Balanced Attack Leads Reading Over Burlington

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By Kevin J. Stone – @kstone06

READING — Tuesday afternoon was an important one for the Reading lacrosse team. After starting the year 4-1, the Rockets found themselves in the midst of a 2-2 stretch when Middlesex League foe Burlington visited Reading High School. The Rockets led by just one after the first quarter, and with the game tied early in the second Reading used a 6-0 run to grab a six-goal lead at halftime and never looked back, cruising to a 14-5 win.

The No. 25 ranked Rockets (7-3, 5-1) were led by Jack Geiger and Mike Tobin, who each had a hat trick. Burlington falls to 6-6 overall and 0-4 in the league.

“This was a get-right game for us,” said Reading coach Charlie Hardy. “We had our top midfield line out against Winchester, so today was close to a perfect day for us in terms of everyone getting on the field. We’ve got Melrose on Friday which should be a war, so today was big for us just to get things back on track.”

With Reading leading 3-2 after the first quarter, Burlington’s Zach Auble poked home a loose ball in front of the crease hockey style to tie the game at 3-3. From there Reading controlled the game, scoring six unanswered to take a 9-3 lead into halftime.

Tobin got the run started with a lefty shot on the run to make it 4-3 with 8:15 to go in the half. A quick-stick goal by Colin Comerford (2 goals, 2 assists) off a feed from Jack Stanton made it 5-3. Domenic Masucci scored on a quick restart to make it 6-3 with 4:17 to go and a bounce shot from Dan Cranitch off a feed from Masucci made it a 7-3 game.

Chris Connery added a goal with 1:43 left, picking off a poor clearing attempt – something that plagued the Red Devils all day – and scored all alone making it 8-3. Tobin’s second of the game in tight with the left hand with just over a minute left gave Reading the 9-3 lead as the teams headed into halftime.

“We ‘re young, and against a good, hard, aggressive team like Reading you’ve got to be confident with the ball in your stick at all times,” said Burlington coach Dan O’Brien. “They never do anything half speed, so if we can’t throw and catch the ball or clear it, we’re going to have the trouble we had today. It’s all about fundamentals for us. We’re starting six freshmen, and not just freshman that are playing here and there, but guys with big roles.

“We’ve just got to continue to try and stick with our game plan and play with confidence. We should still be a tournament team and that’s going to continue to be the goal.”

Red Devils defenseman Timmy Bridges picked up a ground ball near the Reading offensive zone and went coast-to-coast to open the third quarter, scoring five-hole on Rockets goalie Charles Giuliotti (6 saves) to make it 9-4, but Reading seized momentum for the remainder of the third quarter from that point.

Comerford and Tobin each added one more goal apiece in the frame to give the Rockets an 11-4 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Forty-five seconds into the fourth Cranitch added another to make it 12-4. With 7:43 to go a quick-stick goal for Geiger off a feed from Masucci made it 13-4. Pat Hayes (2 goals) picked off a pass during a ride and scored the final Burlington goal with 6:40 left to cut it to 13-5, but a rip from up top by Brendan Keveney in the final five minutes gave Reading it’s 9-goal win.

“Today was huge for us,” said Geiger. “We were really clicking on all cylinders offensively. We had a couple turnovers early on that scared us a bit but it was good to have everybody back on the field healthy and scoring goals today, hopefully, this is a game that we can start to build off of for the rest of the season.”

Early on both teams struggled to find any rhythm but Reading went up 1-0 on Geiger’s first of the game with 7:31 left in the first. Hayes tied the game for Burlington off a feed from Mitch Maida but Geiger’s second a minute later made it 2-1 Rockets.

Matt Pinkham made it 2-2 for the Red Devils with 1:56 left in the first but Stanton scored with under a minute left to make it 3-2 after one.

 

GAME STATISTICS

READING

Jack Geiger – 3 goals

Mike Tobin – 3 goals

Colin Comerford – 2 goals, 2 assists

Jack Stanton – 1 goal, 1 assist

Domenic Masucci – 1 goal, 2 assists

Dan Cranitch – 2 goals, 1 assist

Chris Connery – 1 goal

Brendan Keaveney – 1 goal

Charles Giuliotti – 6 saves

 

BURLINGTON

Patrick Hayes – 2 goals

Zach Auble – 1 goal, 1 assist

Timmy Bridges – 1 goal

Matt Pinkham – 1 goal

Colin Browne – 10 saves

 

PHOTOS

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