Men’s lacrosse ousts Hartford in mid-week contest

Hurster ’14, Molloy ’17, Bellistri ’16 buoy Bruno over Hawks in non-conference victory

Sports Editor
Friday, March 7, 2014

The men’s lacrosse team rebounded from a tough loss to nationally ranked University of Massachusetts at Amherst last weekend with a 12-7 home victory Wednesday over Hartford.

“I think we all as a team felt a little added pressure to win after the debacle last Saturday,” said Dan Mellynchuk ’14. “It was a much-needed confidence boost and helped us get back on track.”

Gusty wind, flurries of snow and frigid temperatures challenged the offenses, but two individual performances powered scoring for Bruno (2-1). Sam Hurster ’14 posted a rare double hat trick while Dylan Molloy ’17 continued to turn heads in his first season, posting four goals and an assist. Bruno scored first and never trailed, eventually pulling away in the second half.

Brown gained the early advantage on an impressive play by Kylor Bellistri ’16. Deep in Hawks territory, Bellistri deflected and intercepted a pass attempt from Hartford goalie Frank Piechota. The unexpected change of possession left Hartford unprepared to defend against Bellistri, who fired a long shot into the net before Piechota could get back in front of the cage. Hartford got on the board late in the first quarter, and the teams traded goals for the rest of the half.

With Bruno leading 4-3 entering the third period, Hurster took over. The senior sidearmed a goal early in the third, but Hartford answered quickly to keep the margin to one. The game’s next two goals were nearly identical tallies by Hurster. Both shots were mid-range, overhand missiles from the right of the goal, and Hurster’s third-quarter hat trick helped Bruno gain an 8-5 lead entering the final quarter.

“Sam is extremely important to our offense, as you can tell by his performance and status as a captain,” Mellynchuk said.

The fourth quarter brought more of the same for the Bears. Molloy, Bellistri and Hurster each added to their goal totals to push the lead to five by the final horn.

Offensive efficiency keyed Bruno’s second-half advantage, as the Bears scored eight goals on just 12 shots. On the other end, Hartford fired off 23 shots in the final half, but only 11 attempts were on target and goalie Jack Kelly ’16 corralled seven of them. The trigger-happy Hawks finished with 18 more shot attempts than the home squad but only three more shots on goal.

The mid-week win is critical for the Bears with Ivy League play just around the corner. Bruno will take on Hobart College in Hempstead, N.Y., Saturday in its last non-conference matchup before Harvard March 15.

“We still have much to improve on,” Mellynchuck said. “I think we are making big strides towards taking our game to the next level.”

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