By Nick Powers | 4/25/13 11:00 AM
For Ryan Boyle, finding success on the lacrosse field has come natural, and often, for his entire life. There’s no surprise then that he teeters on the verge of breaking yet another record in his storied lacrosse career.
At the start of this season (perhaps even week one), Boyle will more than likely break the MLL record for total career points, currently held by Casey Powell. Boyle sits just four points behind his longtime friend and former teammate in the National Lacrosse League, and the attackman openly acknowledges the significance of this achievement.
“The points record is something that’s pretty special, I mean let’s be honest with ourselves. To have the all-time career points record is something that I’m just humbled and honored to be in the position to do that” Boyle said.
Boyle’s accomplishments came early on in his career, as he became acquainted with the game at the Cockeysville Rec Program in his home state of Maryland before moving on to the prestigious Gilman School in Baltimore from 1996-2000. There, Boyle was a standout lacrosse player, distinguished as an All-American in his junior year alongside multiple All-Metro and All-City honors throughout his career. It was not just the lacrosse field, however, as Boyle also starred for the Gilman football team as a starting quarterback, where he began his slew of record-breaking performances by setting the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) record in football for single-season pass completion percentage (785) in 1998; a record that still stands to this day.
Despite the significance of his achievement, Boyle noted that he had not even been aware of approaching the feat during high school, but was impressed with the fact that the record has endured. He was, however, optimistic about future prospects taking the torch and setting their own records.
“Records are meant to be broken, so I would be thrilled if there was somebody that came and broke that; that means there’s progress and somebody really worth watching, I would hope.”
Upon his high school graduation, Boyle attended Princeton University where his stellar reputation as a star lacrosse player continued. Throughout his collegiate career, Boyle was named a four-time All-American, first team USILA All-American Team selection in 2003 and 2004 and the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2001. Amongst many other noteworthy accomplishments, Boyle also led the Tigers to three NCAA Final Four Appearances, including two National title games and a national championship in 2001 as a freshman.
During his time at Princeton, Boyle set the precedent for what would become his most identifiable trait: setting and breaking records. To this day, Boyle holds the Ivy League record for career assists (86) and career points (120), both of which he set in 2004, as well as the Ivy League single-season assist record (32) that he established one year prior in 2003. That same year, Boyle also tied with Jon Hess for the Princeton single-season assist record (48), adding to his growing legacy at the University.
Despite the numerous achievements, Boyle humbly made note of the numerous records for which he placed second, not first. It is because of not only his reserved attitude, but also his “live in the moment” mindset and dedication to his passion that Boyle believes he was able to overcome any pressure heading into the professional ranks.
“I spent the bulk of my youth in high school and college either practicing my individual technique or studying the game so I understood the nuances” Boyle began. “So if you become, for lack of a better word, an expert in your field- regardless of whether it’s lacrosse or music or science or business- if you put in the time and preparation, theoretically things should come instinctive as opposed to acquiring a conscious thought. So I don’t necessarily feel a lot of the pressure because I have the experiences of being in big game situations, if you will, so therefore when tension mounts I try to just stay calm because I’ve kind of been there before.”
In 2004, Boyle entered Major League Lacrosse as a member of the Philadelphia Barrage where he was named Rookie of the Year and led the team to a Steinfeld Trophy. Not shy of making statements, he began his MLL career by setting the records for both single-season points (45) and assists (28) by a rookie, setting the tone for what was to come. A seasoned veteran of the postseason, Boyle also holds the record for points (37) and assists (21) in the MLL Playoffs, the latter of which he took from his good friend Powell, who sits in second place with 18 postseason assists.
Just weeks out of the 2013 MLL regular season, it is Boyle who sits second to Powell in the category of total career points, with Boyle’s 395 slowly creeping up on Powell’s record 399. Some have said that it could be as soon as week one that we see a new MLL point champion, but at this point that remains as purely speculation.
“I’ve never concerned myself with records. All I care about is winning, and that’s been pretty much what I’ve cared about since I started playing sports; the whole purpose” Boyle said.