Albany Wins AE Title; Thompson Nears NCAA Single-Season Points Record
from staff reports
STONY BROOK, N.Y. — Named the America East Conference Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, sophomore attack Lyle Thompson with nine points paced the 12th-ranked University at Albany past UMBC in conference championship game, 19-10, on Saturday at LaValle Stadium. The Great Danes took home their fifth championship title in 11 years.
"We worked very, very hard, as hard as I have seen any team work to get to this point," said Coach Marr on the win over UMBC in the championship. "We felt relieved because when you are the top seed in your conference tournament it is a relief when you come through as the No. 1 seed to win the championship."
Lyle, the fifth Great Dane to be named MOP, continues to climb the NCAA record book for points in a single season with 108 after his nine-point performance. The sophomore attack's 108 points is third best in NCAA history with Air Force's Joe Vasta (1986) and is seven points away from Steve Marahol (114) of UMBC for the all-time record.
Right out of the gate, Lyle set the tempo for UAlbany (13-4) with an assist to his cousin Ty for his 100th point of the season and the Great Danes first lead, 1-0, with 10:33 left in the first stanza.
UMBC came back with back-to-back goals from David Campbell and Scott Jones to swing the lead in its favor, 2-1, with 8:29 remaining.
Lyle contributed on two consecutive UAlbany goal's to end the period for a 3-2 lead. The Onondaga Nation, N.Y. native found Will Fuller in front of the net for the first. Then less than two minutes later, he set up 15 yards from the net, sent a laser that grazed the turf and passed by UMBC goalie Wes DiRito.
The sophomore attack continued his phenomenal offensive play in the second quarter with goal 34 seconds in to extend the Great Dane lead to two, 4-2.
However, the Retrievers did not lie down to the No. 1 offense in the nation, rattling three goals of their own for their second lead of the game, 5-4, with 9:18 left in the half. UMBC used a man-up situation, Jones' second goal and Matt Gregoire's first goal of the game to retain the lead.
Then UAlbany turned up the heat and ended the half on a 5-0 run for a 9-5 lead. Miles Thompson began the run and ended the run, scoring three goals in an eight-minute span . Schnectady, N.Y. native Tim Cox and John Maloney joined in on the offensive charge for the four-goal advantage.
"Offensively, myself, Miles and Ty were forcing too many shots and tried to set the tempo early," said Lyle Thompson on the called timeout before the 5-0 run. "We told eachother to settle down, don't force passes that are not there. After that timeout, all three of us got together and knew that we set the tempo for the team, so we told each other to settle down and play our game."
America East Rookie of the Year Pat Young wasted no time in the second half, scoring the Retrievers sixth goal of the game 39 second in to keep his team in striking distance.
The Great Danes used another run of four goals to push their lead to seven, 13-6, with 5:57 left in the third quarter. Ty began the run and saw Ryan Feuerstein fire a straight heater for his first of the game. Then Matt Bertrams capped it off with a hustle play of taking the face-off and going 40 yards for his second goal of the season.
With a 14-7 lead going into the fourth and final quarter, the Great Dane defense locked down and held the Retrievers to three goals in the final 15 minutes. In the mix of the five goals that UAlbany scored in the final period, the most notable was Ty Thompson's goal with 9:54 left. Ty dodged one defender and as he was facing away from the net he sent a shot through his legs and the goalie's legs to drop the jaws of the fans.
UAlbany goalie Blaze Riorden recorded eight saves on 18 chances in his 13th win between the pipes. UMBC goalie Wes DiRito tallied 10 saves in 27 in the loss.
The Great Danes finish the season 13-4 overall and wait to see who they face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on at 9 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU. LaxMagazine.com will also have full coverage of Selection Sunday.