Sports

Mellynchuk ’14 leads Bears to win over UMass

The midfielder scored the first two goals of his career, while Bellistri ’16 added three to the force overtime

By
Contributing Writer
Monday, March 4, 2013

Midfield-attacker Stephen Chmil ’14 passed to attacker Tim Jacob ’15 in a game that ended in an overtime victory against No. 5 UMass Amherst.

Dan Mellynchuk ’14 was not used to finding the back of the net as a midfielder for the men’s lacrosse team.

That changed Saturday, as Mellynchuk led Brown to a 9-8 overtime victory over No. 5 UMass Amherst with the first two goals of his career — including the game-winner.

“It was incredible,” Mellynchuk said. “I was pretty happy just to score in the game. To do it in such a meaningful way made it that much better.”

With 2:44 remaining in the extra frame, Mellynchuk found the back of the net to seal the deal for Bruno (1-1, 0-0 Ivy). The goal was assisted by Sam Ford ’13, who picked up a ground ball after a UMass (3-1) turnover.

“Here’s a guy who’s never scored in his career, and then he scores two,” said Head Coach Lars Tiffany ’90. “What I love about (Mellynchuk’s) goal is how much poise he showed. He pump faked and tried to freeze the goalie, and then he took the shot.”

Mellynchuk scored his first goal of the game with six seconds left in the second period prior to hitting the game-winner.

Early in the fourth period, Alex Jones ’13 got on the board for the Bears, cutting the UMass lead to 6-5. Sean Cleary and Grant Whiteway responded for the Minutemen, extending the lead to 8-5 with just 7:11 left in the game.

It looked as if the game had been decided, but Kylor Bellistri ’16 prolonged Brown’s fight. The attacker scored three consecutive goals over the next four minutes to force the game into overtime with the game tied at eight.

“My teammates were the ones who put me in position to score,” Bellistri said. “It was a huge group effort, and we were all clicking all day. We put in so much hard work in practice that we didn’t have any doubts.”

“(Bellistri) made a couple of incredible handles,” Tiffany said. “He stepped up in a big moment when we needed him.”

The late-game heroics of Bellistri provided the opportunity for Mellynchuk to seal the victory in overtime.

“We were on defense, and (Ford) made a great play to get the ball,” Mellynchuk said. “I called for him, and he made a great backhand flip to me. I was just running down the field on a fast break. I wanted to find someone else who was open, but nobody was calling for me, so I just shot and scored.”

Brown fell to Quinnipiac in its season-opener at home Feb. 23. After going up 6-5 midway through the third frame, the Bobcats scored four of the next five goals on their way to victory. Sam Hurster ’14 and Henry Blynn ’16 led the Bears with two goals apiece.

“After six days since the Quinnipiac loss, we saw our men get better every day through tenacious hard work,” Tiffany said. “We proved it on Saturday.”

Bruno travels to Hartford (0-2) Wednesday and returns home to face St. Joseph’s (3-2) Saturday.