Sports

Men’s lacrosse clinches spot in Ivy Tournament on Senior Day

Seven-point effort from co-captain attackman Dylan Molloy ’17 lifts Bears over Big Red

By
Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dylan Molloy ’16 takes on a defender in the Bears’ 13-10 win over Cornell, which guaranteed Bruno a spot in the Ivy League postseason tournament.

With only two Ivy League games left its season and sitting at .500 in conference play, the men’s lacrosse team headed into its last home game against Cornell needing to pick up a win in order to keep its postseason hopes alive. The Bears (7-5, 3-2 Ivy) did just that, taking a 13-10 victory over the Big Red (4-8, 2-3 Ivy) at Stevenson-Pincince Field Saturday. Brown was lifted by a four-goal, three-assist performance by returning All-American and team co-captain Dylan Molloy ’17.

“We were excited after our win against Providence Tuesday,” said Jack Kniffin ’20. “We felt that we had momentum coming into the game against Cornell. Although it was Senior Day, we wanted to focus on pulling out the win against a very good team.”

Cornell started off scoring, with Connor Fletcher beating goalie Phil Goss ’20 to put the Big Red on the board. But the Bears responded immediately after midfielder Ted Ottens ’17.5 secured the ensuing face-off and scored just six seconds later to tie the game at one.

For the remainder of the first quarter, the teams traded goals, with Luke McCaleb ’20, Michael Panepinto ’19 and Molloy all contributing to give Bruno a 5-4 lead after 15 minutes.

After Brown broke a 5-5 tie with a two-goal run from Jackson Newsome ’19 and Molloy,  the Big Red cut Bruno’s lead to one heading into the second half as Jeff Teat slotted one in with just 21 seconds remaining

“We traded blows all the way through the first half,” Kniffin said. “Cornell wasn’t going to hand us a win, we were going to have to earn it.”

Once again, the Big Red opened up scoring, with a goal by Jake McColloch to the game at seven. But Bruno’s offense surged, as the team embarked on a three-goal run, capped by Molloy at 7:31 to complete his ninth hat trick of the season.

The Bears’ 10-7 lead did not last long, as a solo effort by Jordan Dowiak brought the Big Red within two. But a pair of goals from Panepinto and Stephen Hudak ’18 gave the Bears a 12-8 lead, the team’s largest of the game.

“We came out in the second half and capitalized on our opportunities,” Hudak said. “Ted had an amazing day at the face off X and Phil played well in goal again.”

Cornell rallied in the fourth quarter with two goals at 8:55 and 7:44 to cut the Bears’ lead to two. But this surge was too little, too late.  For the remaining minutes, Brown’s defense held fast, with Goss making seven of his 14 saves in the fourth quarter to hold Cornell at 10.

“The third quarter, we started to pull away,” Kniffin said. “Our defense played fantastic in the second half. Phil Goss came up with some huge saves, and at one point in the fourth quarter, our defense strung together three or four great defensive possessions in a row to preserve the lead.”

Individually, Molloy led both teams in the win with four goals. The performance brought his career total to 191, putting him in a tie for fifth-all time on the NCAA Division I scoring leaderboard. Molloy’s 37-game scoring streak — dating back to April 4, 2015 — is also the longest in the nation.

Long stick midfielder Larken Kemp ’17 also made an impact in the contest, with four caused turnovers and four ground balls. Kemp’s 112 career caused turnovers ranks seventh in NCAA history.

With the win, Brown clinches the third seed in the Ivy League tournament and will face second-ranked Princeton in the first round. The Bears will head to Bryant Tuesday and finish off regular-season play at Dartmouth Saturday.

“Everyone always gets pumped up for conference games, and this one will be the same,” Hudak said. “Having the opportunity to finish 4-2 in conference obviously also gets the team a little more jacked up.”