Mainland Regional High School senior Riley Dolan last week made official her decision to study accounting and continue her lacrosse career at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.
The 17-year-old midfielder from Northfield said she also considered Stetson University, Liberty University and Mercer University, but Longwood made a lasting impression when she visited.
"I got to stay in the dorms with some of the girls on the team. We sat in on some practices and classes, and it's exactly what I wanted so I'm really excited," she said.
Dolan signed a letter of intent Thursday to play for the Lancers on a partial athletic scholarship. She had verbally committed to Longwood in August.
"I definitely wanted to be South, where it's warmer," she said. "I wanted a small school with smaller class sizes. Longwood has that, and the lacrosse program is growing. It has everything I was looking for, and I love the team, so it's a perfect fit."
Dolan was a first-team Press All-Star as a junior in the spring. The midfielder contributed 85 goals and 32 assists. She'll enter her senior season with 142 career goals.
Longwood is an NCAA Division I program that competes in the Big South Conference. Elaine Jones, in her second season as Longwood's coach, guided the Lancers to a 10-8 (5-2) record in 2013.
But Dolan has a few goals left for herself and for her Cape-Atlantic League team before she moves on to play midfield-attack for Longwood.
"I'm aiming to be first-team (for the Press All-Stars) again" she said. "I really want my team to bring home the CAL championship because we were so close last year."
Mainland coach Bernadette Daley also has high expectations for Dolan.
"Riley is at about 150 goals right now (for her career), and she should break 200 this year'" Daley said."She's very versatile and can play any position on the field, even goalie. She's a wonderful team player and has a terrific rapport with the team, which is what is so wonderful about Riley."
Dolan is the Mustangs' second all-time goal scorer. Last season she became only the second junior to be elected team captain by her teammates. Kelly Klever, a recent Mainland graduate who is now the assistant lacrosse coach, was the first, and she also is the school's all-time leading scorer.
"The team respects Riley and looks up to her," Daley said.
Dolan said it "was really great to have that honor" of having been elected captain as a junior. "A lot of my accomplishments are because of them (her teammates), and I'm so happy that I get to finish my last year with such a great group of girls."
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