Sunday Sports: Clarkson Women’s Lacrosse Coach steps down after 10 year run

Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - For the first time in 10 seasons, the Clarkson Women’s Lacrosse program will have a new head coach when they take to the field for the 2023 season after longtime coach Ben Gaebel stepped down.

In a decade, Gaebel posted an 86-63 mark, making him the all-time winningest coach in program history, set a record for wins in a season and led the Lady Golden Knights to their first ever Liberty League postseason win.

Gaebel is stepping aside to focus more on his duties as Assistant Athletic Director at the school and to spend more time with his family.

”It was a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be, to be honest with you. I think lacrosse is great, it’s really treated me well throughout my life, but stepping away from our players? It was a very difficult day for me to let them know that I’d be stepping away from coaching. That was very difficult for me; still is difficult,” said Gaebel.

Gaebel took over a program that had never won more than 7 games in a season and made them a perennial contender for the top spot in the Liberty League.

In 2016, the Lady Golden Knights rolled off a program record 9 straight victories and had their first ever winning record in Liberty League play.

”I think we did have some success. When we started this journey, myself and my assistants, you know I’ve had an assistant that’s been with me for 9 years. I think the success was just based upon hard work from our athletes. That was kind of our mantra. It’s cliché to say, but I always told them the only thing we can control every day is how hard we work, to never get outworked. We did have some success before we started we were never 500 and we were 500 or better 9 of my 10 years,” said Gaebel.

Gaebel’s success on the field was a direct result of his recruiting off the field, bringing in some of the best talent from around the area to change the culture of the program and make Clarkson a destination for area athletes to continue their lacrosse careers at the college level.

”We had some outstanding players just from the Frontier League and the Northern Athletic Conference. Just to name a few that have played this year, we had Rylee Ganter who was All-League, Sydney Roderick, All-League, General Brown and South Jeff right there. Julia Lavarnway’s on our team right now as well as a really good player that starts at attack. We’ve had Jaid Baytos from IHC, Christine Wright from IHC, Kyrsten Stone from Massena, Abby Johnson from Massena. We had some really good local talent. Ashley Flick from Watertown, so we were really able to capitalize on the rich lacrosse we have here in the North Country and luckily pull some of the best players that play around here up to play for us,” said Gaebel.

Gaebel says he’s confident new coach Ally Burrows, who was an assistant under him the past 3 seasons, will continue building on the success of the program and adds he will still be around to help out.

”I’m gonna help out a little bit still, too. I’m gonna coach the goalies. We have South Jeff goalie Jennaca McGill coming, so we’re really excited about her. So, I’m gonna be around just helping do that part of it as well. I’m not really going cold turkey away from it as the players said but I’ll be around. I’ll be at all the home games as my new duties in administration. I’ll be here and there for Coach Burrows as she gets going. I want to support her in any way I can,” said Gaebel.

In afternoon baseball from the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds, the Watertown Rapids hosted Boonville.

Lyme senior and Utica College bound Derrike Goutremout got the start for the Rapids and he looked solid early.

Goutremout would strike out 2 of the 3 batters in the 1st. No score after a half inning.

At the bottom of the 1st, 2 out and 2 on for Tyree Bradley, who gets all of this pitch and hits it over the wall in left center for a 3 run jack: 3-0 Rapids.

Rapids go on to beat Boonville 7-4.

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