Sports

Molloy ’17 leads fast-paced offense in lacrosse’s quest for success

Junior named 2015 Ivy League player of the year, looks to reprise role as offensive powerhouse

By
Senior Staff Writer
Friday, February 26, 2016

Dylan Molloy ’17 wasn’t supposed to be this good.

At least according to many of the country’s elite lacrosse programs who overlooked the New York native back in 2012. Luckily for Brown, Molloy found his way to Providence and has since emerged as one of the nation’s most elite attackmen. Last year, he was the country’s leading scorer, averaging an impressive 3.65 goals per game. By the season’s end, he was named both the Ivy League and New England Player of the Year. Already this year, Molloy has been put on the Tewaaraton watch list — collegiate lacrosse’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy in football.

“Dylan Molloy loves playing lacrosse just about more than anybody I’ve coached,” said Head Coach Lars Tiffany ’04. “We are very fortunate to have him on the team.”

Last year, Molloy scored a record-breaking 62 goals and now sits at 14th place in program history.

But the junior isn’t only focused on finding the back of the net. Along with the smattering of goals, he recorded 30 assists in last season’s campaign en route to posting the third-highest point total in the nation. It can be easy to think of prolific scorers as the ball-hogging type, but Molloy is not that kind of player, Tiffany said.

“He does a great job balancing,” Tiffany added. “I’ve never felt any resentment on this team when he takes it to the goal.”

Molloy’s selflessness was on display when asked about his individual goals for the upcoming season. “I really don’t have any,” he said. Instead, he remains focused on bringing an Ivy League tournament title to the program.

There’s no doubt that Molloy will play a critical role in the team’s hopes of accomplishing that feat. But even for Tiffany — who, unlike many other coaches, recognized Molloy’s potential — the breadth of his role has been a bit of a surprise.

“I saw someone who could be a good dodger, but I didn’t realize he was going to emerge into a 225-lb. bulldozer who could create so much offense through physical play,” Tiffany said.

So how exactly did Molloy go from being an overlooked high-school recruit to one of the nation’s best?

Brown’s up-tempo offense might be part of the answer. Last year, the Bears installed a new system engineered by Assistant Coach Sean Kirwan that encourages a fast-paced, shot-heavy style of play. Molloy pointed to the strategic change as one of the keys to his success. He also noted that simply being given the chance to get out on the field from the moment he set foot on campus has been crucial to his development.

“I think our coaching staff (is) just putting the right players in the right positions and having the right people on the field,” Molloy said. “Giving me the opportunity to play and putting in this new transition pace definitely helps my game a lot.”

Molloy is also fortunate to be a member of a Brown team laden with talent. The majority of the squad’s key players from last year’s impressive campaign have returned. After the season ended on a somewhat bitter note, losing to Yale in the Ivy League tournament semifinals and then to Denver in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Molloy is excited to take the next step this year with his teammates.

Squaring off against the Pioneers was important for the team’s growth and his own play, Molloy said. “That was my first real big game against a non-Ivy League opponent,” he said. “Going against them and working our way back definitely helps us a lot this year (with) keeping our cool under that kind of pressure.”

Molloy is hoping that he will have another chance on the big stage at the end of this season. After scoring five goals in Bruno’s season-opening win against Quinnipiac last weekend, Molloy looks ready to lead the team to even greater heights.