The Harvard men’s lacrosse team (1-2) fell short against a powerful University of Albany (1-2) offense on Saturday afternoon in Albany, N.Y. as two brothers combined for more goals than the entire Crimson roster.
In last year’s match against Harvard, Great Dane attackmen Lyle and Miles Thompson scored four and three goals, respectively, propelling their team to an easy victory. This year, the duo along with fellow Albany attackman and cousin Ty Thompson, are each individually regarded as potential Tewaaraton trophy candidates and reside on the watch list for the prestigious award.
“[The Thompsons] are great players,” said Harvard coach Chris Wojcik ’96. “[Lyle and Miles] are two of the top players in the country hands down. They have a unique skillset and do things where you play great defense and they still score. They are a really difficult matchup.”
Unfortunately for the Crimson, Lyle and Miles Thompson demonstrated why they are receiving such a high degree of national attention on Saturday, notching a collective 12 goals en route to a 14-8 victory over Harvard.
“We played defense the way we want to play defense,” Wojcik said. “They just kept us on our heels the whole game.”
The Crimson began the contest by notching two relatively quick goals, with the scoring coming from senior midfielder Brian O’Toole and sophomore midfielder Sean McDonagh.
But it was not long before Miles answered, scoring twice before the first quarter endded, and then twice more right after the second period began.
Harvard responded quickly, however, as sophomore attackman Will Walker took a pass from McDonagh and scored just 45 seconds after Miles’ fourth goal with 12 minutes left in the first half. Sophomore midfielder Brendan Newman then found the back of the net three minutes later, tying the score at 4-4 midway through the second quarter.
“Something positive that we can take away from this game is that we are very tough on the ground,” said captain and defenseman Joe Petrucci. “That’s passion and determination and having the fight to stay in the game.”
But from there, it was all about the Thompsons.
First, Lyle scored on a man-up opportunity assisted by Miles with 7:39 left in the half. Two minutes later, Lyle scored unassisted. And after another Harvard penalty, Miles converted with the assist coming from Lyle to close out the half with a 7-4 lead for Albany.
The Thompson show continued just one minute into the second half, as Miles scored and Ty notched a goal assisted by Lyle.
The Crimson attempted to fight back, as Newman converted his second goal of the afternoon. Senior attackman Carl Zimmerman also scored to close out the third quarter, but it would be too little, too late.
Miles and Lyle each scored two more goals in the fourth quarter, bringing their respective tallies to eight and four on the day. Adam Osika also came through to record the only non-Thompson Albany goal in the game.
On the Harvard side, Walker scored his second goal on a man-up opportunity, and captain Peter Schwartz added another before the game could end.