(Photo: Highland Park Lacrosse)
Charlie Toomey and the Loyola Greyhounds continued to add to their 2023 class on Friday, landing one of the Lone Star State’s best in Highland Park (Texas) goalie Ben Abel.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound keeper was one of 15 players named to the Lacrosse Bucket 2023 Southern Big Board in late August. Abel pulled the trigger on the Greyhounds following a visit last weekend.
Abel is the first commitment on the defensive end in the class for the Greyhounds and fourth from the South, joining midfielders Ricky Savage (St. Edward’s, Fla.) and Keenan Everhart (Ashley, N.C.), as well as Harrison (Ga.) faceoff man Carson Hall.
“For me, I couldn’t find one thing I didn’t like about the campus or the team. The amazing facilities, great education, being that close to Baltimore, and the coaching staff were all things that I just could not pass up,” Abel Told Lacrosse Bucket. “The thing that really pulled me to Loyola was Coach Toomey. The way he was so passionate about the team that he coached was a huge positive. You could tell the guys on the team felt comfortable with him, while still giving him the most respect.”
Abel also mentioned that Coach Toomey being one of the best goalies in Loyola history and currently working with PLL pro and former Greyhound keeper Jacob Stover as big impacts on his decision.
The Texas native is coming off a huge sophomore campaign where he helped lead the Scots to a 14-3 record and a THSLL AA state title game. The quick-handed keeper especially showcased his ability to stop low shots and be effective in the outlet passing game this past spring. Abel was named an All-State Honorable Mention.
From Lacrosse Bucket 2023 Southern Big Board (8/29):
Anchoring a tough Highland Park defense as a sophomore, Abel helped lead the Scots to an THSLL state title game and emerged as one of the best goalies in the state and region this past season. Showing the ability to be a consistent presence in cage and come up huge on an almost nightly basis, he impressed each and every time I was able to get my eyes on him. He not only looks comfortable in between the pipes and can make life very difficult for the opposing offense.
Abel said that through his work with Stover, he has certainly picked up a lot from the pro. “I definitely think that I have adopted some of Stover’s tendencies and his play style just through him coaching me. Obviously he’s teaching me things that he learned at his time at Loyola and already having some of the habits that Coach Toomey would like to see in his goalies has helped me tremendously.”
Coming into his junior season, Abel said he is focused on helping Highland Park to win a state title and solidifying his game, as well as making sure he is preparing himself for the next level.