Sports

Molloy ’17 spearheads weekend defeat of UMass

Bruno’s fast-paced offense outscores two nonconference opponents by total of 17 goals

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, March 2, 2015

The men’s lacrosse team continued its impressive start to the season, taking down University of Massachusetts at Amherst by a final tally of 18-12 Saturday.

Bruno (2-0) came out firing on all cylinders, scoring the first five goals of the contest and never looking back. Although the Minutemen (0-4) are winless on the season, their 14-13 loss to No. 13 Harvard last weekend proves this was certainly a solid result for the Bears.

“We are just focusing on playing together and dictating the pace of the game,” said Kylor Bellistri ’16. “We all are excited to get out there and play the game we love.”

The team was led by Dylan Molloy ’17, who netted a career-high seven goals on just 11 shots. Bellistri chipped in with three goals and three assists, while Henry Blynn ’16 put up four goals. It was a promising showing from Blynn, who missed the entirety of last season due to injury. In goal, Captain Jack Kelly ’16 made eight saves, bringing his season total to 23.

“This is a great confidence builder for our team,” Molloy said. “Seeing success definitely motivates us more to continue to push ourselves and keep our expectations high for this season.”

After the Bears’ scorching start in the first quarter, the game started to even up come the second. The Minutemen, who scored with just 16 seconds left in the first, matched the Bears goal for goal during the frame, leaving the score at 9-5 going into the half. At one point UMass trimmed the lead to just two, but Blynn and Molloy both connected with under three minutes left in the quarter to push the margin back to four.

At the start of the third quarter, UMass brought on the pressure again, this time cutting the lead to 9-6. But Bruno quickly followed with a goal of its own by Brendan Caputo ’16 and kept momentum to take a 13-8 lead into the final frame. Once again, Blynn and Molloy each scored at the end of the period.

The Bears extended their lead to 18-10 with back-to-back goals by Molloy midway through the fourth period, effectively sealing the win.

The win demonstrates that the Bears have reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

So far the Bears’ new up-tempo offense has worked like a charm, with Molloy leading the charge. Last season, he took home the Brown First-Year Male Athlete Award, and this season he will look to take his game to the next level. Expectations are certainly high, as the star sophomore tallied the sixth-most goals in the Ivy League in his first year out on the field. But so far it seems that Molloy is not fazed by the heightened attention, with 12 goals to his name already on the young season.

“If I am scoring a lot of goals, it’s a domino effect,” Molloy said. “It just means that everyone on the team is doing well because it takes a great face-off player along with a great midfield and defense for the ball to get to the attack and the offensive side of the field so many times.”

On the defensive side of things, Kelly will look to continue his impressive play in goal from last season, in which he led the Ivy League in saves per game. Bellistri also mentioned the stellar efforts of Jake Miller ’18, who has stepped up as an important long-stick defenseman.

The Bears will now prepare for a Wednesday matchup at Hartford and then travel to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan Sunday. Looking ahead, Bellistri and Molloy both expressed confidence that the team can have a successful year despite stiff competition in the Ivy League.

“Playing as a team is the biggest thing,” Bellistri said. “We all want to win for each other, and we believe we have the weapons and mentality to make a deep run into the tournament.”

“We are very fortunate to have been given tools that no Brown team before us has had, like an amazing new locker room where our team can meet and discuss games, watch film and hang out together as a team,” Molloy said. “I have no doubt that with our team’s talent, attitude and the coaching that we are receiving that we will be a competitor in the Ivy League tournament.”