first_img Published on March 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Before the Syracuse lacrosse team’s win against Hobart last Tuesday night, head coach John Desko felt midfielder Jeremy Thompson’s game was on the upswing.Then came a cold, rainy night against the Statesmen. The junior midfielder struggled. Shots sailed left and right, high and low. He rifled off six shots but never connected. Thompson tied for a team-high three turnovers. Earlier that day, Thompson was named to the Tewaaraton Trophy watch list, college lacrosse’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. During a midweek press conference, Desko was asked about Thompson’s name being added to the list. ‘Well, I don’t know about him elevating his game in this last game,’ he joked.What a difference a week can make. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Monday afternoon at the Carrier Dome, Thompson proved he is every bit worthy of the latest honor. The junior midfielder did a little bit of everything in a 20-6 Syracuse win over Big East counterpart Villanova. Thompson filled up the stat sheet, netting three goals and two assists while winning 7-of-9 faceoff attempts.Thompson couldn’t help but smile when he was asked if today’s game felt a bit better than last game.‘I would say it feels better,’ Thompson said. ‘Coming off the Hobart game, it was a tough game. But today we came out and we did what we had to do and did a pretty good job out there.’But ‘doing what we had to do’ is a bit different for Thompson. He has to do everything. While Thompson is listed as a junior, this is his first year with the Orange. And in just his first season, Thompson is responsible for taking faceoffs, defending and, as of late, playing an integral role in the Orange’s set offense.‘Jeremy Thompson is a great player,’ Villanova longstick midfielder Brian Karalunas said. ‘It is not often you see a throwback middie who takes faceoffs, plays defense and plays offense. That is invaluable for any team in the country.’ And against Villanova, Thompson’s all-around game was on full display. Thompson still had success in the faceoff X but showed that his game consists of much more. On Thompson’s first two goals, he was on the receiving end of perfect passes. All he had to do was catch and shoot right on the doorstep. But with 8:17 remaining in the third quarter, Thompson showed that he can create for himself. And not just from the faceoff X. Thompson sized up Wildcat defender T.J. O’Donnell on the right side of the field. He stutter-stepped to his left and unloaded from 25 yards out. Goal.Right after his score, Thompson trotted to the faceoff X, won the faceoff and 29 seconds later snuck a pass right by Villanova goalie Billy Hurley. SU midfielder Joel White caught the pass and scored to push the Orange’s lead to 13-4. This is a role that Thompson has grown into as the season has progressed.In the beginning of the year, Thompson created much of his offense off faceoffs. Four times this season, Thompson has scored in six seconds or less. In each instance, he won the faceoff and found the cage himself. ‘Starting up at the draws, I did a pretty good job there and created a little bit of offense off the draw,’ Thompson said. ‘I just try to create some, and I have been successful lately.’Though Desko joked following the Hobart game, he noticed Thompson’s steady improvement and felt a bigger role was something the Nedrow, N.Y., native could handle.‘A couple games ago he really started getting better and better,’ Desko said. ‘I think it is just him getting comfortable with the program and with the offense. He is a junior, but he is a freshman to our system here.’ Even on the sideline, the do-it-all midfielder did not stop moving. Restricted to the bench for the fourth quarter because of the big Syracuse lead, Thompson paced back and forth. He sat down for a minute, then popped right back up and started walking around again.After Monday afternoon’s performance, the Hobart game was nothing but a distant memory. Even for Desko.‘Jeremy (Thompson) is just getting better every game,’ Desko said. ‘He is getting better with everything.’ [email protected]last_img

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