With Reading trailing, 4-1, after the opening quarter of Saturday’s Division 2 boys’ lacrosse final at Nickerson Field, captains Jack Geiger and Mike Tobin delivered an impassioned message to their teammates.
“[Geiger and Tobin] gathered everyone together and said, ‘We’re not losing today,’ ” said Reading coach Charlie Hardy.
The duo put their guarantee into action, combining for nine unassisted goals to lead the Rockets in a 13-9 victory over Concord-Carlisle and secure the first state championship in program history.
“We’ve been down a lot this tournament,” said Geiger, a senior midfielder. “We’ve gotten used to the adversity. We just needed to get our minds right and that’s what we did.”
Tobin (five goals) scored twice to trim the deficit to 4-3, but C-C (18-6) responded with two goals to take a 6-3 lead midway through the second quarter.
That’s when Reading (16-7) locked up defensively, while Geiger (four goals) and Tobin led a steady 7-0 run to take a 10-6 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Senior Dan Cranitch and junior Domenic Masucci had two goals apiece in the fourth to help seal the victory.
“We were down again, but they sucked it up,” Hardy said. “There’s no panic in this group. We have people on our [team] that make us believe we can beat anybody.”
Hardy went on to call Geiger (the Middlesex Liberty League co-MVP) and Tobin, a junior, the “two best midfielders in the state.” The two certainly lived up to that reputation Saturday by routinely knifing their way to the net for key goals.
“Me and Mike talked before the game and agreed that there was no way we were going to be soft today,” said Geiger. “If [C-C] didn’t bring a second or third guy, me and Mike were going to exploit that and go to the cage.”
Geiger became great friends with Tobin and his older brother, Kevin, 10 years ago. For nearly a decade, they’ve worked toward realizing this dream, and even a partially torn labrum wasn’t going to keep Mike Tobin from willing his team to victory.
All season long, the Rockets have preached the slogan, “Work Hardah,” and no one was able to match the hard work of Geiger and Tobin in Saturday’s final.
D2 State Final: Reading 13, Concord-Carlisle 9. Mike Tobin 5g, Jack Geiger 4g, Dom Masucci 2g. @LacrosseRockets are state champs for the first time @GlobeSchools @bostonlaxnet @masspreps pic.twitter.com/3vROhxRtsZ— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) June 23, 2018