Lauren Morganlander has had a lacrosse stick in her hands on the fields of Montclair since she was in fifth grade.

The June graduate of Montclair High School finished her career as one of the Mounties’ top scorers each season (except 2020, when COVID forced cancellation of spring sports), including registering 17 goals in her freshman year of 2019.

"I learned how to play lacrosse from the local summer camp on Watchung Field, so Montclair lacrosse has always been an essential part of my life," said Morganlander, who was one of the Montclair co-captains this spring along with fellow seniors Sabrina Martin, Liza Jonasz and Leigh Naturale. 

"I'm excited about the next chapter and am lucky to have made incredible friends through this program."

For the Mounties attacker, it finally sunk in that her Montclair playing days were over after an 8-4 loss to Montclair Kimberley in the last game of the 2022 season.

But now she heads north to Williamstown, Massachusetts, to play lacrosse at Williams College, where  she will join fellow 2022 graduate Elizabeth Fitzgerald, who finished second in the states in the pole vault.

Morganlander picked Williams over other New England Small Collegiate Athletic Conference schools and Patriot League schools.

"The main factors for me were the team and academic environment," she said. "When I met the team at Williams, I knew I was talking to an extremely driven group of women. I toured in late August 2020; I knew it was where I wanted to be."

In addition to enjoying her visit to Williams and appreciating its academics, she liked its relatively short distance from Montclair, about three hours away, which will allow her family to come up and take in a game or two.

Lauren Morganlander (center, scoring against Caldwell) will be playing lacrosse at Williams College after four years as one of Montclair’s top scorers. (EDWARD KENSIK/STAFF)
Lauren Morganlander (center, scoring against Caldwell) will be playing lacrosse at Williams College after four years as one of Montclair’s top scorers. (EDWARD KENSIK/STAFF)

"The distance was always a factor for me," said Morganlander, whose brother, Bailey, goes to Skidmore College, only an hour from Williams. "I have a huge family full of cousins ages 2 to 12, and I want them to be able to come to my games and visit me."

In her senior season Morganlander collected 23 goals and 29 assists and helped Montclair reach the Essex County Tournament final, where it fell 8-7 to West Essex.

Contributing points is what Williams College head coach Alice Lee is looking forward to getting from Morganlander.

"I am excited for Lauren to join us this fall," Lee said. "She is a smart attacker and someone who can put the ball away and set up her teammates."

Morganlander’s favorite moment at Montclair High School came in her junior year, when the Mounties defeated Bridgewater-
Raritan, 15-14, in the final seconds when she scored the winning goal.

"The feeling after netting that goal was unreal, and I'll never forget my friends running on the field jumping on top of me after the final whistle," she said. 

Montclair head coach Kimberly Kolodny said that Morganlander was about more than scoring for the Mounties.

"She had the ability to be a triple threat," Kolodny said. "Lauren can not only score, but she is able to assist just as well. She is such a threat from all over the field, including behind the cage and at the top of the eight [the area in front of the goal]. If she doesn't have the dodge, she is able to keep her head up and dish the ball to one of her teammates."