Mainland Boys Lacrosse Senior Ryan Swenson Hits Milestone in Win Over Vineland
LINWOOD — Entering Friday's game against visiting Vineland, Mainland Regional senior attacker Ryan Swenson needed just four goals to reach 100 for his career. He told his mom that if she got there by halftime she would probably be in time to see him score the milestone goal.
Swenson didn't even need the entire first quarter to get it done.
He ripped off four first-quarter goals as the Mustangs built a sizeable 12-0 lead on their way to a dominating 21-2 victory over the Fighting Clan. Mom didn't even have time to unfurl the seven-foot banner the family had made up to commemorate the occasion.
"I've been working for it since my freshman year, so it felt good to finally (score 100)," Swenson said. "Coming into the season, I knew I had to get 14 goals to get to 100 and I wanted to do it at home. It's pretty cool. I'm 32 away from the school record and hoping to break that. We'll see what happens."
"That's big time. Anybody who scores 100 goals, that's elite," said teammate Teddy Bergman. "Their name is going to be on the banner inside the gym. They're always going to be remembered, and it's really cool to be a part of."
Mainland (3-0) wasted no time as it jumped out to a 6-0 lead within the first four minutes, and by halftime the Mustangs had stretched their lead to 15-1 over Vineland (0-2), one of the newer programs in the Cape-Atlantic League. Keegan Ford added some offensive firepower for the Mustangs, scoring four goals and adding a pair of assists, while Andrew Bradley chipped in with three goals and two assists. Matt McCulley finished with two goals and a pair of assists. Nick Bentancourt scored both Vineland goals.
Mainland is now tied with Ocean City atop the CAL standings and has some much more challenging games coming up. On April 13, the Mustangs host Egg Harbor Township. Two days later, they travel to Ocean City, and on April 18 they'll host Middle Township, another team that could challenge for the league title.
But the Mustangs say they are ready for the competition, and their first three games prove they have the offense to contend. They opened the season with an 11-3 win over Oakcrest, which tied for last year's CAL championship, and throttled Atlantic City 17-5. Through three games, Mainland is averaging more than 16 goals per game.
"We're there now, and we know we're there now. We feel like we can play with anybody right now," Bergman said. "We're firing on all cylinders and it's going to be hard to beat us. Everything right now is in preparation for the Ocean Citys, the EHTs, the Gamis. We have one goal, and that's the CAL championship, and we're striving for that every game.
"This could be our year," Swenson added. "Nobody is selfish. Everybody is moving the ball and wants everyone else to succeed. We're playing as a team, as one."
Contact Dave O'Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @GDsullysays