UAlbany’s Lyle Thompson Ready for Notre Dame Rematch
Lyle Thompson sat in his off-campus house in upstate New York and let out a sigh of relief. Why not? He’d just finished taking his finals, and his University of Albany’s lacrosse team had advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
Even though it was a little after 9:00p.m., the house echoed with the joyful noise of happy little ones at play. All of a sudden, Thompson let out an “oof,” and the phone filled with a shriek that made him laugh. It didn’t take much to visualize his daughters Godehoag, 4, and Ehwageyosta, 2, running around, glad to see that Daddy was home. There was a muffled discussion, then “hang on a second.” When he came back to the conversation, he said, “Sorry about that, the little one’s two now,” and that pretty much covered it. “What was the question again?”
He has been interviewed by the New York Times, ESPN the Magazine, Lacrosse Magazine, and appeared on ESPN and ABC Tonight. Answering questions and talking about his place in the Creator’s Game is now as natural for him as behind the back passes and highlight-reel goals.
And, here he is going into his final NCAA Tournament with the Great Danes, hoping to win the national championship. “I’m not even thinking about [my] last game or when that might be,” he told ICTMN. “There’s still plenty of lacrosse to be played in my college career, and I’m focused on doing whatever I have to do to win a national championship.”
The Great Danes (16-2) will face No. 1 Notre Dame at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver Saturday, May 16. It’s the same quarterfinal match-up of a year ago, when the Irish won 14-13 victory in overtime. “Coach (Scott Marr) has been stressing not to go into this game thinking about revenge,” said Thompson, who is averaging a nation-leading 6.29 points a game with 48 goals and 59 assists this season. “We’ve been focusing on ourselves. What we gained from last year is that we need to finish. Last year, we had the game and we let it go. This year is about finishing every game and finishing every play.”
In Albany’s 19-10 over Cornell in the opening round of the NCAA playoffs last week, Thompson tied the Division I record in assists held by Tim Nelson, totaling 221 in his career, and surpassed the record of 354 career points held by former Cornell standout Rob Pannell with a total of 386.
Against Cornell, the 2014 co-Tewaaraton Award winner — he was awarded the trophy with his brother, Miles Thompson — had three goals and six assists for nine points, standing with 395 points in his career. This season, he has 116 points, the third-highest single season points mark in DI history behind his own 2014 mark of 128 and his brother’s mark of 119.
Thompson was with the Iroquois Nationals last summer when they won the bronze medal in the World Championships in Denver.
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