Sports

Men’s lacrosse win over No. 15 Princeton highlights undefeated break

Bruno takes three thrilling games, including double-overtime win over Providence

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, March 31, 2014

Kylor Bellistri ’16 scored six goals over the break on 14 shots, 11 of which were on goal. His 13 goals this season rank third on the team, and his 23 points are just one short of the team lead.

The men’s lacrosse team had a busy spring break, taking down Providence College, Marist College and Princeton to boost its record well above the .500 mark. Sam Hurster ’14 exploded for nine goals over three games, while goalie Jack Kelly ’16 anchored the Bears’ defense, posting a combined 44 saves.

 

March 22: Brown 12, Providence 11 (2OT)

Bruno (6-3, 1-1 Ivy) began its spring break with a dramatic win over the Friars (3-7, 0-2 Big East) in double overtime.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Bears held a 9-7 lead and were primed to hold off Providence. But the Friars came storming back, netting four unanswered goals to take a two-goal lead.

Kylor Bellistri ’16 ripped a shot past Providence goalie Tyler Himes from the left side of the field to pull the Bears within one with just three minutes to play. A minute later, Bellistri caught the ball in nearly the same position, contorted around a defender and whipped a side-armed shot into the back of the net to tie the game. Neither side could pull ahead in the final seconds, sending the game to overtime.

After an extra period of play, the game remained deadlocked. With just two minutes remaining in the second period of extra time, Dylan Molloy ’17 worked himself into a dangerous position just outside of the crease. Seconds later, he flicked a shot past Himes from an awkward angle to win the game for Bruno.

Molloy “has had an unbelievable impact on the team this season,” said fellow attackman Bailey Tills ’16. “He always seems to score when we need him to. He doesn’t play like a freshman at all and always finds a way to make plays happen.”

Molloy’s double overtime goal completed his hat trick, his fourth of the season. The first-year attacker has created matchup problems for opposing teams all year with his combination of speed and strength, Tills said.

 

March 25: Brown 13, Marist 11

Coming off their overtime victory, the Bears traveled to Poughkeepsie, NY to take on the Red Foxes (3-6, 1-2 MAAC). Bruno took down Marist in a closely-contested game 13-11.

Despite the positive final score for Bruno, the Bears were out-played for most of the game. Marist finished with double-digit leads in shots, ground balls and face-offs won. The Red Foxes outshot Bruno 46-24 and managed to put 27 of their shots on goal.

But offensive efficiency and strong play in net won the day for Bruno. Kelly posted 16 saves, nine coming in the second half. The Bears also managed to put 20 of their 24 shots on goal. The Bears scored on 13 of the 20 shots on goal, leading to a 65 percent scoring rate.

Hurster exemplified Bruno’s efficiency, netting an astronomical six goals on just six shots — the second time in the campaign that he has posted a double hat trick. The senior has displayed his offensive proficiency throughout the season, as he leads the team with 19 goals.

“He’s been heating up recently and really stepping up as captain and a leader on the team,” Tills said of Hurster. “He’s finding the net right now and it’s pretty fun to watch. He keeps everyone on the team positive and focused on our objectives.”

 

March 29: Brown 11, No. 15 Princeton 10

In its second Ivy League matchup of the season, Bruno took down one of the top 20 teams in the nation in the Tigers (4-4, 1-2). The Bears held a 6-3 lead going into halftime thanks to a pair of goals from Bellistri. The sophomore finished the game with a hat trick on just three shots on goal.

Two minutes into the second half, defender Phil Pierce ’14 collected the ball after an errant Tiger shot. Pierce carried the ball up to the edge of his defensive area, then faked a pass to Kelly and uncorked a 60-foot bomb towards Princeton’s goal. The shot flew past keeper Matt O’Connor, who was off his line, increasing Bruno’s lead to three on Pierce’s first goal of the season.

The fourth quarter began with Bruno leading by four. A goal from Molloy extended the gap to five, a seemingly insurmountable margin given the previous three quarters of play. But the Tigers came roaring back, scoring three unanswered goals in the course of a minute to cut the lead to two.

Following a goal from Tyler Landis ’15, Princeton netted two more goals, pulling within one of the Bears. But Kelly stonewalled the Tigers for the final three minutes of the game, preserving Bruno’s victory. The sophomore posted 16 saves for the second straight game, a testament to his abilities as a goalie, Tills said.

Kelly “gives the team something to rally around,” Tills said. “When he’s standing on his head like that and keeping us in games, everyone wants to win, not only for ourselves, but to make all those saves worth it. He’s someone we can always fall back on and he’s done a great job keeping us in games and helping us win.”

With a 6-3 record and a victory over a nationally ranked opponent, the Bears have made a strong case to crack the top 20 themselves. But Tills said he thinks the team needs to pick up another conference win to solidify its position as one of the best teams in the country.

“Another Ivy league win would send a much greater message out to the nation,” Tills said. “But it won’t bother us if we don’t make the top 20. Rankings are rankings, we’re always just going to do the best we can to win games.”

The team will carry a three-game winning streak and an opportunity to earn a national ranking into its next contest, a tough matchup on the road Saturday at No. 16 Penn (4-3).