Villanova, PA –The classic matchup between Top 5 nationally-ranked teams and the nation’s top two scoring squads proved to be a one-sided contest as #3/3 Brown (7-0) stayed unbeaten and cruised to a 19-8 win over #5/6 Villanova (6-2) Tuesday afternoon at Villanova Stadium.
The Bears came into the game as the nation’s top scoring team with 17.33 goals per game, while the Wildcats ranked second nationally in scoring with 15.86 goals per game. While Brown’s offense lived up to its scoring prowess, its defense proved to be the difference, holding Villanova to nearly eight goals under its season average and limiting Wildcats’ attackman Jake Froccaro, the nation’s leader in goals, to just one goal.
Senior attackman Kylor Bellistri (Potomac, MD), who ranks second in the nation in goals, netted three first half goals and paced the Bears with four goals and an assist.
Bears’ junior All-American attackman Dylan Molloy (Setauket, NY), the nation’s leader in points, scored three goals and handed out two assists, while senior attackman Henry Blynn (Villanova, PA) made the most of his homecoming, also registering three goals and two assists.
The Bears also received scoring from an unconventional source with All-American goalie Jack Kelly (West Islip, NY) netting a goal early in the second quarter. Kelly finished with 10 saves.
Senior face-off specialist Will Gural (Haverford, PA) captured 10-of-17 face-offs and picked-up a game high seven ground balls.
While the Bears out-shot Villanova by a narrow 48-47 margin, Brown had a decided advantage in ground balls, 35-26. Brown also held the Wildcats to just one goal in 12 man-up opportunities.
The Wildcats were paced by Jack Curran, who scored two goals and added one assist.
Brown exploded for seven first quarter goals to grab a 7-2 advantage, capped off by a goal by freshman Carson Song (Charlotte, NC) with just five seconds left in the quarter. Bellistri and Molloy had two goals each, while Gural and Blynn scored one goal each.
While the pace of the game slowed down in the second quarter, Brown continued to maintain control with a tremendous defensive effort. Brown held Villanova scoreless in the second quarter, out-scoring the Wildcats, 4-0, on goals by senior Matt Graham (Amityville, NY), Bellistri, senior Brendan Caputo (Westbury, NY) and Blynn to grab an insurmountable 11-2 lead at the half.
Villanova stopped the 7-0 Brown run and opened the second half scoring on a goal by Kurtis Naslonski just 11 seconds into the quarter.
Brown won the ensuing face-off and quickly scored once again with goalie Jack Kelly getting into the action with his first career goal on a Villanova ride. Goals by Villanova’s Froccaro and Curren cut Brown’s lead to 13-5, but senior Bailey Tills (Denver, CO) scored his first of two goals to put Brown back up, 14-5, with 5:16 left in the quarter. When the dust settled, Brown held a 15-6 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Bears return to Ivy League action on Saturday, April 2, hosting Princeton at Stevenson-Pincince Field, starting at 1:00 pm in a game broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network and ESPN3.
Photo courtesy Brown Athletics