action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

July 03. 2011 11:27PM

Londonderry's Thompson is girls' lacrosse Player of Year

Londonderry's Jenny Thompson is the New Hampshire Union Leader's girls' lacrosse Player of the Year. (MARK BOLTON / UNION LEADER)

Londonderry High spent the girls' lacrosse season facing enormous pressure to maintain one of the nation's longest win streaks, all while staying focused on a Division I three-peat.

The team relied heavily on juniors. One of them transformed from draw-control specialist into the state's premier full-field force.

Midfielder Jenny Thompson — the prospect several Division I college coaches hope to land — is the headliner on the 12-girl New Hampshire Union Leader All-State team as Player of the Year. Maureen Wentzell, who guided fourth-year Plymouth Regional to its first Division III championship, is Coach of the Year.

New Hampshire's only U.S. Lacrosse high school All-American this spring, Thompson is the second straight Lancer to win the statewide newspaper's top honor. She's also the first underclassman to earn the award in the six years since the inaugural All-State team debuted.

“When you hear someone won Player of the Year, that's a big deal. Marcie (Marino) got it last year. I saw it in the newspaper. Her picture was right in the middle,” Thompson said. “It's just such an honor.”

Wentzell — whose 140 career points as an attacker for Plymouth State University (Class of 1976) at one time topped the list — echoed the sentiment.

In its brief history as a varsity team, Plymouth (15-2 Div. III) hadn't won more than six games in a season, let alone a tournament tilt.

“We managed the last two years to get into the playoffs, but we got bumped in the first round,” said Wentzell, lauding assistant coach Tom Cowie, and seniors Nika Mosenthal, Rachel Schwaner, Maryanna Swanson, Lucy Tomkiewicz and Liz Gailey. “We said, ‘Let's get into the semifinals, let's see our name in the semis. Anything after that is just wonderful.'” Wentzell's club, the No. 1 seed, scored 51 goals in three tourney wins.

High expectations were new to Plymouth. Thompson, however, was familiar with them.

Teams targeted the junior's every move. She was a magnet for double teams. She saw triple teams, too.

“I can honestly say I like playing under pressure. When people target me, when they're watching me, that makes me play better. It's not going to make me back down,” said Thompson, who posted a team-high 70 goals and shared the top honor in points (80).

Terrific in transition, Thompson was most dangerous in 7-on-7 situations. Patience, unselfishness and a potent pivot move led to countless scoring chances for the 16-year-old and her teammates.

“Good stick skills. Good nose for the cage. Good finisher,” Bryon Murphy, coach at Derry's Pinkerton Academy, said of Thompson. “She was the go-to girl for (Lancers coach Bob Slater). When he wanted things done, Jenny got it started.”

The analysis of Thompson's defense: “Her stick positions, the way she gets in front (of opposing players) and drives them away from the cage … makes her outstanding,” said Slater, whose Lancers had their 51-game win streak snapped by Andover, Mass., just before the playoffs.

Winning draws, however, is where Thompson has flourished since her freshman year.

In the circle, Thompson positioned her 5-foot 10-inch frame in one of three stances to gain an edge. It worked. She won draws at an astounding 73-percent clip.

Londonderry won its 16 league games. The team finished 18-1 overall. It takes a 53-game in-state win streak into next season, when Thompson and her teammates attempt to win an unprecedented fourth straight league title.

“Everyone will be expecting a lot out of me, 100 percent. I will give 110 percent,” Thompson said. “I'll be even more fired up going in to next season. I'm already excited for it now. There will be pressure. But I can handle it.”

  • Does New Hampshire high school football need a better system for selecting playoff teams?
  • Yes
  • 59%
  • No
  • 41%
  • Total Votes: 607
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Trial date set for former UNH hockey coach accused of assaulting player

Sudanese runner with NH ties hoping to crowdfund way to 2016 Olympics

Former Wildcat van Riemsdyk undergoes successful surgery

Monadnock Speedway driver captures first Granite State NASCAR title


Star goaltender DeSmith no longer on NH roster after assault charge

UNH squad practices without helmets, shoulder pads to reduce risk of head trauma

24 Hours Of LeMons: This Time We Went Fast, Briefly

NHRA president Tom Compton candid on series and its challenges

World's tallest pro basketball player is from Strafford, NH

NH-based hockey helmet maker Bauer to drop concussion protection claims

NH native's statistics help Padres win

UNH receives NFL funding for brain injury research

Olympic skier Krass helps Hanover High clinch soccer championship

'100: Head/Heart/Feet' film follows NH man in grueling world of ultra-running

Athletic director says no one injured in disturbance after Keene High football game

Fishers Cats extend agreement with Toronto Blue Jays through 2018

24 Hours of LeMons New England: The winners!

Kings use emergency-roster exemption before facing Penguins

NH man beat out 75,000 competitors to win $1M in fantasy football contest

Video: Exact moment NH man wins a million dollars on DraftKings

That 70s Line continues to work magic as L.A. Kings win sixth straight

N.H. Motor Speedway to become home of North East Motor Sports Museum


 New Hampshire Events Calendar


Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory