Molloy ’17 helps men’s lacrosse cruise past Quinnipiac

Highly touted first-year attacker nets four goals against Bobcats in first career start for Bruno

Senior Staff Writer
Monday, February 24, 2014

In its first action of the season, the men’s lacrosse team took down Quinnipiac 13-6 on the road. After falling to the Bobcats in last season’s opener, Bruno improved its all-time record to 5-1 against Quinnipiac.

Both the starters and the reserves produced for the Bears (1-0) on the offensive end. The first-stringers notched seven goals and seven assists, while the reserves added six goals and four assists.

Dylan Molloy ’17, who started his first game as a Bear, led the squad with an efficient four goals on seven shots. He opened Bruno’s scoring with an unassisted goal just three minutes into the game.

“I was not even surprised by (Molloy’s) performance today,” said co-captain Daniel Mellynchuk ’14. “He’s such a talented player, everyone on the team saw it in the first practice of the year. He’s going to have a great career, and this is just the start.”

After Molloy’s opening score, neither team could find a scoring touch for over 10 minutes. With two minutes remaining in the opening period, Kylor Bellistri ’16 found the back of the net to give the Bears a two-goal lead.

Quinnipiac (0-1) responded with two goals in the first four minutes of the second period, leveling the score at two. The Bears fired back with two goals of their own, one from Brendan Caputo ’16 and the other from Sam Hurster ’14 with just 42 seconds remaining in the half.

Bruno’s defense was able to stave off the Quinnipiac attack — which managed to get off 22 shots in the half — largely thanks to the efforts of goalie Jack Kelly ’16. Kelly made 10 stops in the first half, and ended the game with 18 saves and just six goals allowed.

“He was phenomenal,” Mellynchuk said. “He’s definitely our anchor on defense. He allows all the defenders to take care of the crease and the middle of the field, because we all know that if a team takes some outside shots, he’s just going to just swallow them up.”

While the defense headlined the first half, Brown’s offense took center stage in the latter half of the game. Molloy and Tim Jacob ’15 each ripped two shots past the Quinnipiac keeper to open up an 8-2 lead for the Bears.

From that point on, Bruno never looked back. Quinnipiac tried to claw back into the game, scoring three goals in under a minute late in the third stanza. But Bailey Tills ’16 responded with a score on an assist by Hurster 53 seconds before the end of the period.

Bruno extended its lead in the final period to seven goals on Molloy’s fourth conversion of the afternoon. Tills iced the game with a goal in the last minute of the contest.

Winning by a large margin “shows great times for the program,” Mellynchuk said. “It was nice to get a little revenge after losing last year, and to do it in a fashion like this is always great for team confidence.”

The squad finished with 13 goals on 26 shots on target, an even 50 percent conversion rate. Offensive efficacy won the day for the Bears — Quinnipiac fired just two fewer shots on goal than Bruno, but thanks to Kelly and a strong Bruno defense, the Bobcats converted only 25 percent.

“Our offense was really clicking today,” Mellynchuk said. “It seemed like every time they got the ball, they either forced Quinnipiac’s goalie to make a save, or they scored. It was huge for the defenders because it gave us some rest. Our offense would probe and probe, hold the ball for a minute or two, and then score. They carried us today.”

While Molloy headlined the afternoon with his scoring display, another first-year, Larken Kemp ’17, had a solid first appearance for Bruno. Kemp started at long pole middie — a position that requires both offensive and defensive production as well as a workhorse mentality — and managed to force two of Bruno’s three caused turnovers.

“He’s still a little green, but he plays with fire,” Mellynchuk said. “He’s always out to get the ball. He’s going to be a great takeaway guy, and he’s learning quickly. I think he’ll be doing great things for us this season.”

Molloy and Kemp will experience their first home game next weekend, when the Bears square off against University of Massachusetts at Amherst (3-0) at Stevenson Field.

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