Kansas City, Kan. – As a part of the continuing post-season awards released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Gustavus Adolphus senior defender Lucas Thompson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) has been named to the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division III Men’s All-America Team. A three-time All-Conference performer and a two-time All-Region honoree, Thompson earns a spot on the third team and is the first Gustavus men’s soccer player since 2007 to garner All-America honors.
“A thoroughly deserved award. Lucas has been absolutely integral to the team’s success during his collegiate career,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton about his senior defender.
“At six-feet two-inches, Lucas is a monster. He is very quick and tough as nails,” continued Middleton. “He reads the game well and his anticipation has developed throughout his career. You would not want to play against him because he’d have you for breakfast! He is top class and a wonderful player.”
Thompson successfully captained the 2012 Gustavus men’s soccer team to an overall record of 15-2-3 and its first MIAC Championship since 2007. The Gusties went 8-1-1 in league play to share the conference title with Carleton, who also went 8-1-1. After defeating St. Thomas 1-0 in the MIAC quarterfinals, Gustavus advanced to the MIAC Playoff Championship to face Carleton. The Gusties received the MIAC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament after playing the Knights to a 0-0 tie and advancing on penalty kicks 7-6 in seven rounds. The Black and Gold saw its late-season run come to an end against UW-Platteville in the opening round of the NCAA Playoffs. The Pioneers advanced to the second round after playing the Gusties to a 0-0 tie and winning 3-2 in the penalty shootout.
Although he logged more minutes on the pitch than any of his teammates (over 1,500) this year, Lucas Thompson’s stat line, which includes one point on an assist, is not one that will turn heads. His consistency and steady presence on the defensive end are what made Thompson an All-American by his senior year.
“In the last two seasons, Lucas has led the defense on a team that has only lost four of the 37 games played,” said Middleton. “This last season he won the MIAC regular season title, added the MIAC playoff crown, and appeared in the NCAA tournament for good measure. In fact, it has been 888 minutes since the team has conceded a goal when Lucas has been on the field – incredible stuff!”
Following this season’s Division III NCAA Championship match, Gustavus ranked ninth in the nation in team goals against average (.54) and fifth shutout percentage (0.65). With its stifling defense and wall-like goalkeeping, the Gusties allowed just 11 goals in their 21 total matches. Over Gustavus’ last month of the season, the club allowed just two goals in regulation, both of which came in a 9-2 win over Crown College. Within conference play, the Gusties carried a league-best 0.48 goals against average after giving up just five goals in their 10 matches.
In Thompson’s four-year career on the hill, Gustavus has gone a combined 48-15-12 (.720) overall and 25-8-8 (.707) in the MIAC. Lucas earns the program’s Iron Man award after playing and starting in all 75 games of his collegiate career. He has tallied a total of seven points on two goals and two assists. Over the Sioux Falls, S.D. product’s time with the program, Gustavus’ defense has allowed a total of 52 goals for an impressive goals against average of 0.69.
Middleton contends that Thompson is one of the top players in the nation and is arguably among the best at his position. “He was voted as a potential First-Team All-American by D3soccer.com in the middle of last season, and now he has gone on to fulfill that promise by being named an All-American by the NSCAA this year. We are all very proud of him.”
A management major who will graduate this spring, Thompson is the seventh Gustavus player to receive All-America honors from the NSCAA in the history of the program. He joins the likes of Todd Anderson, Mike Butterworth, Scott Crowell, Joe Hartwell, Bobby Kroog, and Adam MacLeod Roth. The last Gustie All-American was Mike Butterworth in 2007.
“Lucas is polite, extremely modest, and well-liked by everyone,” concluded Middleton. “He’s a top player and a top man – that’s a combination that is truly tough to beat.”
Lucas Thompson is one of three MIAC players to earn a spot on the NSCAA All-America Team. Carleton freshman Branden McGarrity earned took home a place on the second team, while his senior teammate Neil Bartholomay joined Thompson on the third team.
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America serves as the recognized leader in naming All-America soccer players. Student-athletes named NSCAA All-America will be recognized Saturday, Jan. 19 at the annual All-America Luncheon, held in conjunction with the 2013 NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
All-Region teams for all divisions under all governing bodies will be released throughout December.