Brown lacrosse strength coach Mike Pimentel had a project during the offseason. The Bears’ leading goal scorer in 2014, already stout at 6-foot, 220 pounds, wanted to be fitter, faster and stronger.
Impressive considering Dylan Molloy scored 29 goals as a freshman. That pales in comparison to what the Long Island native is doing this season as a sophomore.
Molloy scored 29 goals in Brown’s first five games and tallied eight on March 24 against Marist in a 16-15 overtime victory, his second eight-goal performance of the season.
With 62 goals in 17 games, Molloy leads the nation with 3.65 per game and is one of 25 nominees for the Tewaaraton Award — the Heisman Trophy of lacrosse. In addition to surpassing the previous school record of 59 goals, he also led Brown (12-5), which lost to Denver in the first round of the NCAA tournament, with 30 assists.
“He has become a stronger athlete due to the work he has put in with our strength coach Mike Pimentel,” said Brown head coach Lars Tiffany. “We saw the baby fat disappear freshman year and now he is putting up some big numbers in the weight room with his 225 pound frame.”
Playing attack at 225 pounds is nearly unprecedented — the average weight of Brown’s attackmen is 182 pounds, 43 pounds less than Molloy.
Opponents usually need more than one defender to contain Molloy. As his goal total indicates though, most haven’t had much success.
“Dylan wants to engage his defender, looking for contact,” said Brown head coach Lars Tiffany. “He does not shy away. With his strong legs and size and good first step, he is a tough attackman to handle with just one defenseman. There are a few defensemen who have curtailed Dylan one-on-one. More often than not the opposing defense is sending a second defender to Dylan.”
“I don’t think I have a very hard shot but I’m able to body in and get close to the goal every time,” said Molloy. “I hide my stick really well. At the last second after a dodge, I fake out the goalie or put it in when he is not excepting it off the dodge.”
Molloy’s game is more than muscling his way through defenses and shooting.
“He is a real student of the game and he analyzes his own play critically,” said Tiffany. “Dylan’s vision and feeding ability have improved this season thus allowing him to generate offense without having to always take the shot himself.”
“Coming into the season I didn’t have any personal goals,” said Molloy. “I was hoping to continue where I left off last year. I do realize what’s going on but we just want to win. The number of goals really doesn’t matter. Everyone (on the team) is into it the year. All of us are competing to try to get a spot on the field. Everyone is caught up in us doing well and wants to do their part.”
Brown is fifth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging nearly 15 goals a game. Molloy’s improvement is part of the reason why.
“I am not surprised by his success,” said Tiffany. “When talent, hard work and true passion are all found in one person, limits are overcome.”