Men's Roundup: Brown Dominates Villanova to Stay Unbeaten
VILLANOVA, Pa. — Third-ranked Brown made quite the statement as the sun set on Villanova Stadium.
In a highly anticipated top-10 matchup, the Bears left no questions unanswered as they powered past the sixth-ranked Wildcats 19-8 on Tuesday. Brown extended its undefeated start to seven straight games, while Villanova fell to a 6-2 record on the season.
"It's a really big deal to beat this Villanova team," Brown coach Lars Tiffany said after the game. "We're really excited about this win."
It was a meeting of the two highest-ranked teams to ever play in the stadium, and fans expected a treat from the two of the nation's most acclaimed teams. With Brown and Villanova boasting the highest scoring offenses at the NCAA Division I level, spectators hoped to witness an evenly-matched shootout.
What they got, however, was a much more lopsided showing.
After trading goals in the opening minutes, Brown rattled off 10 first-half scores to Villanova's one. Senior Kylor Bellistri tallied three of his four goals in the first half.
The Bears' offense was expectedly impressive, but their ability to halt the Wildcats' dangerous attack was key.
"We knew we had a huge challenge today defensively because of how efficient Villanova's offense is," Tiffany said. "I was asking a lot of them, and they stepped up today to make it happen."
Led by senior goalie Jack Kelly's 10 saves, the Brown defense limited the Wildcats to eight goals — nearly half of Villanova's average. Solid man-down defense from the Bears allowed one goals off of 12 penalties, and that score came in the waning minutes.
Perhaps most impressive, though, was Brown's ability to keep Villanova's Jake Frocarro contained. The junior attacker ranked first in the nation with an average of 4.29 goals per game coming in, but he was held to only one goal and an assist.
Villanova settled into more of a rhythm after halftime, but the 11-2 deficit at the break was too much to overcome. The slow start would come back to haunt the Wildcats — they were only outscored by two goals in the second half.
Brown's potent attack was led by stellar performances from Bellistri as well as Dylan Molloy and Henry Blynn, both posting three goals and two assists on the night. Even as Villanova possessed the ball more in the second half, the Bears' attack was able to convert quickly on fast-break opportunities.
"The system that is Brown lacrosse is to play as fast as we can," Tiffany said, "and we want to get those three guys as many touches as possible."
While Brown's attack lived up to it's reputation, senior Jack Curran's two goals and one assist led Villanova's disappointing offensive performance. Scrappy play on faceoffs, however, tempered Brown's Will Gural from overtaking the X, though he was 9-for-15 in the first half. Frocarro and Luke Palmadesso kept the Bears to an even 50 percent overall.
The Wildcats will look to reorganize before facing Big East opponents Marquette and Denver within the next week. While the Pioneers boast a No. 4 ranking, the Golden Eagles are also a Top 20 contender.
Tiffany's team could ride the high of such a commanding win throughout the rest of the season. Brown's Ivy League schedule continues against Princeton on Saturday in Providence, R.I.
Kylor Bellistri posted four goals and one assist in Brown's rout of Villanova on Tuesday. (Kevin P. Tucker)
Maryland Beats Penn
Fifth-ranked Maryland improved to 6-2 with a 13-8 over Penn in Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon. Colin Heacock and Matt Rambo had three goals and one assists while Bryan Cole and Dylan Maltz pitched in two goals and one helper each. Kyle Bernlohr made 10 saves. Penn falls to 5-3.
Stony Brook Cruises Past Lehigh
Junior attackman Ryan Bitzer scored a career-high five goals with six points and Challen Rogers notched two goals and five assists as No. 17 Stony Brook took care of Lehigh 16-6 in Bethlehem, Pa. The Seawolves are 7-2 and Lehigh drops to 5-4.
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