Points are the tried and true way of measuring an NLL forward’s production. But to say that Lyle Thompson’s game is tied up in that one tangible is to foolishly ignore all the good he does outside of scoring for the Georgia Swarm.
Lyle became the first NLL player to lead his team in points, goals, loose balls and caused turnovers since caused turnovers were first kept track of in 2011.
His 123 loose balls are three short of his career-high he set in his MVP year, and his 21 caused turnovers makes for a new career-high. Lyle also took 15 more shots this season than last, setting a new marker at 247 with 172 SOG.
Tack onto that Lyle only sat in the penalty box three times this season, each for a minor penalty. Sprinkle in how Lyle didn’t miss a game (nor has he missed a game in his career). And finally, add to that concoction how Lyle somehow hit a new level in the last six games of the season and netted 24 goals, a crazy 4 GF/GAME.
What’s all that add up to? A monster.
The 2017 MVP had a “down year” comparatively since he finished 30 points shy of his career-high. But he set a new high in goals, a new low in penalty minutes, high for shorthand assists, nearly matched his 2017 LB totals, cut down on his turnover totals, and improved his CTO numbers while maintaining a steadily accurate shot.
“The guy does so much on the floor,” Swarm assistant coach Dan Ladouceur said. “Produces offensively, his loose ball stats and his caused turnover stats. It was an excellent follow up to the MVP season he had last year despite his, like he would argue, his not-so-great start.”
It speaks of a player who is more than just a scorer. Lyle somehow is improving his game every time he takes to the floor. He’s still figuring out new, creative ways to score. Lyle’s also getting and holding onto the ball better. And he just doesn’t miss a game.
It’s why coaches rave about Lyle and say he’s who kids need to mirror themselves after when they play lacrosse. Lyle is a difference-maker.
And the good news is he’ll be in blue and yellow for years to come.
With the strong arm | Photo Credit: Kyle Hess
Best Game of the Season:
His final third of the season was vintage Lyle, and he netted five goals in three of those contests. But the five goals he netted against the Toronto Rock on April 8 was arguably his best game of the season.
The Swarm won that game 11-10, and it was the Lyle Thompson and Dan Lintner show. Both would score five goals apiece for their respective teams, and each one kept their team in the thick of things. But Lyle set himself apart by throwing an assist into his points total, snagging 10 loose balls and causing a turnover.
His goals may not have been as shockingly great as the ones he scored in Saskatoon a week later, but every goal displayed grit and skill. In the second quarter while the Swarm was man-down, Lyle got knocked down with the ball. He picked himself back up, and with Brad Kri and Sheldon Burns on him, ran it in for a falling shorthanded goal to get the hat trick early in the game.
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