Kevin Tobin hits 100 career points in UMass’ win over Fairfield

The senior accounted for nine points, the most by a UMass player in a single game since 2013

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Eva Trainer/Daily Collegian

By Ben Astill, Collegian Staff

It was a familiar scene for the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team on Saturday against Fairfield. In the third quarter, Jeff Trainor made an excellent feed to Kevin Tobin, who immediately put the ball in the back of the net to give the Minutemen (4-4, 4-3 Colonial Athletic Association) a four-goal lead.

However, for Tobin this shot represented so much more than just another Saturday afternoon goal to add to the stat sheet. It marked 100 career points for the senior, a milestone that represents just what an important piece he has been to this UMass team over four years.

“Kevin’s an igniter, he’s not big in stature but his heart is huge and his desire to excel is huge,” UMass head coach Greg Cannella said. “His will to be a really strong player is there and he’s fearless on the field.”

After a close, back and forth first half, things were looking tense for the Minutemen, who have struggled late in close games this year, losing three of their four losses by only one goal. Tobin had three goals and five assists in the second half to give UMass the separation it needed to pull away from the Stags (2-8, 0-7 CAA).

Recently, with the Minutemen in a slump and looking for offensive production, Tobin has been the spark the team has needed. His nine points on Saturday bring him to 17 points in the Minutemen’s last three games, and it could not come at a better time for a team desperate for a win.

Tobin’s game on Saturday was a good representation of what he has brought to the UMass offense in his career. He ended the game with three goals and six assists, and that brings him to a career total of 51 goals and 54 assists. His ability to provide both goal scoring ability himself as well as put his teammates in position to score is part of what makes him so valuable to the Gorilla offense.

“He’s going to make plays for us, as an initiator, as an ignitor,” Cannella said. “You can’t say enough about guys like that. [Tobin is] a really great team guy as well as a guy who produces points for you.”

Tobin’s recent success may surprise those who see that he had more points today than in his first five games this season combined. But to those familiar with the senior midfielder, the success is expected considering Tobin’s tremendous work ethic.

“[Kevin] works very, very hard. He’s out there in the mornings shooting, after practice shooting, so it’s no surprise when he gets his opportunities he scores more [often] than not,” Cannella said following a four-goal performance by Tobin against Hofstra earlier this year.

Tobin was instrumental in getting the Minutemen back on track on Saturday. They got a vital win, and now have a top-four spot in the CAA, which they will need to hold after next week’s regular season finale if they want their season to continue.

Tobin will once again need to produce if the Minutemen hope to beat 13th-ranked Delaware on the road next Friday. The Blue Hens currently sit atop the CAA standings, but if Tobin and the Gorillas can have a similar offensive output as they did on Saturday against Fairfield, their hopes of a CAA tournament run may not be over yet.

Ben Astill can be reached at bas[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @benastill5.