Cal Callahan benefits from crossing border: Cal Callahan’s college experience has been much different than many of his former Loyola classmates.

A 2014 graduate and Glenview resident, Callahan chose to matriculate at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where he played lacrosse for the Redmen. He concluded his college playing career in November and plans to graduate in May.

Although Callahan admitted he was nervous about attending college outside of the United States, he’s happy he did. McGill is regarded as one of Canada’s best post-secondary educational institutions.

“I am a soft-spoken person, and I was nervous at first,” he said. “But it was good for me to get outside of my comfort zone. I would totally recommend it to someone who is interested in doing something similar.”

While French is the most popular language in Montreal, McGill is an English-speaking university. Callahan said he’s enjoyed exploring the city and its culture.

“There is a lot to do here,” he said. “There is great food, music, art. I would say there is something for everybody.”

Callahan recommends poutine, a culinary concoction that originated in Quebec and consists of French fries, cheese curds and gravy.

But the dish comes with a warning, Callahan warned.

“If you over-indulge, it will clog your arteries,” he said.

Montreal also is home to the Canadiens, who have won an NHL-best 24 Stanley Cup championships. Callahan played for Loyola Gold and called hockey his favorite sport.

After his freshman lacrosse season ended in the fall, Callahan signed with College Francais de Longueuil, a junior hockey club in Montreal. He skipped his sophomore lacrosse season to play hockey and won two championships with the team.

“I had no intentions of playing competitive hockey at all after high school,” he said. “I’m so glad I did it. It was so much fun.”

It wasn’t without its challenges.

“The head coach barely spoke a lick of English,” Callahan laughed. “I couldn’t understand anything. I had never taken a French class before. But on the ice, you don’t have to talk. At that level, everybody is so skilled and so smart, we could figure things out.”

Satisfying his hockey fix, Callahan played lacrosse his final two seasons at McGill.

“I loved playing lacrosse there,” he said. “I thought about going the Division I or Division III route. What drew me to McGill is that you play in the fall and then you’re off. It’s not like a full-time job throughout the school year. It’s more laid back. But I played with some talented individuals.”

An economics major, Callahan said he wants to return to the Chicago area to start his professional career upon graduation. At Loyola, he won a lacrosse state championship as a junior and took second as a senior. He earned U.S. Lacrosse All-American honors for his senior year.

Callahan has two brothers at Loyola, both of whom play sports at the school. Quinn is a senior lacrosse player, and Egan is a junior who plays hockey on Loyola’s Maroon team.

Maggie Nick in home stretch of lacrosse career: One of the best to ever play for the Ramblers, 2014 graduate and Chicago resident Maggie Nick is off to a good start for her senior season at Stanford, where she is a Science, Technology & Society major.

In the team’s most recent game Feb. 23, the midfielder scored three goals in a 21-11 win over Harvard. The Cardinal (1-2) are off until a March 2 road trip to Duke. Nick has started all three games and has five goals, one assist and eight draw controls.

As a junior, she appeared in all 18 games, starting five. Nick totaled 24 goals and two assists. She was second on the team in shooting percentage (54.5) and third in ground balls (22). For the second year in a row, she earned All-Academic honors from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

At Loyola, Nick won three state titles and was named the Midwest Player of the Year by U.S. Lacrosse as a senior.