Men's Soccer: Thomson: 'Keep getting better'

By Sam Donnelly
On April 22, 2014

ourney to the men's soccer team at UNH was not an easy one. It took many schools, several moves and family hurdles, but he wouldn't have it any other way.  

"Both my parents are English, so it was always, soccer, soccer, soccer," Thomson said. "I loved the sport from the beginning."

Thomson grew up in Greenfield, NH, until seventh grade, when he moved into The Fessenden School, a private boarding school in West Newton, Mass. Only a year later Thomson transferred again, this time to Buckingham Brown and Nichols (BBN) in Cambridge, Conn, where he lived with a host family just so he could attend. The only constant other than his mother and father was his club team of greater Boston, FC Bolts Celtic.

Thomson has been with Celtic since seventh grade and was voted team captain three out of the last four years he was with the team. 

"That is when I knew it was serious," Thomson said. "When you see results from something, you get sucked in. That was soccer for me."

Towards the end of his high school career, Thomson had some decisions to make, the biggest being where he was going to play collegiate soccer. His junior year of high school, Thomson committed to play at the University of Michigan for his former Celtic coach Chaka Daley. During his senior year Thomson also played with the New England Revolution development team. 

After completing all the grade requirements, including a substantial increase in his SAT score, Thomson was confronted with both economic and family issues. 

"It was a sort of culmination of the family financial thing and some family drama." Thomson said, "I decommited and was forced to look elsewhere."

Although the decision to decommit was tough of Thomson, he ultimately feels as if he made the right decision to choose UNH. 

"I couldn't be happier," Thomson said. "The freshman class has become really close. I'm happy." 

After not playing the first nine games of the season last fall, Thomson faced yet another hurdle, only this one was something he could control. Thomson began doing everything he could each day off the field, including double sessions each day, by himself. 

"I didn't see the field and was beyond frustrated," Thomson said. "Ultimately I think mentally I was more prepared from not playing, like a sort of mental toughness." 

As the next season approaches, the end of last season is still fresh in the mind of Thomson and the other returning players. The Wildcats ended last season after losing to Hartford in penalty kicks to decide a 1-1 game. UNH had beaten Hartford only a month before, 2-0, which made the loss sting that much more. This year's team will take that pain and use it. 

"To go out in PK's is the worst thing," Thomson said, "The goal is the America East championship, we have the talent. We aren't going to be satisfied until then." 

Now Thomson has a chance to lead an impressively skilled group of midfielders into next season. Even though he is expected to play significant minutes this season, his effort is unchanging. Thomson still comes in at 7 a.m. to do his own workout, and then comes back to Cowell Stadium for practice at 5 p.m. When asked what his plans are for this summer his answer is simple:

"Keep getting better." 

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