By Steven Marowski, '19
In 2010, Albion College announced it would sponsor men's and women's lacrosse at the varsity level. After winning just five games in its first two seasons combined, the program began to take off. The Britons finished second in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 2013 and 2014, and they have won MIAA championships in each of the last three seasons. A winning program attracts top tier talent, and with first-year goalie Trevor McManus, the Britons have a leader in the crease.
"Because Trevor has had the opportunity to play a lot, guys look to him for leadership," said Head Coach Jake DeCola. "He doesn't say much, but his actions suggest that we need to play hard every shift."
A native of Canton, Mich., McManus was a four-year all-state goalie at Plymouth High School and was heavily recruited. He said he was being looked at by the University of Detroit-Mercy, Boston University and Binghamton University; however, what separated Albion from all other schools was the ability to be a student-athlete.
"[Detroit-Mercy, Boston University and Binghamton] were probably my top three," said McManus. "[But] I knew I'd have a better opportunity to play here than those schools, and I didn't know if I wanted to be a D-I athlete and live that lifestyle. I knew if I came here to play lacrosse, I'd also get good schooling."
McManus was also a goalie in hockey, where he led his Team Total club to the national tournament twice. The difference between being a goalie in hockey and lacrosse is quite different, and as he recalls, he wasn't used to being scored on as much.
"It's a different transition from hockey to lacrosse," he explained. "I remember my first lacrosse game, I let in eight goals, and me and my parents were like, 'Woah, you must not be very good.' Being a lacrosse goalie is much harder, and it hurts getting hit by the ball a lot more."
The pain McManus has endured thus far seems to be worth it for the Britons. The only first-year player to be voted to the all-MIAA first team, McManus finished the regular season ranked 39th among D-III goalkeepers with a .571 save percentage. He led the MIAA with a 6.48 goals against average in the seven conference games, the lowest GAA Albion has had since 2013 when it achieved the all-time MIAA record.
As a first-year student-athlete, McManus has a lot of time to grow both on and off the field. Although DeCola sees him continuing to develop over the next four years, he believes his influence on the team was felt from the start.
"At this point, Trevor is just focusing on playing the game and competing during every shift," said DeCola. "If you think about it, that is a positive message coming from a kid with influence."
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