Is This the Future of Lacrosse?
While the college-level game is still overwhelmingly white, a year with a scrappy and diverse high school team reveals a sport on the edge of transformation.
Photos by Garan Santicola
Lyle Thompson dances around the goal just three minutes into the University at Albany’s 2015 Spring Stomp matchup with Yale. He cradles the ball in his stick with one hand and then the other, sprinting left to draw his defender before cutting right and circling around to the front of the goal, his long black braid whipping through the air behind him.
Yale’s defender backpedals into the crease (the eighteen-foot circle around the goal), whacks Thompson in the chest with his d-pole (the long stick used on defense), then cuts one way and the other, sidestepping the goal to follow Thompson on the attack. When the defender catches up with him, Thompson cuts back. Another defender slides over to help, swinging his d-pole down in a hacking motion. Thompson raises his stick over his head and delivers a high to low shot, bouncing the ball past the goalie and into the net for the opening score of the game. The home crowd erupts with applause, a sea of UAlbany fans dresse…