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five assists in Loyola’s rout over the Black Knights in the conference tournament title game. He became the first player in league history to be named Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season. He wound up second in Division I in points (4.94) and assists (2.89) per game. It was the most prolific season ever by a Loyola freshman. It also was a powerful statement by the sport’s preeminent late bloomer.


“For everybody who wants to criticize early recruiting,” said Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala, “he’s the perfect story.”


L


ooking back on that anxious recruiting phase while at Boys’ Latin, Spencer says the case for coming to Loyola was too compelling to pass up. The campus is about an hour’s drive from his


family’s Anne Arundel County home in Davidsonville, Md. The Greyhounds play in the sparkling seven-year-old Ridley Athletic Complex. Loyola is five years removed from winning the school’s only NCAA Division I championship in any sport and has since remained in the upper echelon of college lacrosse. The school’s academic reputation is solid as ever. The men’s lacrosse team is led by 12th-year coach Charley Toomey. “You grow up watching the big-time schools like Duke or UNC or Virginia on TV. That’s where you want to play,” Spencer said. “The process was frustrating. You’re thinking you’re better than this kid or that kid who is going to Duke or wherever, but none of those places have spots open. “You’re either so lucky to have all kinds of great schools coming after you [early], or you’re under the radar like I was. Luckily, Loyola had spots open. There weren’t a lot of choices to be made, but the decision to come to Loyola was easy. This is a great place.”


“I wasn’t sure if Pat was going to start as a freshman,”


Toomey said. “When we offered him [scholarship money], we felt that, even if he never grew, we were getting a guy who could handle himself at the Division I level.” Spencer committed to Loyola in August going into his junior year of high school.


“Pat was 5-8 when we watched him play with the Crabs. After he committed, we watched him play as a junior and he was just blowing up [physically] and getting better,” Toomey said. “Great stick and skill set, so smooth with both hands. We felt strongly that he could help us.”


TEWAARATON WATCH TREVOR


BAPTISTE DENVER


CONNOR FIELDS ALBANY


BEN


REEVES YALE


SERGIO


SALCIDO SYRACUSE


PAT S


pencer’s sudden splash of collegiate success came as no surprise to Gene Ubriaco, the assistant coach at Boys’ Latin, whose son, Michael, will graduate


52 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE May/June 2017


SPENCER LOYOLA


No faceoff specialist has ever been a finalist. But none have been as essential as Baptiste, who with a 74.3 percent win rate at press time was in position to challenge the NCAA single-season record (77.6).


Chasing not only a legend, but also his former teammate, Fields’ 65 points (35g, 30a) through nine games set a pace to eclipse Lyle Thompson’s NCAA single-season record 128.


After a slow start due to a hamstring injury, the returning Tewaaraton finalist was surging along with his team in mid-March, averaging six points per game in one six-game stretch.


Given the Orange’s trust with the ball in his stick in clutch moments, their top midfielder could be poised for headlines in May.


What sophomore slump? Spencer ranked No. 2 in the country in points (59) and assists (37) through 10 games.


USlacrosse.org


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