Closing out the National Lacrosse League 2017 regular season as the Georgia Swarm's top scorer and having set several records, Lyle Thompson, Onondaga Nation, is favored to be named the NLL’s MVP, which would be a first in Georgia Swarm franchise history.
The young Georgia NLL team has in its second season shaken off the growing pains of being a new franchise, arising to become the dominant team in the NLL and securing the number one seed in the East Division playoffs with a 13-5 record.
No. 4 Lyle Thompson achieved franchise history amidst a game facing the Buffalo Bandits on April 22, 2017 as he became the first player to surpass 100 points for the Swarm. Thompson continued to command the scoreboard throughout the regular season games garnering him yet another significant NLL accomplishment.
As reported in a press release, “Lyle also finished as the 2017 NLL scoring champion and set the team record in points with 116, a team-high and a second-highest in team history 45 goals, and a Swarm record-setting 71 assists. Lyle’s behind the back second goal earned him a SportsCenter Top 10 recognition.”
During the Georgia Swarm’s last regular season game at their home field on April 29th, Lyle Thompson netted a record setting goal within just minutes of the match with Rochester, establishing a new NLL record for most goals scored in one season by a team with 266. Rochester held the previous record of 258 set in 2007.
The National Lacrosse League plans to announce the final contenders for MVP this summer. Lyle Thompson has made himself a frontrunner for the title with his outstanding performance in the 2017 season. The NLL will announce the official MVP title winner during the annual awards ceremony this Fall.
Lyle spoke with ICMN following the final game about his accomplishments this season, “I wasn't coming in trying to get a certain number of points or goals I wanted; It just came with hard work and team chemistry,” said Lyle Thompson.
“Last year, I started off slow coming into the league, and I progressed as the season went on. I don't feel like I did well last year. I wanted to come back and be better and take a bigger role on the team. I worked on myself, just working to see what I had to do to be a better player. A lot of that comes with confidence."
Lyle Thompson attributes the overall success of the team to supporting each other and good communication. "We are looking out for each other. As a team we set goals like we want to get enough points to pull their starting goalie, we want to reach a certain number and play with a certain attitude and intensity. We are going to become the number one offense with the focus and chemistry we've had.”
When asked how he feels heading into playoff season Lyle Thompson says, "I'm confident, I'm looking forward to it, and I'm ready."
The Georgia Swarm (13-5) will face the Toronto Rock (10-9) in the East Division Finals. Game 1 will be held at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario on Saturday, May 13th, 2017. Game 2 will take place on May 20th, 7:05 pm at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, GA. If there is a tie between the two teams, a third mini-game will be played for 10 minutes following the second playoff game to determine who will move forward to the NLL Championship.