Thompsons romp as Albany knocks off No. 3 seed Loyola in men's lacrosse tournament

Brothers Lyle and Miles move past UMBC's Marohl for single-season points record; along with cousin Ty, they total 18 points

  • Albany's Miles Thompson (2) is checked by Loyola's Pat Frazier.
Albany's Miles Thompson (2) is checked by Loyola's… (Colby Ware, Photo for THE…)
May 10, 2014|By Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun | By Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun

One minute and 46 seconds were left in the game when Albany delivered another magic moment. Attackman Miles Thompson threw a quick pass to younger brother Lyle, who hurled a pass across the crease to cousin Ty Thompson, who flicked in a goal.

And then there was one final trick: Unseeded Albany made No. 3 seed Loyola Maryland disappear from the NCAA Division I lacrosse tournament.

The Thompson trio accounted for 11 goals and seven assists, and getting 13 saves from goalie Blaze Riorden, the Great Danes upset Loyola, 13-6, in the first round of tournament play Saturday at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Loyola was the consensus No. 1 choice in various polls throughout the country, but the Greyhounds (15-2) had no answers for the Thompsons or Riorden. Loyola played from behind the entire game. After winning the national title in 2012, it has lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament the past two years.

"They are as advertised, a terrific team," said Loyola coach Charley Toomey. "They can play at both ends of the field. There are some heavy hearts in our locker room right now. The future is very bright for Loyola, but today is a tough day."

It was made tough by the Thompsons, especially attackmen Lyle (3, 5) and Miles (5 goals, two assists), who now are 1-2 in the record books for points in a season. Lyle has 122, eight more than former UMBC attackman Steve Marohl (South River). Miles has 115. The trio, from the Onandaga Nation in upstate New York, have been spotlighted in various national publications, including The New York Times and Fortune magazine.

Loyola tried not to slide any defensemen toward them in one-on-one battles, but the Thompsons were patient. They backed in the Greyhounds like power forwards and centers do in basketball.

If the Greyhounds didn't slide, the Thompsons would score slick goals on underhand or shuffle shots. When the Greyhounds finally doubled them, the Thompsons gave out nifty assists around the crease.

It was a clinic, at times like the Harlem Globetrotters with sticks.

"I didn't try to blow by him," Lyle Thompson said of his matchup with Loyola All-America defenseman Joe Fletcher. "He did a good job of positioning me, but I jut got myself into position and waited. I took advantage of that."

Added Fletcher: "They are athletic but very intelligent. On some goals, they just beat you. They place the ball really well and they know where the others are on the field."

Loyola had its offensive chances. But Riorden stymied the Greyhounds on one-on-one opportunities throughout the game.

The Greyhounds (12-5) also hit the post five times, and that played as much of a part in shutting Loyola down as did the Great Danes defense. Loyola hurried numerous shots and double-clutched on others. Riorden got into their heads.

"He had unbelievable hands and is a big lefty," said Loyola senior attackman Justin Ward (Old Mill), who — along with senior midfielder Pat Laconi — had two goals to lead the Greyhounds. "He was phenomenal today.

"But they didn't necessarily hurt us," said Ward. "Not to take credit away from Albany — we hit some pipes. We took some bad shots and had some bad luck. We never got into a serious run. We stressed all week long about not giving them opportunities to score, and we did just that. In the first quarter, we got everything we wanted."

Even though Albany led only 3-1 at the end of the first period, it was a very telling quarter. Loyola outshot Albany 15-8 but the Greyhounds hit three pipes and couldn't match up physically with the Thompsons.

Miles Thompson made it 2-0 when he did a reverse spin on freshman midfielder Chris Myers and scored on a shot just inside the left post midway through the first.

Loyola finally scored with 2:49 left in the first period on a goal from Laconi, but defensemen Jon Newhouse completed a fast break with a long shot from just inside the restraining box 45 seconds later.

The second quarter was a highlight reel for Miles and Lyle Thompson. Miles scored the first two goals of the period on assists from Lyle as Albany went ahead 5-1 with 6:51 remaining. Loyola pulled within 5-3 on goals from midfielder Romar Dennis and attackman Nikko Pontrello, but Miles Thompson put the Great Danes up 6-3 with 2:30 remaining.

The next goal was showtime for Lyle Thompson. He faked a high shot to the right and then turned just outside the crease to shovel a shot past goalie Jack Runkel with 7.5 seconds left as Albany went into the half with a 7-3 lead.

Albany built a six-goal led midway in the third period, which was delayed by lightning for 36 minutes with 3:16 left. The Great Danes scored the first three goals of the fourth before the Thompson-to-Thompson-to-Thompson goal sealed the win.

"You can't give them a lot of opportunities," said Toomey, whose team had 16 turnovers. "When you do, they make you pay, and we paid."

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