Athlete of the Week: Kylor Bellistri ’16 powers men’s lacrosse past Harvard

Staff Writer
Friday, March 25, 2016

Kylor Bellistri ’16 is just one of the key pieces of Bruno’s high-powered offense this season, leading the team with 23 goals and adding 6 assists.

The men’s lacrosse team has started its season with a bang: The team is 6-0 and ranked No. 4 nationally. Saturday’s game against Harvard brought the Bears’ toughest test of the season so far. Bruno pulled ahead early, but the Crimson did not fade, pulling to within one goal with five minutes remaining. Then, attacker Kylor Bellistri ’16 took the game into his own hands.

Bellistri scored two goals in the final five minutes, giving the Bears an 11-8 win. This season, he has already scored 23 goals in six games, good for second in the nation in goals per game. In his final year as a Bear, Bellistri is second on the team with 29 points. If he continues at his current pace, he will equal his 2015 scoring output by the tenth game of the 2016 season — and likely help keep the Bears undefeated.

For his increased scoring pace and three goals against Harvard, Bellistri has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: The team is 6-0 and ranked No. 4 nationally. How far do you think the team can go?

Bellistri: Currently, we’re just trying to think about it one game at a time. We’ve got a really, really good opponent in Villanova, who’s (eighth) in the nation right now, so we’re just working on that, looking more short term and just being able to build each week. We’ve got a great team, we’ve got a confident team and we’re all having fun, which has been a huge driving factor. If we just keep doing what we’re doing and control what we control, we’re going to have a great season.

Last year you had 35 goals in 17 games. This year, you’re on pace to score 65 in 17 games. What improvements have you made?

We’ve worked together more as a team this year. I wouldn’t say that I’ve done anything crazy different. (Dylan Molloy ’17), who’s great, has done a lot better (of a) job this year at being able to move the ball off a dodge when he draws a double. Our team, in general — we’re scoring a lot more goals, and we’re playing really well together, so everyone’s been prospering from our continued development as a team.

With Villanova coming up next Tuesday, No. 8 in the country — what do you expect from that game?

We expect them to play a fast game with us. They love shooting the ball and getting up and down just like we do. They’ve got a great face-off guy, so that’ll be a good match and a good fight for our wing guys. It’ll be a fun game. It’s tough sometimes traveling down to Pennsylvania, but we’ll be going down there a day early and getting used to it. … So we expect a great matchup with a great team, and I know both teams are looking forward to it.

Shifting gears, what drew you to lacrosse, and how long have you played it?

I’ve been playing lacrosse since about second or third grade. My dad is actually a lacrosse coach and coached me throughout middle school and high school. He’s the head coach now at my high school, where my younger brother goes as well. That’s been a part of my life — he played in college, my mom played in high school, and it’s just been a part of me growing up. Also, with my brother as well, I’ve been able to play with him, and he’s on the sideline at a bunch of the games with some of the other younger brothers. So that’s always great, to have that family atmosphere on top of the family we have at Brown — the team and everything.

With your big start, how’s the mood around the team?

We’re feeling good. We understand that, although we’ve gotten off to a 6-0 start, we still haven’t really done anything. We’ve had one league game — we have a long road ahead of us — so we’re just trying to control what we can control in the short term. Practicing hard each day, and just preparing for the next game, and hopefully from there, we can make some great things happen.

The question everyone’s wondering about — how have you guys done it so far, and can you keep it up?

Honestly, we’ve just been having a great time, and it’s a testament to the other captains, Jack Kelly ’16 and Brendan Caputo ’16, just getting the guys up for each day of practice. Weather-wise, we’ve been lucky, which always helps with that, but we’re a confident team, and we’re having a fun time. That’s really helped us and will continue to help us throughout the year.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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