Behind strong performances from the two best players in the country, Albany captured its second-straight America East men’s lacrosse title Saturday morning at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium. The top-seeded Great Danes got 17 points from Tewaraaton Award candidates Lyle and Miles Thompson to beat third-seeded UMBC, 20-11 , and captured their sixth-ever America East title.
With the win, the Great Danes earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship , where America East teams, have won nine games all-time, including three since 2007. The NCAA selection show will be Sunday night at 9 p.m. and televised on ESPNU.
Miles Thompson was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honors after setting a tournament record racking up 18 points (14 goals, 4 assists) in the two games. He surpassed the 100-point mark for the season, joining his brother as the only teammates in NCAA history to both surpass the milestone in the same season.
After UMBC (8-7) scored the game’s opening goal, Albany (11-5) tallied four of the game’s next five scores. Miles Thompson, a first-team all-league performer, scored twice in the quarter, including a highlight reel goal from the ground 4:45 into the frame and the final goal of the period with 3:15 left to give his team a 5-2 lead after one.
The Retrievers, who were making their sixth America East title game appearance, held Albany, the highest scoring team in the nation, at bay early in the second quarter and cut the deficit to one. First-team All-America East standout Pat Young scored 49 seconds into the period and Matt Gregoire, a first-team all-league attacker, added the first of his three scores midway through to make the score, 5-4 Albany with 8:05 to play.
But, the Great Danes, who have won seven-straight games, scored the last three goals of the quarter, including a blast from Ty Thompson, a second-team all-conference attacker, as time expired giving them an 8-4 lead at the break.
Young added his third of the game 4:48 into the third quarter to draw UMBC within two at 8-6, but Albany struck for six in a row, including a pair by Miles Thompson, who finished the game with seven goals and two assists. He scored twice more in the fourth quarter, giving his team its largest lead at 20-7 with a blast at 10:23 left before being removed from the game.
UMBC scored four in a row to close the game, including a pair by by Gregoire, an All-Championship selection, who set a program record with his 48th goal of the season.
Lyle Thompson earned All-Championship honors and finished with three goals and five assists. He upped his season point total to 114, a new America East record, tied the NCAA single-season mark set by UMBC’s Steve Marohl in 1992.
Joining the Thompsons and Gregoire as All-Championship selections were Albany’s Doug Eich and Blaze Riorden, UMBC’s Zach Esser and Phil Poe, Binghamton’s Michael Antinozzi and Greg Cove and Stony Brook’s Mike Andreassi and Hayden Johnstone.