Thone, Tommies win National titleWoodbury alumnus, former Royals goalie, helps backstop St. Thomas to perfect season, second-straight championship.
Woodbury resident Tom Thone had a major hand — or, should we say glove... and stick.... — in helping his University of St. Thomas lacrosse team win its second-straight Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) Division II National championship on Saturday, May 15 in Denver, Colo.
“I’m on cloud nine,” Thone said.
Concluding a week-long national tournament run, the Tommies — the defending MCLA Division II champions and 2010 No. 1 seed — put down an upset bid from third-seeded Utah Valley in a 12-9 victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Stadium.
St. Thomas, which as the No. 2 seed last season defeated Dayton to win its first title last year, with Thone — a highly-regarded back-up — watching from the sideline.
This season, the Tommies junior was back as the starter in the UST net and led all of MCLA Division II with a .739 save percentage and a 3.22 goals-against-average en route to earning All-American second-team honors.
“I get more credit than I deserve,” Thone said. “I’ve got the best defense in the league in front of me.”
Yet, after rolling through three rounds of National play with wins against Sam Houston State (22-3), Grove City (16-6) and Davenport (17-9), the Wolverines gave the Tommies all — and nearly more — than the St. Paul-based team could handle.
“It was a sloppy first half for us — myself included,” Thone said. “They snuck a lot of low ones by me.”
Yet, in the end, Thone would turn aside enough Utah Valley shots to secure the victory for St. Thomas.
“We played a lot better in the second half and came away with the perfect season,” he said. “It’s a great feeling.”
Thone’s coach, Pete Moosbrugger, had high praise for his goalie.
“He has been a stone wall for us back there,” Moosbrugger told Lacrosse Magazine after the win. “We have some great long poles and defensive middies, but it all stops with Tommy Thone.”
In turn, the goaltender expressed his admiration for Moosbrugger.
“He’s fantastic,” Thone said. “The coach — the coaching staff — has put so much time into this team and really do not get the deserved recognition.”
With a 26-0 season now in the books and back-to-back National titles secured, Thone said there’s only one way to go out next year in his senior season — by winning one more championship.
“It’s more pressure and we’ll have a massive target painted on us,” Thone said. “But I love it.”
However, the task will be difficult as the Tommies graduate 10 members of this year’s club.
“It’s going to be up to those few of us who are seniors next year to step up and be the backbone,” Thone said. “I think we’re up to it.”