UMBC's Steve Marohl (5) carries the ball as Notre Dame's… (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore…)
Steve Marohl knew last year his single-season points record was bound to fall — and that someone with the last name Thompson was going to do it.
And he's OK with that — and enjoying watching them play just like everyone else. As a lacrosse fan and someone still involved in the game, he's happy to see the impact brothers Lyle and Miles, and cousin Ty, are having on the sport he loves.
"These guys are idolized by the younger kids; I see it with the kids I coach," he said Tuesday. "Up there with the Gaits and the Powells, they're as good as I've ever seen.
"They are unbelievable players. What they're doing, it's the perfect system. Coach (Scott) Marr gives them the freedom to make plays and take their talent to the highest level," he said.
Marohl held the previous record of 114 points in a season on 37 goals and 77 assists in 1992. Lyle Thompson broke the mark with his first goal Saturday, and he now has 122 points. His brother Miles also broke it on the same day, and he now has 115 points. Lyle fell one point short of tying the record last season.
"To me, the record that's being set now, that one won't be broken," Marohl said. "We'll never see a scenario with two brothers, similar skills at the highest degree, on the same team and the right system. I don't think you'll ever see it again."
Marohl is still heavily involved in the game, coaching at South River (his Seahawks beat Arundel on Tuesday night), and he stays in touch with the UMBC coaching staff. He still plays at Ocean City and works as a financial adviser with Wells Fargo. He's been watching the Thompsons tear through lacrosse while following the Retrievers.
"My only shot of hanging on to that record was the Stony Brook game, [a 17-16 overtime win by Albany in the America East semifinals]," he jokes, saying it was somewhat bittersweet watching his record fall Saturday. His record 77 assists in a season is a little closer to his heart because that's the part of his game in which he took the most pride; Lyle has 74 assists heading into this weekend's NCAA quarterfinals.
He views the Thompsons in some pretty good company — and for someone who works with youth lacrosse players, he's happy with the example they're setting.
"I idolized Brian Wood and Tim Goldstein," he says. "Then it was the Gaits and Tom Marechek, then it was the Powells.
"It's the Thompson brothers now."
The next crop of superstars — as generations before have — will mimic its idols.
"The next generation may play their style. The kids are going to mimic their style; you'll see the game become a bit more exciting," Marohl said.
And the Thompsons — who are taking over the sport and earning legions of fans along the way — have at least one more fan in the former record holder.
"I'm a fan," he says. "I hope they take it to the national championship."