Dylan Molloy probably had the Tewaaraton Award locked up before Memorial Day weekend. After all, the junior attack from Brown, by way of Setauket and St. Anthony’s, was the nation’s leading scorer and the only one of the five finalists playing in the Final Four.
Then, in Saturday’s semifinal against No. 1 Maryland, as Brown coach Lars Tiffany put it, Molloy “stepped out there Willis Reed-style.” Playing with a broken foot after getting a lidocaine injection, he had two goals in Brown’s overtime loss. After that, the Tewaaraton was a slam dunk, and Molloy was voted the 2016 winner.
After having surgery Tuesday, he entered the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington for Thursday night’s presentation using a scooter to support his right leg. Lacrosse’s version of the Heisman Trophy has been given annually since 2001 to the nation’s best college player. Taylor Cummings of Maryland won the women’s Tewaaraton, becoming the first player to win it three times in a row.
“Dylan Molloy is the best player in college lacrosse because he was willing to change his game,” Tiffany said. “Last year he was the bulldozer, trying to score a hundred goals. [He scored 62, his total this season.] While he still has that dodge that is really tough to defend one-on-one, he also developed the ability to feed and to step away and find his teammates when he drew the double.”
Molloy was a major reason Brown reached the Final Four for the first time since 1994. He led the nation with 54 assists, and his 116 points is the fourth-highest single-season total in Division I men’s history.
“Granted, he has to be surrounded by great teammates to have 50-something assists,’’ Tiffany said, “but even though he had a phenomenal sophomore year, he wasn’t going to rest on his laurels. He just kept getting better.”
Keith Wieczorek, Molloy’s coach at St. Anthony’s, where he was a first-team Newsday All-Long Island selection, can attest to that.
“Did I know he’d improve to this extent? No,” said Wieczorek, who flew to Washington for the ceremony. “But I knew he’d be a very good, All-American-type college lacrosse player. He just had it in him. From all his hard work, putting on muscle, he’s turned into an almost unstoppable player. I’m bursting with pride.”