Dolan Commits to TMC, Mustangs Build Defense
April 23rd, 2012
SANTA CLARITA, Calif -- Head coach Jim Rickard and his squad continues to make strong off-season strides in wake of signing yet another local Santa Clarita athlete, Ryan Dolan. Hailing from Newhall, the soon-to-be Hart high school graduate is no stranger to TMC and is ecstatic for the opportunity to play for the Mustangs. “After being introduced to the school by friends, family, and alumni, I realized it’s really where I wanted to go,” Dolan stated regarding his future school. “The Master’s was my top choice out of three different schools. I'm blessed and honored to be able to come and compete with them on a national level.”
However, The Mustangs’ new recruit's excitement isn’t only contained to the soccer field. “My choice for The Master’s has a lot to do with the great opportunity it holds to allow me to grow more in my walk with Christ. I never went to a school in a Christian environment so I think it will be an amazing experience to grow with fellow believers,” reports the signee. Focusing mainly on completing his general education, Dolan eagerly anticipates experiencing the many facets of the unique community TMC has to offer in the dorms, on the soccer field, and in the classroom."
Under the leadership of fellow teammates and Coach Rickard, the new recruit looks to learn, grow, and develop his skills as a defender. In the final campaign of his high school career, Dolan led the Hart Indians to a 15-4-2 record. The Indians went 9-1 in the pre-season and finished second with a 6-2-2 record in the Foothill League. Dolan, who was selected as the Indians' captain and was named both the team’s MVP and recipient of the “Scholar Athlete Award,” contributed to the Indians' stellar defense as the squad only allowed four goals in their first five games. In addition, Dolan also was named First Team All-Foothill League, and Second Team All-Santa Clarita Valley.
On the club scene, Dolan excelled for the recently developed Pasadena-based LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club), leading the squad as a captain to a fourth-place, premier-level ranking in California.
While time will develop Dolan’s skills at the defensive mid and center back positions on the collegiate level, Dolan already has a pre-existing chemistry with Rickard, the Mustangs' 20th-year head coach. “Before meeting coach (Rickard) in the recruiting process for TMC, I was actually able work with him in a tournament he helped at and immediately loved his coaching style,” Dolan states.
With a young roster set for 2012, Dolan’s pre-existing relationship and defensive expertise has Rickard optimistic for the future.
“Ryan’s great at defense but I feel that he’s a versatile player that could play wherever I slot him. I’d really like to try him out at midfielder,” Rickard stated about the new recruit. “He’s a unique player that has the potential to come in and make an impact right away. He’s consistent, versatile, and teachable. The more I watch him, the more I appreciate and like his work ethic and style of play.”
From the family’s perspective, parents Donna and Mark couldn’t be happier with their son’s choice. “We’re thrilled for him,” Mark Dolan stated while watching his son ink his commitment to the Mustangs. “Being able to watch Ryan play and continue his soccer career on a collegiate level is important to us, and we’re grateful that he’ll be close to home to do so.” Excited to have his family involved in this new stage of life, Ryan thrives on the prospects of being be able to play close to home, something competing recruiting schools such as the United States Naval Academy and San Francisco State couldn’t offer.
Losing only six seniors and reloading their roster with talent over the off-season, the Mustangs (11-6-3 in 2011, 3-4-2 in the GSAC) are expected to be a contender for the conference title and look to make another appearance in the NAIA National Tournament. And, with being just a few weeks short of receiving his high school diploma, the 18-year old senior is already eager to don the gold and navy blue colors of The Master’s College and engage in what appears to be the most exciting season to date of Mustang soccer.