The Rochester Rattlers are concluding a three game road trip to start their 2012 Major League Lacrosse season on Saturday, May 19 th at 8PM (EDT) against the Ohio Machine. The Rattlers won 12-8 last week in Chesapeake to level their record at 1-1. G Mike Gabel was named the MLL Defensive Player of the Week for anchoring the defense in last week’s victory. A Ned Crotty led the Rochester attack and scored a hat trick in his 2012 Rattlers debut. The expansion Ohio Machine are 0-2 after the first two games of their inaugural MLL campaign.
“Last week we got our first win and got back to .500.” Rattlers head coach Tim Soudan said. “The first week of the season we were missing a lot of key players on our roster. Last week we had a lot more pieces in place, and we got the win. Now we have to focus on Ohio and try to go out and do it again this week.”
Second year professional G John Galloway was the incumbent starting goalie entering the 2012 season, but MLL veteran G Mike Gabel played well last week when given the opportunity to start last weekend. Galloway graduated from Syracuse in the spring of 2011. He won the National Championship as a freshmen and as a sophomore before he won the National Goalie of the Year award as a junior and as a senior. Galloway unseated Gabel as the Rattlers starting goalie last spring. He won the 2011 Rattlers Rookie of the Year award with a 2-7 record and a 13.11 goals against average.
Last weekend Galloway missed his flight to Chesapeake for the game against the Bayhawks, which gave Gabel the opportunity to start for the first time since the Rattlers second game of 2011. Gabel responded with 27 saves, including 17 second half saves, and allowed only six goals. Gabel is the leading goalie in MLL after three weeks with a 1-0 record, a 6.40 goals against average, and a .784 saves percentage.
“Gabel was on point in our win against Chesapeake last week.” Rattlers coach Tim Soudan said. “Goalie is a critical position and it looks like we’ve got two quality options who can both get the job done.”
Last week Ned Crotty returned to the Rattlers roster and made his 2012 MLL debut. Crotty scored a hat trick against the Bayhawks. He now has at least one point in all 13 games he has played with Rochester since joining the team at the beginning of the 2011 MLL season.
Crotty was joined by M Steve DeNapoli, a short stick defensive midfielder, who has scored three transition goals in his first two games with the Rattlers. Veteran M Matt Striebel scored two goals, including a two-point marker, while A Steve Boyle, the number one pick in the 2012 MLL Supplemental Draft, had a goal and an assist. Crotty, DeNapoli, Striebel, and Boyle all have three points on the season.
The Rattlers defense was anchored by Gabel in their victory over Chesapeake, but it also featured key contributions from D John Lade and D Tom Montelli. Lade scooped four ground balls and was a key component in shutting down the Bayhawks attack. Montelli has collected ten ground balls and hit a two-point marker in his first two games with Rochester. Lade was a three time All-American with the Syracuse Orange and the national defender of the year in 2011 while Montelli was a starter with Duke University and the Rattlers fifth round selection in the 2011 MLL Draft.
The expansion Ohio Machine are coached by former Rattlers Assistant Coach Ted Garber and feature five members of Rochester’s 2011 team. D Greg Bice (25 ground balls) was the 2011 New Balance Sportsmen of the Year Award winner with the Rochester Rattlers last year. M Brett Garber (5G-4A), M Jordan Levine (7G-9A), and M Dan Groot (36 ground balls) all played regularly for the Rattlers last season. FO Anthony Kelly (128 for 285 FOs and 41 ground balls) battled at the X for the Rattlers last season.
The Rochester Rattlers game on Saturday night with the Chesapeake Bayhawks can be seen live at 7PM on ESPN3 or on TWC Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo.
The Rochester Rattlers home opener will be Friday, June 1
st at 7PM in Sahlen’s Stadium against the Boston Cannons. Tickets are on sale for the home opener and the season by calling 585.454.5425 or visiting rochesterrattlers.com.