Dolan scoring big for Bonner-Prendie field hockey team

Riley Dolan of Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast. CHARLES FOX / Staff

Bonner-Prendergast field hockey coach Joanne Dolan watched as her daughter, Riley, picked up two second-half assists against Radnor on Friday to help the Pandas to a 3-1 victory.

The assists, while important for the victory, were also special to Riley Dolan for another reason. They marked the 99th and 100th assists of her high school career.

"She defines what it means to be a playmaker and team player," said Joanne Dolan, Riley's coach since fourth grade, when Riley began competing in the CYO for St. Pius X in Broomall.

"She always feels better being a playmaker," Joanne Dolan said. "She likes setting her teammates up. It allows her to focus on her defensive responsibility."

Since her start as a freshman in 2013, Riley Dolan has made scoring her speciality, adding 52 goals so far to her 100 assists.

"It feels amazing" to have 100 career assists, Dolan said. "But honestly I couldn't have done it without my team."

Though she boasts an array of accomplishments on the hockey field - she is a two-year captain at Bonner-Prendie and a three-time all-Catholic League pick - Dolan is also ranked first in her class of 224 and is the vice president of the student body, president of the National Honor Society and a participant in many other school activities and organizations.

"I like keeping busy," Dolan said. "It wasn't easy at first balancing field hockey and school and everything. But now I'm on the top of my class, and it feels great."

Her busy schedule requires time management skills and drive, and Dolan said she learned both from her childhood days performing Irish dance. She competed at the international level in Ireland.

"Her [dance] school was in Haddonfield, so she would go home, grab a snack and do her homework in the car," Joanne Dolan said. "Irish dance is an extremely disciplined, motivating sport."

Irish dance also improved Riley Dolan's athleticism, keeping her in shape and giving her a pair of fancy feet.

"It's definitely helped my footwork," Riley said with a laugh.

"Well, she never gets called for foot fouls," Joanne joked.

Next for Dolan, she said, is the University of Delaware, a degree in nursing and more time on the field hockey team.

"I hope to be a nurse when I get older, and they offered me nursing with [Division I] field hockey, so it was the best of both worlds," Dolan said.

Her mother said the same thing.

"It makes me really proud," Joanne Dolan said. "It makes me see what she's taken from me as her coach over the years, but how she also takes in everything given to her collectively and takes it to the next level."

aross@philly.com

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