Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Reading Lacrosse Edges Andover

Reading senior midfielder Kevin Tobin facilitates from X
By Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7)

READING, Mass. – There are four key contributors for the Reading boys’ lacrosse team and when they’re all firing on all cylinders, the Rockets are very tough to beat.

Andover appeared to have the edge on host Reading in a nonconference tilt this Wednesday, as the Golden Warriors opened a 5-2 lead midway through the second quarter, but the Rockets mainstays came through to lead them back for a narrow 8-7 victory.

Senior captain Kevin Tobin, along with fellow UMass commit Jack Geiger and standout senior goalie C.J. Hart (10 saves) were huge all afternoon, but it was Kevin’s younger brother Mike who kept the Rockets (8-2) afloat early by scoring six of the first seven goals for his squad. 

“He’s been coming up big this year,” Kevin Tobin said of his younger brother. “Coming in the focus was on me and Jack [Geiger], so [Mike] was kind of in the background a little. I don’t know if teams have him on the scouting report, but they should know, because he’s really the third or fourth key that makes us a great team.”

After Tobin carried his squad to a lead, Andover (9-2) responded with goals from senior captain Michael Biddle (2 goals) and Bret Miller (goal, assist) to tie the contest at 7. 

The Golden Warriors dominated possession down the stretch, but Hart made five huge fourth-quarter saves to protect his teammates, including a tough ricochet off his helmet that forced him out of the game for a few seconds.

“The bigger the game, the bigger C.J. plays and the same is true with Kevin Mike and Jack,” said Reading head coach Charlie Hardy. “The four of them are like the four horsemen.”

Hardy went on to praise his senior-laden defense, which proved disciplined in holding the visiting Golden Warriors without a goal for a 15-minute stretch from the late second quarter until the final 30 seconds of the third. 

“We have an outstanding defense. Everybody talks about the Tobins and Geiger, but the defense is the unsung part of our team,” Hardy added. “We don’t give up many opportunities to anybody.” 

That defense and the outstanding play of Hart prevented the Rockets from dropping the lead, and then Kevin Tobin came up clutch with his second game-winning goal of the year. 

He had beaten the Andover defense on a similar play in the third quarter, but the student of the game explained how he differentiated his approach for the eighth and final score of this contest.

“They were playing me topside because I got them top side [in the third quarter], so I just made an inside roll and stuck it far side,” Kevin said.

“This is huge for us in [D1] North because we should stay the number two seed and that’s big for playoffs. I was hoping we’d pull away a little more, but we’ll work on it and there are pros and cons to take out of this game.”

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