To make a name for yourself in Matt McIver’s family, you have to do something pretty special.
Being No. 2 on SportsCenter’s Plays of the Day qualifies as pretty special.
The Villanova University sophomore lacrosse player from Andover beat out all those remarkable NBA and NHL playoff plays with a jaw-dropping, no-look, over-the-shoulder goal against Johns Hopkins last Wednesday.
“I was pretty shocked,” McIver said of being ranked so high on SportsCenter’s April 23 Plays of the Day. “I didn’t expect it to be that big of a thing. Then our trainer said millions of people saw that goal. I never thought of it like that.”
McIver can be overlooked among all his talented cousins, including minor league baseball player Mike Yastrzemski, the grandson of the baseball immortal Carl Yastrzemski; as well as B scholarship lacrosse player Kayla O’Connor and ex-Merrimack lacrosse players Joe and Michael Lamagna.
“I definitely didn’t expect myself to be the first one on SportsCenter’s top 10!” said McIver, an Eagle-Tribune All-Star for Andover High.
McIver took the long road to college success. At just 5-foot-4, not many big schools came after him. He didn’t decide until June of his senior year to even attend Villanova in Pennsylvania, where several family members, including his mother Mary Ellen (Wesson) McIver, have gone to school.
“I decided why not give it a shot,” said McIver, a powerful, 160-pound midfielder who can bench press 235 pounds. “I e-mailed the coach. The team was pretty full. I just got lucky. One kid transferred so a spot opened up. I tried out and made the team.”
He scored one goal last year. He has missed much of this year due to knee surgery.
Last Wednesday’s goal was only his second of the season. But it will be long remembered.
“I do it here and there in practice,” McIver said of the no-look beauty. “The pressure is off in practice. It was more of a surprise in the game. My teammates were excited. They said, ‘Wow, I can’t believe you did it in a game.’ It just kind of happened.”
Google “McIver and SportsCenter” to see the goal.