Kevin Tobin’s play and leadership shine through despite 10-9 loss against Harvard

Tobin finishes with two goals and two assists on the day

By Anthony Syrek, Collegian Staff

With 6:50 left in the third period, the No. 19 Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team (1-2) faced a large deficit as Harvard’s (1-0) Jeremy Magno scored to make it 7-3.

It was junior midfielder Kevin Tobin who answered, scoring his second goal of the season with 4:29 left in the third to make it 7-4 and keying UMass down the stretch.

Tobin rode his momentum into the fourth period, scoring again 22 seconds in. Gabriel Procyk quickly followed suit and scored again, cutting the deficit to one.

After the Crimson pulled away again, Tobin made his presence felt as a playmaker as he set up his brother Mike Tobin for a goal to make the score 9-7 Harvard with 11:23 left in the fourth. Kevin Tobin finished the game with two goals and two assists as the Minutemen ultimately fell short to Harvard 10-9.

“Kevin is a competitor,” UMass coach Greg Canella said. “He’s a guy that what you see on the field and his work rate on the field, you see that in practice every day, and you don’t get that from a lot of guys.”

Canella said the consistency he puts out on the practice field and in games puts Tobin in a great position to be a leader of the team because he can lead by example and be vocal as well.

Midfielder Billy Philpott feels his teammate’s work ethic is contagious and along with being a leader by example, he says he is vocal when he needs to be. Philpott scored two goals, one of which was off a Tobin assist with 11:18 left in the third.

“He definitely one of the guys that works really hard Monday through Friday, so when Saturday comes around, we trust him,” said Philpott. “He’s definitely someone we want young guys and us old guys to follow and kind of be like Kevin more.”

Before Tobin’s spark, the Minutemen allowed the Crimson to get a huge lead early. Harvard’s efficiency on offense was the key, scoring 10 goals on 29 shots while UMass had 42 shots. In the first half, Harvard goalie Kyle Mullin recorded 11 saves, eight in the first period. Canella said the goalie play from Crimson was probably the difference in the game.

“I think we got frustrated, I think we got a little selfish especially in the second quarter,” said Canella. “We responded enough to tie it at nine, but there was a lot we left out there.”

Canella said the team started out flat and played selfishly, and just didn’t turn it out around quick enough. Philpott said the coaches challenged them, and the players challenged each other to play better.

“We weren’t really proud of the effort we put forth in the first half, so we kind just of wanted to get back to UMass lacrosse and kind of play for each other,” said Philpot.

UMass will travel to UMass Lowell on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

Anthony Syrek can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ASyrek.