Sports

Men’s lacrosse struggles with quality of shots in loss to No. 9 Bulldogs

Second period shift proves fatal for Bruno, despite five goals from Molloy ’17, three from Caputo ’16

By
Sports Staff Writer
Sunday, April 12, 2015

Despite hopes of getting back on track in Ivy League play, the No. 12 men’s lacrosse team came up short in its upset bid of No. 9 Yale Saturday, falling 16-10 in New Haven. Five tallies from Dylan Molloy ’17, the nation’s leading scorer, were not enough to carry Bruno (8-3, 2-2 Ivy) to victory. After an even first quarter, the Bulldogs (9-2, 3-2 Ivy) ended the game on a 12-6 run, sending the Bears to their worst loss of the year.

“We are on a quest to win an Ivy title, and along the way we have a great deal to learn about ourselves,” said Head Coach Lars Tiffany ’90. “Against a very good Yale team, we played with great intensity and passion, but we were beat by Yale because they were more efficient in the half-field game and they proved they could score goals in transition similar to us.”

Bruno initially looked to have a good shot at pulling off the win, jumping out to a 3-1 lead less than three minutes into the contest. Henry Blynn ’16 got the scoring started 48 seconds into the first quarter, and after Bruno conceded a goal shortly after, Molloy netted two goals in an 11-second window to give the Bears the lead again. But Yale responded with a little run of its own, leaving the score tied at four when the quarter came to a close.

The second period proved to be the turning point in the game, with the Bulldogs completely shutting down Brown’s high-powered attack. Yale took its first lead of the game only 56 seconds into the quarter and kept Bruno at bay while also tacking on two more goals in the last three minutes of the period. When the halftime whistle blew, the Bulldogs held a 7-4 advantage.

Yale kept its momentum rolling at the start of the second half, scoring almost immediately to extend the lead to four. But Molloy made sure that the Bears would not fall too far behind, tallying back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to two. The two-goal margin was as close as Bruno would get to catching Yale, as the teams continually traded goals until the Bulldogs pulled ahead 11-8 on a last-second tally in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was all Yale, with the Bulldogs racing out to their largest lead of the game after scoring the first four goals of the period. Now trailing 15-8, the Bears responded with two goals by Brendan Caputo ’16, but it was too little, too late.

Though Bruno came up short in its upset bid, Molloy provided a silver lining for the team. The star sophomore’s play has been a highlight for the team this year, and Saturday’s showing was arguably his best. Tiffany praised Molloy for the way he has adapted over the year.

“What really stands out for me is his willingness to take more instruction and to evolve as a player,” Tiffany said. “Many talented athletes simply rely on what has been successful in the past. Dylan realizes opposing defenses are studying him, and that if he wants to continue to be a scoring threat, he must raise the level of his play and find different ways to create offense.”

But in terms of the team as a whole, Tiffany said he was well aware of why it did not come out on top.

“The difference in yesterday’s game was the quality of shots being taken,” Tiffany said. “While the statistics were relatively even, Yale was able to create better looks at our cage from closer range. We need to deny transition better by running back in on defense faster, and we need to play team defense with greater awareness of covering the interior.”

The Bears will now get ready to take on cross-town rival Providence Tuesday with hopes of breaking their first losing streak of the year.

“I am proud of the emotional bounce-back this team showed me — we told each other we would learn from this loss, and we have,” Tiffany said.

“We saw a few things on defense that needed to be addressed, as well as with our offense,” he added. “We have already started to work on them and others. We are eager to get back on the field Tuesday.”