LAX Cats Fourth Seed for America East Tournament

University of Vermont men’s lacrosse goalie Michael Gabel is the nation’s leader in save percentage and Vermont is second nationally in two defensive categories in the most recent NCAA Division I statistics released Wednesday. Gabel, a sophomore, has been outstanding this season for Coach Steve Beville. He leads the nation in save percentage (.672) and is second nationally in goals-against average (5.97). Gabel has played in all but 15 minutes for Vermont, 5-56 overall, and has allowed 59 goals while recording 122 saves. He leads the America East conference in both categories, and is on pace to set a new school record for lowest GAA in a season. The current record is 7.99, set by former standout Scott Bevill in 1994. Vermont is also among the national team leaders. The Catamounts are second in scoring defense, allowing just 6.18 goals a game, and second in man-down defense, allowing only five opponent goals in 43 man-up attempts. The Catamounts played their final home game of the regular season at UVM’s Centennial Field Saturday, hosting Albany at 1:00pm. Albany got goals from six different players and held off a late Vermont rally to defeat the Catamounts, 8-6. With the loss, Vermont is now 5-7 overall and 2-3 in conference play. The Catamounts are the #4 seed in the America East tournament, and will play at top-seeded Hartford Wednesday at 7:00pm. Stony Brook will play at Albany at 3:00pm Wednesday in the other conference semifinal. The Great Danes, 4-1 in the conference and 8-5 overall, had a 3-2 lead after the first quarter and expanded on that lead, scoring five unanswered goals at one point to take a 6-2 lead with 3:10 remaining in the second quarter on Luke Daquino’s goal. Vermont cut the lead to 6-3 with a late first-half goal by Mike Maher, his second goal of the game. Albany took a 7-3 lead on Chris Driscoll’s first of two goals with 12:44 remaining in the third quarter. Vermont then scored three straight, getting goals from Phil McKnight, R.J. Harrison and Mark Prior to make it 7-6. The Catamounts could get no closer, though, as Albany’s Driscoll scored with 9:22 remaining in the fourth quarter to give Albany a two-goal edge. Gabel made 12 saves for the Catamounts, while Kevin Rae stopped 14 for Albany. -SportsInfo