from the Rockets. Reading and BC traded the lead in the first quarter, and the Rockets went into the half up 6-5.

Reading got a good game from Jack Geiger. Geiger had a hat trick for the Rockets and freshman Michael Tobin added a pair of goals for Reading as well.

“Jack is a tremendous player,” Reading coach Charlie Hardy said. “They look at Kevin and Jack’s wide open. They look at Jack and Kevin’s wide open. They’re good kids. They work hard. They lead the team by their energy to get better.”

Geiger’s third goal tied the game midway through the third quarter, and that’s how it stood until Kevin Tobin’s winner in OT.

The Reading defense held BC High to 18 shots in the second half but only seven of them made it on cage. Rocket goalie CJ Hart turned aside nine shots in net, and the defense in front him kept BC to the outside and to low-percentage shots.

“He saved us,” Kevin Tobin said of Hart. “He has at least 10 of these games a year where he saves us and gives us the opportunity to win it. I’m going to give him the game ball. My coach gave it to me, but I’m going to give it to him.”

After turning the ball over 23 times in a loss to Wakefield last week the Rockets locked it down on possession. Reading turned the ball over only six times compared to 11 by BC, and the Rockets won the groundball battle 20-12.

Reading held BC scoreless for the final 21:10 of the game.

“We’ve got a lot of good individual players and we haven’t pulled it together as a team yet,” BC High coach Steve Lydon said. “We’ve got to be consistent throughout a game, and scoring two goals in a half isn’t going to win us any games. When you’re not scoring goals you’re turning the ball over most of the time. Hart did a nice job in the cage, but we didn’t test them as much as we needed to.”

The Eagles did get a solid three-goal, one-assist game from freshman Aidan Carroll.

“He’s been great,” Lydon said of Carroll. “He’s an aggressive player. He’s got a very versatile game. He plays a very smart game for a young player, and I think he’s going to grow from here.”

BC has now lost two in row, after the Eagles lost 11-5 to Rhode Island power La Salle Academy on Saturday, and must face Central Mass power St. John's Shrewsbury on Thursday. The Rockets will travel to Nashua to take on New Hampshire power Bishop Guertin on Thursday as well.

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