BY MICHAEL KELLY
After starring in lacrosse at Niskayuna High School, Tanner MacIvor had plenty of colleges interested in having him play for them. Coming off a senior season in which he scored 29 goals and registered 44 assists, the midfielder had options.
“I did the whole recruiting thing, went to all the Division I overnights, but I decided on going Division III,” said MacIvor, who ended up at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
At the time of his decision, MacIvor — a 2012 Niskayuna graduate — thought he was making the right move. He knew he wanted to continue playing lacrosse, but also wanted to make sure he had time during his college years to experience more than the sport. Three years later, he said he knows he made the correct choice for himself.
“I have a bunch of friends that went Division I … and there’s something to be said for being on ESPN every Saturday. I’d love to do that, but it’s two different ways of life,” said MacIvor. “I don’t know if I necessarily knew that going into college, but I’m glad I picked Division III.”
Williams head coach George McCormack — who previously coached men’s lacrosse at Union College — said the chance to experience more than lacrosse is one of the perks of playing at the school.
“One of the things we offer that’s unique is that sense of balance,” said McCormack. “Lacrosse is definitely a passion — it’s definitely my passion and very important to me — but it’s only part of the experience here.”
McCormack said most lacrosse players at Williams get the chance during their enrollment to use a fall semester to travel abroad. MacIvor, an economics major, took that opportunity in 2014 and studied global economics in Copenhagen for the first semester of his junior year.
MacIvor said he used his Denmark base as a launching pad for visits to England, Ireland, Spain and more.
“I think I missed a couple spots, though, so I’ll have to go back,” MacIvor said.
The trip preceded what is turning into a memorable collegiate season. In Williams’ 7-4 start to the season through April 12, MacIvor started every game and collected 16 goals and 12 assists. His 28 points are second-most on the squad and four more than he had all of last season, when he had 16 goals and eight assists in 17 games as a sophomore.
“He’s been very unselfish with the ball,” said McCormack. “We ask a lot of our midfielders in regards to creating our offense.”
But McCormack always expected a lot from MacIvor, who played more of a defensive role as a freshman. A few years back, McCormack said what attracted him most to MacIvor during the player’s recruitment was his ability to play offense, handle defense and contribute on faceoffs.
“We felt like he could be a three-headed monster for us,” McCormack said.
Tanner MacIvor, a Niskayuna product, is in the midst of a strong season playing lacrosse at Williams College. Here is a glance at MacIvor’s statistical output through his team’s first 11 games, with his team rank in parentheses:
- Games started: 11 (1st)
- Goals scored: 16 (3rd)
- Assists: 12 (1st)
- Points: 28 (2nd)
- Ground balls: 10 (4th)