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Standout seniors: Stangle, Dolan two of best athletes Mainland Regional has ever produced

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By DAVE O’SULLIVAN Publisher On the first day of practice, high school sports coaches run through their list of expectations and paint a picture of the ideal athlete they want in their program. They describe how they want athletes who are dedicated, both on and off the field, never shy away from the big moment and are willing to be leaders and set the example for the underclassmen. When their 2014-2015 seasons begin this coming school year, the jobs of Mainland Regional field hockey coach Jill Hatz and girls lacrosse coach Bernadette Daley will be much more difficult, as they will be searching for some very special athletes to replace two of the best they have ever coached. Kailey Stangle and Riley Dolan, both 2014 graduates, put together two of the best careers in recent memory at Mainland, and each set the bar very high for the next generation of Mustangs. Stangle helped build the field hockey program into one of the teams to beat in the Cape-Atlantic League, and teamed up with Dolan to form one of the best scoring duos in CAL lacrosse. “Kailey was an awesome player to have. She was every coach’s dream, hard-working, she had a great attitude. Not only that, she was always positive and encouraging toward her teammates and led by example for the past four years,” Hatz said. “It’s going to be tough. Losing her is going to be hard because she was our leading scorer, she led in assists, she made things happen inside the circle because of her skills, her aggressiveness and her leadership. “She played at practice and in games the exact same way, which is what made her so good.” No only did Kailey Stangle lead the Mainland field hockey team in scoring goals, she also led the team in assists, showing her versatility as an offensive star. She also was one of the leading scorers for the girls lacrosse team. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) No only did Kailey Stangle lead the Mainland field hockey team in scoring goals, she also led the team in assists, showing her versatility as an offensive star. She also was one of the leading scorers for the girls lacrosse team. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) Stangle not only led the field hockey team in scoring goals, but also dishing out assists, a rare combination of dominating scorer and unselfish passer. With Stangle leading the charge, the Mustangs reached the South Jersey Group 3 championship game before falling to rival Ocean City, which went on to win the overall Group 3 title. She also finished her lacrosse career with more than 100 goals and helped the Mustangs record their best season in school history, when Mainland went 16-3 and advanced past the first round of the playoffs in 2013, Stangle’s junior year. “Our running joke was that I had to attend about 27 banquets with her. She was not only a talented athlete, but she was also a scholar-athlete. She’s a genuine personal all around. An absolute sweetheart,” Hatz said. “She had all kinds of awards, won seven varsity letters. She was probably my most decorated athlete so far. (Last year’s team) set a bunch of records and Kailey was the backbone of our front line. I couldn’t put her anywhere but right in the middle of the action. I had her back a line to start, but I had to put her back up top because she was just too powerful not to have as a front-line attacking player.” Dolan’s career on the lacrosse field was equally impressive. She finished with more than 200 career goals and was one of the most feared offensive players in the league. “We had a lot of injuries early on and some new girls who had to step into new roles, but I can’t complain. The girls were great and Daley is always a really good coach,” Dolan said. “I never really expected any of it. I had some great teammates. It wasn’t like I could have (scored 200 goals) all by myself. It’s a really nice record to share with everyone. It was just crazy to even get to (that number).” Dolan, who plans to study accounting and play lacrosse at Longwood (Va.) University, said the highlight of her career was her junior season, when the Mustangs went 16-3 and made it past the first round of the state playoffs. “I enjoyed all four years at Mainland. I had some great teammates throughout those four years,” Dolan said. “Especially last year’s team, we had so many offensive threats between Anna (Gordon), Kailey, Taylor Klever, there were just so many girls that the teams we were playing couldn’t just focus on one or two people because we had six or seven girls who were capable of scoring. Riley Dolan, who will continue her lacrosse career at Longwood (Va.) University, finished as one of the top scorers in Cape-Atlantic League history with more than 200 goals for the Mustangs. Riley Dolan, who will continue her lacrosse career at Longwood (Va.) University, finished as one of the top scorers in Cape-Atlantic League history with more than 200 goals for the Mustangs. “I think my junior year was one of the best years of Mainland lacrosse that we ever had and I was so happy to be a part of making all those parts of history with them. Winning our first playoff game. I think all four years were great, but that’s definitely the year that stuck out to me. That was a great team and I had a great experience that year.” Dolan and Stangle had equally high praise for one another, which isn’t surprising since it would be tough to choose who had a better career if that choice had to be made. “Kailey is a great athlete. Field hockey had a great year and she just stepped up. When it came to the captain roles I’m kind of quiet, too, so I leaned on her to be more vocal than me. But I think we both had a really good connection on the field,” Dolan said. “We also had Lauren Ziereis as our third captain and she was a captain on the soccer team.” “I am so proud of her,” Stangle said of her teammate. “She did awesome. From the beginning she had the confidence and the skill, and for her to get her 200th goal, that was awesome. We were all really proud of her.” Dolan and Stangle also credited their coaches with not only molding them into successful athletes, but also helping them develop as students and young women who are ready to take the next step in their lives. Stangle plans to attend The College of New Jersey to study elementary education, and said she would like to teach and coach someday, just like her role models Hatz and Daley. “Hatz taught me how to never give up. She always told me to give 110 percent. She really helped me establish my work ethic in everything, in school, on the field. She made me into the type of person I am today. And Daley was the type of person that even when I had bad days she helped me get back on track with the things I needed to do,” Stangle said. “I’m grateful for both of them, they really helped me. I’m sad that I won’t be around them anymore, but I’m really grateful for all that they did for me.” Ironically, Stangle said the game she will remember most from her high school career was a loss. Ocean City hung on for a 1-goal victory over the Mustangs in the South Jersey Group 3 championship game last fall. But Stangle said the way her team played showed what the Mustangs were all about. “It was awesome playing against the girls from Ocean City and EHT because they were all really talented. I think we kind of drove each other,” Stangle said. “Those games when we were down and came back to win, I think you saw the fight in everybody. It was great playing with girls who could come back if they were down. We were a very prideful team where we never really hung our heads, we just kept fighting until the end and those types of games were the best.” Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays [adsense]

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