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2015 College Lacrosse Preview: Lyle Thompson Chases History

The Albany attackman has two career marks in his field of vision in 2015.

Lyle Thompson exists in his own atmosphere at the moment. After helping Albany to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament last season and sharing Tewaaraton honors with his brother Miles at the conclusion of the year, Thompson enters 2015 as the decided Tewaaraton favorite on a collision course with altering history. After a slow freshman campaign that saw Thompson register 38 points from the midfield, Thompson moved down to attack and strung together two seasons in which the all-world talent accounted for a total of 241 points. (The 128 points that Thompson registered in 2014 is a single season record. Those 128 points were also more than three teams -- Lafayette, Monmouth, and VMI -- generated last season.) Earth has gone bonkers for Lyle, and he can cement his legacy even further if he's able to add his name to even more lines in the official NCAA record book.

Here's what Thompson is chasing from a career record perspective:

Points per Game 6.47 Tony Asterino Siena 1978-1981
Goals per Game 4.39 Stan Cockerton N.C. State 1977-1980
Assists per Game 4.21 Tim Goldstein Cornell 1987-1988
Points 354 Rob Pannell Cornell 2009-2013
Goals 206 Zach Greer Duke 2005-2008
Assists 221 Tim Nelson N.C. State 1983-1985

Not all of these records are within reach for Thompson. Some, like the all-time goals per game record, would require an effort that would melt the faces of all that witnessed the record being broken. However, for the sake of discussion, here's what Lyle would need to accomplish to break the annotated career records based on a 16-, 17-, 18-, and 19-game season (participating in every game):

To Break the Career Points Record 4.69 Points per Game 4.41 Points per Game 4.17 Points per Game 3.95 Points per Game 5.47 Points per Game
To Break the Career Goals Record 5.19 Goals per Game 4.88 Goals per Game 4.61 Goals per Game 4.37 Goals per Game 2.41 Goals per Game
To Break the Career Assists Record 4.06 Assists per Game 3.82 Assists per Game 3.61 Assists per Game 3.42 Assists per Game 3.06 Assists per Game
To Break the Career Points per Game Record 9.66 Points per Game 9.47 Points per Game 9.30 Points per Game 9.15 Points per Game 5.47 Points per Game
To Break the Career Goals per Game Record 10.70 Goals per Game 10.32 Goals per Game 10.00 Goals per Game 9.70 Goals per Game 2.41 Goals per Game
To Break the Career Assists per Game Record 7.88 Assists per Game 7.66 Assists per Game 7.47 Assists per Game 7.30 Assists per Game 3.06 Assists per Game

Some brief notes on this:

  • The only records reasonably within Thompson's grasp are the career points and career assists marks. Neither is a guaranteed slam dunk (there are variables all over the place), but those are the two records that Thompson is most likely to approach and break. All per game records are likely impossible to achieve and the career goals mark is probably not going to happen unless Lyle seriously increases his desire to make buckets.
  • NOTE ON CAREER POINTS RECORD: There is a chance that Thompson breaks the career points mark by his 16th game of the season (the team's 16th game in 2015 would likely come in the first round of the America East Tournament). If Thompson does so, he will have achieved at least 354 points a full five games faster than Pannell did when he topped Matt Danowski at the end of the 2013 season (Danowski had eight more games than Pannell to set the mark that Pannell topped). It is possible that Thompson could have 73 games to break Pannell's mark -- one game more than Pannell had to set the record -- but that would require Albany to compete in an NCAA Tournament play-in game and progress to the national championship (that'd be a 22-game season for Thompson).
  • NOTE ON CAREER ASSISTS RECORD: Thompson has already used almost as many games as Tim Nelson did for Nelson to set his career assists mark (Nelson had only 57 games to generate 221 assists). Like the career points mark, though, Thompson is fairly well positioned to potentially topple Nelson's record, although it will likely require Thompson to generate helpers at a rate consistent with his assists per game mark over the last two seasons (4.00 per game). Potentially hindering Thompson's push for Nelson's record is something out of Lyle's control: His brother and cousin are no longer eligible to smash faces with Lyle at the college level. 46 of Lyle's 77 assists last season -- around 60 percent of Lyle's helpers -- were tied to a Miles or Ty Thompson goal. That's a high concentration of targets to only a couple of players, those cats no longer available for skull-crushing. If Thompson does set the career assist mark, part of that record will entail Lyle finding comfort with other finishers on Albany's roster.