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The Return of Brown State Blogging

Editor’s Note: Please join us in welcoming Larken Kemp to the LAS family! Larken will be writing about Brown University Lacrosse this year with an insider’s perspective… he’s on the team! Alex Jones started the tradition, and now Larken Kemp is picking it up. Welcome to another Spring of Brown State Blogging!

Photo Credit: Greg Vasil

Seeing as this is my first contribution to the established legacy of Brown State Blogging, left behind by Alex Jones (Midfielder Class of 2013), it seems fitting to begin by touching on who I am before turning to my theme of the post, which is finding an identity, Brown Lacrosse, an inside look at this year’s captains, as well as some updates on the season thus far.

Who Am I?

A freshman at Brown this year, I am the third and probably last (if my bench press #’s don’t increase) of the Greenwich, CT defenseman pipeline, the others being Senior Captain Phil Pierce and the incumbent team Mayor Will Swindell. My entire life I wanted to be a hockey player. Lucky for me lacrosse provides the same grind-it-out mentality and slash-first-ask-questions-later type speed.

Prior to my switch to the long pole my sophomore year of high school at Phillips Academy I was the prototypical “wow, this kid is unbelievably mediocre” midfielder. Some characteristics of which can still be seen in my game, most noticeably my “changeup” of a shot, as it is so frequently put. As Kylor Bellistri (Sophomore attack man) would tell you, “hit the point, Kemp.” On that fitting note, what has been going on in the world of Brown State Lacrosse?

The Season So Far

End line, that one!” The motto this year has been work. We are a team that has worked, and as reinforced this past Saturday, we are a team that quite simply has too work. This preseason and fall was total competition, every day, every lift/run, and every groundball. Gone are the household names of Ferguson, Ford, and Del Prince from the defensive end as well as a stable of threats from the offensive midfield (often noted by Coach Tiffany might I add).

But isn’t that the beauty of NCAA sports? It is a constant cycle of rebuild and reload as each year is an opportunity for fresh faces to step up and seize opportunities. The prototypical example being Alabama football: Ingram, Richardson, Lacy, Henry, and that’s just the running back position over the past four years. Coach Roy and the strength and conditioning program since our first day of marine testing in September have instilled an attitude one which translates from the squat racks to in between the lines in the ground ball war.

Without a doubt every man in our locker room can trust the one across or next to him and that in the long run will pay off come end of April early May. Brown Lacrosse, for Coach Tiffany’s entire tenure, has lived and breathed on the words “Expect Nothing, Earn Everything” – a mantra that this year seems relevant more than ever.

It all boils down too doing your individual job, or making your assignment, so to speak. That is not say that the hypothetical cupboard is bare, as this team looks towards Ivy League play and the hunt for the playoffs. Forging our identity, we will be led out front by our four senior captains, Pete Vivonetto, Sam Hurster, Dan Mellynchuck, and Phil Pierce.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Here is an inside look at this years four captains:

Pete Vivonetto (#30) is known off the field as a full time lifeguard, part time math tutor, and for his Jim Carey like impression ability. Dry shirt in the weight room sold separately, Pete’s presence in the middle of the defense cannot be over looked. A vocal leader, Viv’s impassioned personality leaks into all aspects of life. From NHL Arcade, Chicken Carberry’s at Joes (Restaurant), and guitar solos, Pete puts his heart and soul into all activities. The Vince Wilfork of the Brown Defense. Kid bleeds Brown State.

Sam Hurster (#2) is the flash in the pan. The only offensive player of the four, his presence and poise helps dictate pace on the attack. Born in the gateway to the West, Sam can be found reliving Cardinals’ World Series wins, and winning best-dressed senior superlatives. Time and room, in tight, or on the run, Sam sets an example in all things offense and will help lead a young but multi-pronged attack headed into 2014.

Dan Mellynchuck (#21) is the textbook all-star utility player. When bored of leading a short stick defensive midfield for three years, he can be found scoring overtime winners over top five teams. A last second senior season switch to long pole? Sure, why not. Dan does it all. Just don’t touch his Television on the third floor of the lacrosse house, sensitive subject.

Last but not least there is Phil Pierce (#32) the quiet leader as he leads by example both in the weight room and on the field. As a freshman this year, I have seen Phil battle back from serious injuries as he looks to resume his role as the unquestioned leader and only returning starter on close defense. His hobbies include highlight tape viewing, Hubba’s fantasizing (restaurant in our hometown), and Brady Cheddar Williams (midfielder class of 2014) chiding. A literal caused turnover in disguise, everyone should expect big things out of Phil in 2014.

Looking Forward!

I struggle with where to begin on how to update the reader on our season thus far. Sports, perhaps more than any other avenue in life, is a series of ups and downs, the case in point being the Women’s hockey Olympic gold medal game. The season began with a razor like focus as we went down to Quinnipiac University, and while fighting through adversity and getting a Jim Craig like performance from Jack Kelly in-between the pipes, where we drove home with the 13-6 proverbial revenge win after they beat us last year.

Nothing was perfect but the offensive third quarter performance had Coach Boyle fist-pumping like he was on the turf at Homewood (flashbacks), and gave us unbelievable confidence in their ability to sling the rock and distribute to the open shooter. Big shout out to Tim Jacob’s alley (team joke), gratitude for the three goals all left-handed and from eighteen. Huge performances from Sam I AM Hurster and Ivy League Rookie of the Week Dylan Malloy at attack made the defenses job that much less stressful.

Our most recent result, this one a deflating 15-2 shellacking in our home opener leaves a taste in my mouth that is hard to write about. I could write a million excuses and provide answers for why and how but I would like to simply end on the word “opportunity.” Olympians have to wait every four years to get back on the ice, track, or field. Luckily the Brown Lacrosse team only has to wait four days as the Hartford Hawks come to Stevenson on Wednesday. Go Bears!

Thanks for reading!