May 18, 2014

Albany's Remarkable Run Ends in NCAA Quarterfinals

by Joe Pantorno | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | May Madness Home


Lyle and Miles Thompson lit up the NCAA record book in 2014. Lyle will return as a senior next spring, but Miles and cousin Ty both graduate. (Lee Weissman)

Disbelief had Albany heads hanging low. Just eight minutes away from the program's first Final Four appearance ever, a furious comeback from Notre Dame capped off by an overtime game-winner from Matt Kavanagh sent Albany packing. As the purple and gold clad side trudged back to their locker room, their three talismans, some of the most imposing figures the collegiate game has seen for quite some time, walked off the field together for the final time.

The Thompsons, seniors Miles and Ty, along with junior Lyle created one of the most potent attacks in the history of college lacrosse and put an America East program on the map all while changing how the game was played while drawing crowds wherever they went.

"Throughout the season, I feel like every game we've went to, we've gotten a good crowd," Lyle said. "To see that big crowd, a lot of the kids cheering for us, shaking our hands, rooting for Albany, that's been nice."

Entering Saturday's quarterfinals against Notre Dame, Miles and Lyle, already record-breakers, were in pursuit of a pair of NCAA records that have stood for over 20 years.

Both had broken UMBC's Steve Marhol's record of 114 points in a season. Miles finished with 119 while Lyle reached 128. Miles matched Jon Reese's single-season record of 82 goals with three goals. With three helpers, Lyle also matched Marhol's record of 77 assists in a season to compliment three goals against the Irish.

Ty added two goals to the brothers' solid day as he finished the year with 41 goals.

"Playing with Miles and Ty, at the end of the day, we did our best," Lyle said.

Bringing a balance of powerful style and flair, the brothers have brought lacrosse to its original roots, changing the game and the way the next generation of stars will play.

"That kind of stuff feels good to know that we're helping change the game and influencing the younger kids," Lyle said. "That's the reason I play, to help the younger generation and keep influencing them."

While it won't be the 'Thompsons three' anymore, Albany will still have one, as Lyle will be entering his senior season as the new kids on the proverbial national block will look to stay there for an extended period time.

"There's no doubt. We're going to be right back in it next year," Albany head coach Scott Marr said. "We have a good class coming in and some good guys coming back."

As Lyle will be headlining Albany's program next season alone, he still might have a brother or two nearby.

"I want to be out there as much as I can," Miles said. "Coach asked me to come back as an assistant coach so I'm happy for the opportunity."


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