Two players on the Montclair State University men’s lacrosse team have a special bond unlike any other teammates. Sophomores Connor and Ryan McCoy are brothers known on the lacrosse team as twins, but they have a triplet that goes to Montclair State as well.
Connor McCoy is a midfielder majoring in finance and management information and technology. Ryan McCoy is a defenseman majoring in history, and their triplet Kylie McCoy is a student majoring in public health. The brothers have been playing sports together all their lives.
The two started lacrosse in the fourth grade. Playing together was all they knew. They were always on the same team no matter what the sport. Being brothers, Connor and Ryan McCoy have always been very competitive with each other. This causes them to have practice fights on the field and constantly compete with each other.
“We were really competitive with each other, it was always me verse him in everything,” Ryan McCoy said. “We would always start pushing each other in practice or arguing about who did something.”
This competitiveness and playing together for so long has its benefits for the brothers. The two are able to support each other during practices and games and always make sure they are competing at their best.
“We keep each other accountable for most things,” Connor McCoy said. “We don’t let each other slack off, we’re always on top of each other.”
The Montclair State men’s lacrosse team sees the competitive sibling rivalry of the McCoy brothers on and off the field. Sophomore attacker Cal Mackenzie experiences this firsthand, as he lives with them.
“Great teammates,” Mackenzie said. “Fight like all siblings do, but it creates great competition on the field.”
Part of their inspiration to play lacrosse came from a neighbor when they were kids. It was completely foreign to them until one day their neighbor introduced them to the sport they would enjoy enough to continue into college.
“We always played baseball and then one day our neighbor came over with a lacrosse stick,” Ryan McCoy said. “We didn’t know what it was, and then we started playing with it and then we started playing lacrosse.”
Although Connor and Ryan McCoy have been playing sports together for as long as they could remember, this was not the case for their first year of college. Ryan McCoy played lacrosse for Montclair State while Connor McCoy played for Mount St. Mary’s University, a small Division I school in Western Maryland. Being six hours away from his siblings and family, especially being a triplet, as well as not having any familiar faces around, was hard for a first-semester college freshman.
“I just wasn’t happy there, I was miserable. I wanted to be closer to home and I wanted to play with people that I know,” Connor McCoy said. “On my team there were five people from the state of New Jersey, so I couldn’t really click with anyone. When I came here, I instantly clicked with everyone on the team and I’m close to home.”
Now that Connor McCoy is close to his family in Lafayette, New Jersey, and playing lacrosse with Ryan McCoy, he is able to enjoy the sport he loves so much more. He has two goals on the season against Bryn Athyn and Rosemont College, where he also picked up an assist.
“I like it a lot. I’m enjoying lacrosse again,” Connor McCoy said. “My coach at my old school made me regret playing in college, but now that I’m here and playing with coach Poskay and all the guys, I absolutely love it. If it wasn’t for Ryan, I wouldn’t be here. I would be miserable.”
Connor McCoy’s decision to come play for the Red Hawks and have the McCoy brothers playing lacrosse together again made Ryan McCoy very happy. The two have a great time on the field together, and it only makes their sibling bond even stronger.
“For the first year not playing together it was weird, but things are back to normal now,” Ryan McCoy said. “I think that part of the reason that he came here was because he knew how much I liked it here and he knew how much fun I was having here.”
All three of the siblings went to different colleges their first semester of freshman year. While Ryan McCoy was at Montclair State and Connor McCoy was at Mount St. Mary’s, Kylie McCoy was at Sacred Heart University. Connor McCoy stayed in Maryland for a full year while Kylie McCoy transferred after her first semester at Sacred Heart. Now that all three of the triplets are Red Hawks, they are much happier. The three love spending time with each other and being close to home.
“We all hangout a lot. Last year when Kylie came here we were both in the dorms so she hung out with all of my friends,” Ryan McCoy said. “All of my friends are her friends, she’s like part of our friend group. We hang out all the time and it’s a lot of fun.”
Kylie McCoy talked about how she loves being at Montclair State with her brothers and being able to watch them play lacrosse.
“Going to my brothers’ lacrosse games is so fun,” Kylie McCoy said. “I get to support them and watch them do what they love.”
Ryan McCoy loves playing for Montclair State and being able to share that with his brother makes it even better. In his freshman year, he played in 12 games, as Mike Shambach was a great coach and mentor to the whole team.
“Freshman year was awesome. We had coach Shambach and he really helped me transition from high school to college lacrosse really well,” Ryan McCoy said. “We had a good team with good seniors. It was a good year.”
Shambach sadly passed away over the summer, but new coach Matt Poskay took over the team and has had great success. Poskay and the Red Hawks men’s lacrosse team look to finish the season strong with a few more Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) games. The team’s record is 6-6, being 2-1 in conference play, proving that they fit well into CSAC, their new conference.
“Coach Poskay is awesome. He’s probably the best coach we’ve ever had,” Ryan McCoy said. “He’s got the program going in the right direction, he’s like a whole other level between high school and college. He’s top of the line and the best coach.”
Look for the McCoy twins playing together on Sprague Field, as they continue to have a great first season together. They are looking forward to the future seasons they have as brothers on the lacrosse field.