Five of the best college players in NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse met on May 28th to see who would take home the Tewaaraton Trophy. Often called the “Heisman Trophy of Lacrosse”, the Tewaaraton is awarded to the most outstanding player in college lacrosse. Albany‘s star attackman Lyle Thompson collected his second Tewaaraton Trophy, punctuating a season in which he led the Division 1 NCAA with 6.37 points per game, 121 points, and 69 assists. Thompson beat out Denver‘s Wes Berg, Syracuse‘s Kevin Rice, Notre Dame‘s Matt Kavanagh, and Duke‘s Myles Jones.
Fast forward a few weeks and several of the 2015 Tewaaraton finalists are some of the freshest faces gracing Major League Lacrosse. Thompson, Berg, and Rice all found themselves drafted by MLL teams and have begun their professional careers with a bang.
Kevin Rice finished his Syracuse career with 222 points in 58 games (96 goals and 126 assists) and already has made an impact on the professional stage. Rice was originally drafted by the Florida Launch with the 23th pick, but was acquired by the Rochester Rattlers through a trade. The ex-Orangeman collected the Cascade Rookie of the Week award during Week 9, tallying 2 goals and 2 assists against the Boston Cannons. The Rattlers are currently tied with the Ohio Machine for third place in the league and are hoping to see Rice continue to make an impact going forward.
Wesley Berg, fresh off leading his Denver Pioneers team to the 2015 NCAA Division 1 Championship, looks to bring another trophy out west. The Canadian middie was selected with the 15th overall pick by the Denver Outlaws in the MLL draft. The Outlaws faced an attacking barrage from the Chesapeake Bayhawks in Week 9 and are looking to bounce back after the All Star break. See Berg discuss his MLL debut here.
Lyle Thompson has made an immediate impact at the game’s highest level. The two-time Tewaaraton winner and all-time scoring leader in NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse was taken as the 1st overall pick in the 2015 MLL Draft by the Florida Launch. Lyle has reunited with his brother Miles, who was acquired in the deal that sent Kevin Rice to Rochester, and has brought that signature Thompson craftiness to Boca Raton. Lyle had 2 assists and a goal in Week 9, but his efforts were not enough to put an end to the New York Lizard’s undefeated streak. Although the Launch currently have the worst record in the MLL, they can expect big things from the Onondaga attackman.
Which Tewaaraton finalist do you think has had the best MLL debut so far? Who do you think will excel in the second half of the season? Comment below and follow @ConnectLAX for further coverage on these talented rookies.