PHILADELPHIA — Dylan Molloy, Brown University’s star junior attack, did not play for the winning team Saturday. But the mere fact that he played at all was a victory. And when he showed up for the postgame media session using a scooter to support his right leg and hopped painfully on one leg onto the podium, it was clear that the kid from Setauket, Long Island and St. Anthony’s High School may have been the biggest winner of the Final Four.
“He is one of the toughest men ever to put on a lacrosse helmet,” Brown coach Lars Tiffany said after the Bears were beaten by No. 1 Maryland, 15-14, in overtime of the second NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse semifinal at Lincoln Financial Field. “To play this game with a broken foot, a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal, is phenomenal.”
Molloy did not start, but scored Brown’s second goal with 9:02 left in the first quarter on one of his typical strong moves to the cage and powerful overhand shot that helped him lead the nation in scoring with 62 goals and 54 assists, the fourth-highest single-game total in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse history.
He also scored early in the fourth quarter to bring the Bears (16-3) to within 12-10. They eventually fell behind 14-10 before scoring the last four goals, including one by Brendan Caputo (Westbury, Chaminade), to force overtime.
Tiffany said the coaching staff, noting that Molloy was not himself, nearly took him out in the third quarter. “He said, ‘Coach you can’t take me out,’ ” Tiffany said. “We gave him one more chance. He came back in the fourth quarter and scored a big goal, an emotional goal.”
But Maryland (17-2) scored the biggest goal of the game and now will face its long-time former ACC rival North Carolina in Monday’s championship game. After winning a ground-ball battle on the first faceoff in the extra period, the Terps’ Colin Heacock (three goals) took a slick pass from Matt Rambo (one goal, five assists) and beat Jack Kelly of West Islip (14 saves) to spoil Molloy’s stirring comeback saga.
“Physically, I’m pretty beat up,” Molloy said afterward. “My foot’s killing me. I needed to be out there. Last weekend [vs. Navy], being on the sidelines, was probably the hardest thing ever. I couldn’t do it again. Whatever the risks were, I had to take them. I’m proud I was out there. I’m happy I did it.”
So were his teammates. “It really showed how tough he is in the way that he played,” Kelly said. “He wasn’t just standing there. He was going after guys. It was incredible to watch. He made our team proud, our school proud and our league proud. People look at the Ivy League and think it’s a bunch of softies. Look at Dylan Molloy battling through a broken foot. He proved that he’s a tough guy and this is a tough league.”
Molloy is scheduled for foot surgery on Tuesday and then will fly to Washington, D.C., for Thursday’s Tewaaraton Award ceremony, where he is expected to be voted the sport’s most outstanding player. He won more than a trophy Saturday.