Catherine Adams ('21)
It was heartbreak on Wednesday night for the Boys Varsity Soccer team as they took a devastating 2-1 loss to Longmeadow High School in an overtime thriller in the second round of the MIAA Division 2 Soccer Playoff Tournament.
The Rockets had an exceptional season, taking their first playoff win in seven years, hitting double digit wins, and securing a high seed for the statewide MIAA Division 2 playoffs. The team was led by top scorers, senior captains Matt Geraghty and Ryan Connolly. The team’s season was highlighted by hugely emotional victories, including Reading’s first varsity win against Lexington in over twenty years, an incredible comeback win against Woburn during the annual Kicks For Cancer charity game, and of course Reading’s first playoff win in seven years against Bedford last Saturday.
The team had high expectations at the start of the season, with the team boasting a roster of majority seniors, with 8 of the 11 regular starters moving on after the season. The starting lineup consisted of goalkeeper Eric Pettorossi (Senior). Defenders consisted of Drew Cullen (Sophomore), Erik Roberts (Senior), Colin O’Sullivan(Senior), and Jack Stathoulopoulos (Senior). In the midfield, Shane Loughmann (Junior), Thomas Kessinger (Junior), and Matt Geraghty(Senior). Lastly, in the attack, Michael Harden, Ryan Connolly and Alex Cullen all of whom are seniors.
Reading’s exceptional season ended in dramatic fashion in a heartbreaking loss in overtime against Longmeadow High School. After the game winner was scored, Rocket players were overcome with emotion that their season was over, with high hopes of a state championship shattered late into the game. It was an emotional moment for the team, coaches and players showing tears and clearly feeling defeated after the loss. Senior defender Colin O’Sullivan shared his words on the devastating loss a couple of days later, describing the emotion as “realizing I would never wear the Rockets jersey in a game again, and never being able to play with this group of boys again.” On the other hand, O’Sullivan had nothing but good words for the Rocket’s season saying, “We always knew that this group of players would be good, but it was a great feeling showing that to everybody by winning double digit games and winning an important tournament game, just a shame we lost the way we did.”
It was an amazing season from the boys on the varsity soccer team for the Rockets this year, and with a majority of the starters graduating this spring, all eyes will be on how the team can perform next season after this spectacular season.