Another day, another milestone. Such has been the recent trend on West Deptford High School's athletic fields.
Monday, it was boys’ lacrosse player Ryan Monaghan’s turn to step into the spotlight, as he scored a season-high six goals to crack the 100-goal mark for his career.
Monaghan reached the century mark when he fired home a laser one minute, 17 seconds into the third period for his fifth goal of the contest.
“It’s kind of a shock,” said Monaghan, who led West Deptford to a 14-2 win over Woodstown. “You don’t really think about it until it happens. It’s a good accomplishment.”
Monaghan pumped his first after the goal and was immediately swarmed by his teammates as the Eagles called timeout to celebrate the moment.
“At first it just seems like another goal,” Monaghan said. “It didn’t really hit me until everyone started running over and congratulating me.”
Celebrations have become the norm recently. Last week, fellow lacrosse player Nick Reardon scored his 100th goal and baseball player Tom Jakubowski collected his 100th hit. Like the players who reached the milestone before him, this was well earned by Monaghan.
“Ryan came in as a freshman and was a tremendous athlete,” West Deptford coach Mike Yarusso said. “He was just learning some of the nuances and learning to play faster and making good decisions. As he has gotten older, he’s come to make better decisions, which has given him better opportunities. He is making better decisions when he shoots so he is getting cleaner looks at the cage.”
Monday’s game was never much of a contest, as the Eagles jumped out to a 10-1 halftime lead. Monaghan was a man on a mission, attacking the net early and often. He said he entered the game confident he would reach the 100-goal mark, but Yarusso was pleased that he didn’t try to force things too much.
“One of the things we try to be is as selfless as possible,” Yarusso said. “Whatever the defense gives us is what we should take. At times, kids are kids and they push through places they shouldn’t, but with that being said, when he dodges and his hands get free and he’s open, he has a green light to take the shot.”
Mike Reardon and Nick Baud each scored twice as West Deptford improved to 10-5.
The schedule is about to get a lot tougher for the Eagles, who face Kingsway, Lenape and Haddonfield over the next six days. The game against the Dragons will be for the Gloucester County Cup, while the showdown with the Bulldawgs will determine which school wins the division title.
“Playing four games in seven days is going to be difficult with our lack of numbers,” Yarusso said. “A game like today, I thought we were fairly methodical and we didn’t get into a run-and-gun situation, which was smart. We are coming into a very tough stretch where we have to play our best in order to compete.”
Monaghan believes the tough schedule will have them ready for the playoffs in a couple weeks. He is also confident that the Eagles can match up well against anyone they line up against.
“If we play to our full potential, I think we can beat anyone,” Monaghan said. “When we move the ball right and play fundamentally, we can beat anyone.”