Albany's Thompson is LM's Preseason Player of the Year
|Albany junior attackman Lyle
Thompson is Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division I men's
preseason player of the year. (Greg Wall)
BALTIMORE — Coming off a season in which he finished with 113 points, one shy of the NCAA Division I men's single-year record, Albany attackman Lyle Thompson is Lacrosse Magazine's 2014 Preseason Player of the Year.
Thompson heads into his junior season looking to lead Albany — ranked 10th in the preseason by Lacrosse Magazine — deep into the NCAA tournament, alongside his brother, Miles, and cousin, Ty. The trio last season formed one of the most prolific attack units in collegiate lacrosse history, combining for 254 points, more than most Division I men's teams scored as a whole in 2013.
Thompson, who was the first Native American finalist for the Iroquois-inspired Tewaaraton Award, can do a little bit of everything. He played midfield as a freshman before shifting to attack as a sophomore. He finished last season with 50 goals, 63 assists, a 42.4 shooting percentage and 35 ground balls. He led the nation with 6.65 points per game.
Thompson makes it all sound easy, when talking about the chemistry he has with Miles and Ty, who are both seniors. Lyle and Miles grew up largely at Onondaga Nation near Syracuse while Ty, from Akwesasne Mohawk, grew up a few hours away.
"It doesn't even have to be a good pass. If a defender's stick is in the way, I can throw it down [low] and they're going to catch it. Miles and I have always done that; put it in a spot where you wouldn't expect it," Lyle Thompson told LM's Corey McLaughlin in a full-length preseason player of the year feature that will appear in the February issue of Lacrosse Magazine. "A defender is expecting you to catch up high, but a lot times he will tell me to throw it low. Same thing with Ty. A lot of times, I get credit for creating, but I just throw it there and he makes the amazing catch and puts it in the net."
Last season, Albany averaged 15.94 goals per game, a total that was the most in D-I lacrosse since Virginia's 18.21 in 1997. The Danes finished with a 13-5 record, won the America East conference and lost to Denver in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Lacrosse Magazine will continue its 2014 college lacrosse preview throughout January and into February, with team-by-team breakdowns of the top teams in NCAA Division I, II and III men's and women's lacrosse, looks at our preseason players of the year and more. Follow the countdown at LaxMagazine.com/LMRanks and on twitter at #LMRanks.
Lacrosse Magazine NCAA Division I Preseason Player of the Year
Lyle Thompson, Albany, Jr. A
LaxMagazine.com Fan Vote
Wesley Berg, Denver, Jr. A — 9%
Kieran McArdle, St. John's, Sr. A — 21%
Tom Schreiber, Princeton, Sr. M — 29%
Lyle Thompson, Albany, Jr. A — 28%
Jordan Wolf, Duke, Sr. A — 13%