Jay McAree

Equinox Staff

Michelle Berthiaume / Sports Editor Tyler McKelvie looks to put the ball in the net during KSC’s 7-6 win over LEC rival Eastern Connecticut State University on Saturday, April 6 at the Owl Athletic Complex.

When freshman Tyler McKelvie joined the Keene State College Men’s Lacrosse Team this year, he was much like every other young athlete: young and inexperienced to the speed of the college game. Fast forward to this point in the season and it’s fair to make the assessment that the game might need to catch up with him.

An All-American out of Acton Boxborough Regional High School, McKelvie has handled everything thrown at him in stride thus far, working his way into the starting line up and putting together a 19-goal, 12-assist season through 11 games.

“It’s kind of cool, I mean as a freshman I didn’t really think I was going to start or anything like that. I just thought I would come in and learn the system, but to get put in and actually make an impact, it’s been real fun for me,” McKelvie said.

Head Coach Mark Theriault added, “Sometimes you have kids that when they switch over to the speed of college lacrosse, they don’t meet the challenge. [McKelvie] didn’t miss a beat, and you know, I think once he felt really comfortable in our offensive sets and what we’re doing lacrosse-wise, he’s really starting to flourish.”

McKelvie is one of six Owls to accumulate double digit goals this season and is tied for second in assists. The potency of this team’s offense is constantly on display and they have developed a kind of “pick your poison” mentality when it comes to putting the ball through the net.

“Most of the time, teams don’t really know who I am or what I do so they definitely key in on {Taylor} Jette and J.T. [Galloway] a lot more,” McKelvie said. “They do their job and that allows me to get open and to do my job.” Senior JT Galloway had high praise for his fellow attackman.

“[McKelvie’s] definitely taking it in stride and just killing it. I think he’s handling it better than I’ve ever seen a freshman handle it before,” Galloway said.  “It’s a pretty high pressure situation for a freshman to adapt from high school to college and he kind of went above and beyond from just being a face in the crowd to actually standing out.”

Galloway and Jette are two seniors who are able to help guide him through this whole process. McKelvie said, “They give me a lot of advice, pretty much anything I need I’ll ask them and they will help me on the field. It’s definitely been a huge help having them by my side.”

But it’s something intuitive that has led him to this quick success: A knack for making plays in all aspects of the game.

Coach Theriault said, “I like his tenaciousness and his ability to score goals. You know some people are distributors or feeders and Tyler can do that, but he’s also not afraid to come around the cage, take the hit, and put the ball in the net. That’s something you just can’t teach.”

On March 30, in a game against Southern Maine Universitys, McKelvie knocked in five goals to lead the team to 14-12 victory. Last Friday against Salem State University, he had another five goal game that allowed KSC to narrowly escape with a 16-13 win.

“I kind of just realized that my defender was very bad off the ball, so I watched him the first quarter and from then on, once I caught the ball and knew I could score it was just one of those things that clicked for me,” McKelvie said.  “Playing against a lefty goalie my whole career in high school, and he was a lefty goalie, I don’t even need to look at the net, I just know where the opportunities are going to be.”

Galloway described him as “crafty” and “creative” when it comes to McKelvie’s style of play out on the field.

“He creates goals, he creates opportunities when you think there should be none, and makes goals when you don’t think he can even see the net sometimes,” Galloway said.

The team has played themselves to a 9-2 record with just four games remaining in the regular season and McKelvie has been a integral part to the whole thing. His mindset is simple, “Coach told me to just play how I know how to play. I can’t worry about other things I just have to do my job and it’s been good.”

The men’s lacrosse team will get ready to host U-Mass Boston on April 17 as they strive to gain a streak of four wins.


Jay McAree can be contacted at 


Share and Enjoy !