There’s plenty at stake in the league standings, but tonight’s regular-season finale against Binghamton could also be the last time University at Albany lacrosse fans see the prolific Thompson family together on John Fallon Field.
The Great Danes (4-0 America East Conference, 8-5 overall) must defeat the Bearcats (4-0, 7-6) to lock up the regular-season league championship and the top seed for next week’s conference tournament. It’s also senior day. That means that Miles Thompson and his cousin, Ty Thompson, could be playing their final home game.
Miles Thompson has found the net 57 times to go along with 28 assists. He averages an NCAA-best 4.38 goals per game.
Ty Thompson has 29 goals, an average of 2.2 per game, while Lyle Thompson, Miles’ brother, already has an NCAA-high 57 assists and 31 goals for a Division I-best 6.77 points per game.
The Great Danes average 15.62 goals a game, tops in Division I.
“We’ve been playing Albany lacrosse lately, and that means scoring a lot of goals,” said Ty Thompson. “Plus, our goalie, Blaze Riorden, has been standing on his head making big saves for us. I would have to say that we’re about 90 percent to where we thought we would be starting off the year.”
Ty Thompson said he has discussed the importance of tonight’s final home game with his cousins.
“We’ve thought about this possibly being our last home game. It’s something we really don’t want to think about,” he said. “We are playing so well right now, that we just want to cherish the last few moments together.
“Our goal is to win the America East Conference championship and then return to the NCAA tournament, just like we did last year,” he said. “But we also know that beating Binghamton is very important, because it will give us top seed for the tournament.”
UAlbany head coach Scott Marr acknowledged that having all the Thompsons together at one time won’t last for long.
“We’re only guaranteed two more games including [tonight],” he said. “Hopefully, we will have more if we do well in the tournament. The Thompsons have been great for us over the years, and they helped us put together a very efficient offense. Over our last five or six games, we are really playing some excellent lacrosse.”
Marr said this year’s entire roster has been a pleasure to coach.
“There has been a genuine friendship on this team. You can feel it when we’re riding on the bus together,” Marr said. “All the guys are kidding with each other and having a great time. I’ve enjoyed coaching everyone on this team.
“There is no doubt that it would be tremendous if we could win the conference tournament again and go back to the NCAAs. Back-to-back titles would be great, and that’s what we are striving for. But we’re focusing on beating Binghamton first, and I’m sure they will give us a great effort. It should be an interesting game.”
As far as the conference tournament is concerned, Marr said he is not worried about going on the road to Stony Brook, the tournament host.
“We actually like the facilities at Stony Brook, and we usually play well there,” he said. “The key right now is that we’re playing with a lot of confidence, both offensively and defensively. It shows how far our defense has come with how we shut down Siena and outscored them, 4-1, in the third quarter of that game the other night. Blaze Riorden is playing very well right now.”