Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Reading Cruises Past Wakefield in Early Middlesex League Play

By Mike Abelson (@ABELS0N)

It was messy, as most early-season lacrosse games are, and in the end the Reading Rockets found their flow as the game progressed and cruised past Middlesex League rival Wakefield, 7-4.

After giving up the first goal of the game, the Rockets rattled off six straight and never let off the gas.

No one was better offensively than Jack Stanton. The senior notched four goals, two helped by sophomore Colin Comeford, to lead the Rockets.

“It was clicking today,” Stanton said. “We were running plays, and they were just working. I was fortunate to be the guy to put them in the back of the net.”

Reading’s offense took a hit early when senior star Jack Geiger left the game after taking a crosscheck to the head that opened a sizable gash on his hairline. In stepped Stanton and Reading’s new motion attack that forced Wakefield out of position, especially in the middle two quarters where the Rockets outscored the Warriors 6-1.

Senior Matt Farwell had a goal and an assist during the run although he left the game with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.

With all the youth, and inexperienced players, stepping up, Reading coach Charlie Hardy said he was proud of his team’s performance.

“We put a new motion offense in, and I think it’s working,” Hardy said. “It gives people more of an opportunity to score. It’s never the one, two, and three; it’s the four, five, and six that beats us in the big games. We decided this year that we need to do that ourselves, and that’s what we’re doing. We four, five real good kids, and everyone else is young. We’re learning and getting better.”

On the back end, sophomore goalie Charlie Guillioti shined bright with a 12-save performance.

Despite the loss, Wakefield outshot Reading 27-23.

“He kept us in it,” Stanton said of Guillioti. “It was unbelievable. Charlie played a great game, made a lot of saves when we needed him to.”

Wakefield was paced by a hat trick from senior Alex July, but the Warriors couldn’t string consistent possessions together.

Reading won ground balls 21-14 and had three less turnovers than Wakefield. All that resulted in the Rockets’ third consecutive win. During that run Reading has outscored its opponents 31-11.

Despite their youth, six Rockets found the score sheet and, as the game got physical in the final minutes, kept their heads and didn’t take any bad penalties.

“It got a little chippy at the end, but we kept our discipline for the most part and that got us the game,” Stanton said. “We’re a young team. Just to get a lot of guys involved is big. It’ll be big down the stretch.”

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