December 29, 2013

Stories of the Year: Albany's Thompson Trio

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter | McLaughlin Archive

Two brothers and a cousin stepped to the forefront of the college lacrosse world with a season-long dazzling display of skill, creativity and teamwork on an attack line that powered Albany to the NCAA tournament. Their Native American heritage symbolized by trademark braids flowing from the back of their helmets made it all the more special.

The youngest of the trio, sophomore Lyle Thompson, tallied 113 points, one shy of the NCAA single-season record, and likely would have broken the mark had he not missed a game for the birth of his second child.

Thompson was a Tewaaraton Award finalist, the first Native American to earn that distinction for what is a Native American-inspired award.

Paired with older brother, Miles, and cousin, Ty, both juniors, the crew combined for 254 points, 56 percent of Albany's offense and more than 40 other Division I men's teams scored as a whole.

Their season began by leading Albany's 16-15 double-overtime upset of Syracuse at the Carrier Dome and included a 10-9 win over Johns Hopkins at Homewood Field. The Thompsons shot a combined 40 percent to lead the Great Danes to an America East title and an NCAA tournament berth.

There were spot feeds, cross field back side passes, and the general feeling that holding onto the ball for more than a couple seconds would burn a hole in someone's pocket. Eventually, the season ended in 19-14 score-fest at Denver in the NCAA first-round.

"Playing with my brother and my cousin, I've never had better chemistry with anybody else," Lyle Thompson said. "Our motto was, 'Be a fun team to watch.'"

This story originally appeared in the December issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

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