Freshman Cull thrives in net for Spartans


Gabe Cull comes from a hockey family.

His father Trent Cull recently wrapped up his second year coaching the Utica Comets and Gabe has been playing the sport for as long as he can remember.

“My parents told me I could play whatever sport I want,” Cull said.  “I’ve always just stuck to hockey.  I’ve never been forced into it.  I loved it ever since I saw it.”

That changed slightly four years ago, when he added lacrosse to his resume.

“It almost looked like hockey to me so I wanted to try it,” he said.  “Then my first time playing, I went and blocked a shot and not too many players do that in lacrosse.  I turned into a goalie straight from there.”

Cull joined the New Hartford lacrosse team in 2018, and this year was named the starter as a freshman.

“I think as we went through with the two goalies we had, it became apparent Gabe could stop the ball,” head coach Dan Pope said.  “He wasn’t afraid of being on that stage and he didn’t shy away from it.  He didn’t seem fazed by the bigger kids or the bigger games.”

Ironically in hockey, Cull plays forward on his travel team.

“It’s a little bit different in between sports and seasons,” Cull said.  “Goalies don’t run as much in lacrosse.”

In his first year as the full-time starter, Cull helped lead New Hartford to their latest Tri-Valley League title.

“I think there’s still room for him to get a lot better with his stance and the way he steps to the ball,” Pope said.  “He plays his angles really well, he’s very good from five yards and in as far as reading the ball, finding it, tracking it and making a lot of saves that most goalies don’t that close in to the net.”

For the time being, Cull is savoring the moment on the ice and on the turf at Don Edick Field.

“I just want to see where it goes and then kind of figure out what I’m going to do later in the future,” he said.

After beating Indian River on Thursday night, New Hartford faces No. 1 Jamesville-Dewitt on Saturday in the sectional quarterfinals.

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