Geist Leads SRV to CIF-North Coast Title, Named West Player of Year

Tatum Geist did it all for the Wolves en route to Brine/US Lacrosse South Girls' Player of the Year honors.


Tatum Geist came into this season remembering the pit she felt in her stomach last year when her San Ramon Valley (Calif.) girls’ lacrosse team came up one goal short in the CIF North Coast Section semifinals.

The Wolves hadn’t been to a final since their last title came in 2006, and the junior midfielder wanted to do everything she could to ensure they would clear that hurdle this year.

As the team’s only junior captain, Geist took on a leadership role that proved just as crucial in the quest to accomplish that goal as her abilities playing midfielder and draw specialist. While stepping up her contributions on offense, she also helped guide San Ramon Valley to the North Coast Section championship, where the Wolves pulled away from Amador Valley (Calif.) in the second half for a 19-9 victory to wrap up a perfect season with the title.

For her vital contributions to that historic run, Geist has been named the Brine/US Lacrosse West Girls’ Player of the Year.

“She was one who showed up the first day with the reminder in the back of her head we got knocked out of the NCS semis, and she was intent it wasn’t going to happen again,” San Ramon Valley coach Tess Kevorkian said. “She said, ‘It’s a new season; we’re going to do this together,’ and she tried through and through to make sure we could have that opportunity. She had incredible performances in the NCS rounds, but she was outstanding throughout the season.”







Geist finished with 37 goals, 50 assists, 112 ground balls and a 72.1 draw percentage, as SRV went 22-0.

As a sophomore last year, she had 23 goals and 14 assists, 63 ground balls and a 65.1 draw percentage, but the Wolves graduated an 82-goal scorer in Maddie Souza, who is now playing at Vanderbilt, and Geist knew she needed to help fill the void.

“We had some pretty big shoes to fill from our seniors who graduated, so I knew I needed to be more of an impact player on the offensive end with assists and goals and also just improving on the draw to make sure we could have that part of the game under control,” Geist said. “Sophomore year, I was kind of just feeding to the older girls, but I knew someone needed to step up and get those assists and goals and do more shooting, so I definitely worked on that.”

The team had other scorers, but what set Geist apart was her all-around contributions to the game and the ability to fulfill whatever needs each game dictated. Sometimes that meant stepping up her defense. Other times it meant scoring or feeding teammates.

Whatever aspect of the game needed a boost, Geist seemed to provide it, and she always played the role of the leader.

“She had the biggest impact on the whole game,” Kevorkian said. “She was valuable on the draw with a high percentage. Defensively, she caused turnovers. She had the most assists on our team. She increased her scoring. She understands whatever we need that particular game, and she plays that role. She is a kid who leads by example. She sets the tone in practice, warm-ups and in the game, and the rest of the team sees that and just runs right with her.”


 

 
BRINE/US LACROSSE
NORTHEAST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
TATUM GEIST

School: San Ramon Valley (Calif.)
Year: Junior
Position: Midfield
Stats: 37 goals, 50 assists, 112 ground balls, 72.1 draw percentage
Coach Tess Kevorkian:  “She had the biggest impact on the whole game. She was valuable on the draw with a high percentage. Defensively, she caused turnovers. She had the most assists on our team. She increased her scoring. She understands whatever we need that particular game, and she plays that role. She is a kid who leads by example. She sets the tone in practice, warm-ups and in the game, and the rest of the team sees that and just runs right with her.”


 

Kevorkian saw great improvement in Geist, a 6-foot-1 midfielder, during the past year. The statistics came with hard work — which also was rewarded when she committed to her dream school, Georgetown, in the fall — and learning how to better play to her strengths.

“As an underclassman, she had a big presence with her height and speed, and this year she really took advantage of those traits and how and when to use those to her benefit,” Kevorkian said. “Using her length and arms to get a turnover, boxing out on the draw, she was playing to her strengths a little more versus just using her natural ability. She put the work in after practice to hone in on her craft and really took it to the next level to better the team, which is cool to see at that age.”

Geist’s contributions as a leader especially were noticeable in the NCS championship. San Ramon Valley had just a two-goal lead at halftime against Amador Valley, and it continued to be close early in the second half before the Wolves called a timeout to settle themselves and make some adjustments.

The Wolves had questioned how good they really were at times earlier in the season, knowing harder games would come during the postseason. Confidence continued to build with each win, but the doubts had crept back in early in the final game. Once they found a rhythm, they never took the foot off the gas, and winning the title proved the earlier success wasn’t a fluke

Geist finished with three goals and two assists.

“We got nervous at the beginning, because we hadn’t been in that situation where it was super close all season, and the weather didn’t help,” Geist said. “It was a downpour, so we were playing super messy, but we called a timeout and just ran with it the rest of our way and played our level. It was just as exciting as it would have been if we won by one, because it proved we deserved all those wins. It was amazing, just the best feeling.”

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