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“FOR EVERYBODY THAT WANTS TO CRITICIZE


EARLY RECRUITING, HE’S THE PERFECT STORY.” — Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala


Loyola sophomore attackman Pat Spencer, the No. 2 scorer in Division I at press time, was overlooked as a recruit at Boys’ Latin (Md.). He had not yet reached his physical peak.


from there next year and bring his talent as a long-stick midfielder to Johns Hopkins with the class of 2018. Between the time he spent coaching Spencer in lacrosse, watching him excel on the basketball court with the Lakers as an All-Metro guard — who could play four positions on the court — and even playing numerous rounds of golf with the youngster, Ubriaco said Spencer’s performance from the outset with the Greyhounds, while precocious, seems inevitable now.


“Patrick is creative and instinctual and stylistic. He’s got so much charisma,” Ubriaco said. “As a basketball player, he was a 2 guard who could handle the ball a lot and really take it to the basket. The ultimate compliment for attackmen is they make everybody better. Patrick can make a 5-foot guy play like he’s 10-feet tall.” “As a competitor, I don’t think I’d want to play too many board games with him,” Ubriaco added. “As a teammate, he’s authentic. He’s got your back all the way, but he’ll tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. He’s still my favorite lacrosse player to watch. I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with him.” Loyola players recall how Spencer


effortlessly forced his way into the Greyhounds’ rotation in his first fall season.


Senior midfielder Brian Sherlock had heard Loyola was getting a good multi- sport athlete who could contribute early on. But watching Spencer in the opening days of fall season — dodging past defenders from up top, behind the cage and on the wings, recognizing double teams and executing pinpoint passes to open teammates, taking and making smart shots — was a revelation. “[Spencer] looked like the go-to guy running our offense right from the start.


USlaxmagazine.com May/June 2017 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE 53


It came so naturally to him,” Sherlock said. “His vision and athleticism — he was unbelievable on the first day of practice.” “He’s a quiet, humble guy, but you could tell quickly that he wasn’t nervous at all,” senior attackman Zach Sirico said of Spencer. “He knows how to beat you, and he doesn’t force things. He didn’t make those frantic freshman plays.” “It’s never been about wanting to score a goal or wanting to get an assist to me,” Spencer said. “It’s about making the right lacrosse play.”


pencer didn’t wait long to show his versatility last year. In Loyola’s season-opening rout over Virginia in Charlottesville, he made his mark on the Greyhounds’ first two possessions by scoring a goal and assisting Sirico on another. Spencer finished with two goals and two assists. Marc Van Arsdale, Loyola’s first-year offensive coordinator, was on the losing end of that decision at Virginia a year ago. “First, Pat turns the corner and scores on us. Then, he turns the corner again, the slide comes, and he feeds Sirico on the crease for a goal,” Van Arsdale said. “I walked off the field that day thinking two pretty good teams had just played, and by far the best player on the field was a freshman playing in his first game. You don’t see that very often.” “The way Pat can look through a defense makes me look at [defensive coordinator] Matt Dwan in practice, and we just shake our heads,” Toomey said. “He’s a cerebral, relentless competitor who will put the ball on your stick if you’re open by a sliver of a window. Pat makes plays that the offense has to catch up to.”


S


©JOHN STROHSACKER


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