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The undersized Spencer could play four positions on the basketball court at Boys’ Latin. Now 6-2, he can be found shooting baskets late at night in Loyola’s Reitz Arena.


Although Spencer opened his sophomore season without scoring a goal for just the second time in his young career — he missed on six attempts and collected two assists in a wild 16-15 loss to visiting Virginia — Cavaliers coach Lars Tiffany was quick to credit Spencer with affecting the game significantly, even without the ball. Fifth-year senior defenseman Tanner Scales shut off Spencer for much of the day. His refusal to leave Spencer figured directly in Loyola getting five combined goals from its defensive midfield and faceoff man Graham Savio. “I don’t know if there’s a better player in college lacrosse who takes what the defense gives him,” Tiffany said. “The game really does seem to slow down for him.”


ccording to Bruce Spencer, Pat’s father, his oldest of three sons had that innate gift as far back as early in elementary school. At age 7, in his first year of 65-pound football, Pat wanted to play quarterback for the first time. By the second game of the season, in part because of his unusual field vision, Spencer was starting under center.


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“When Pat was little, his coaches would tell me he sees things the other boys don’t see,” Bruce Spencer said. “He’s always been a selfless player who doesn’t care about numbers. He truly enjoys playing the game.” And Spencer appears unaffected by the attention he has created. Besides doing lots of extra lacrosse drills on the side, Spencer often finds solace in his love of basketball. Whenever he can, Spencer watches his younger brother, Cameron, play varsity basketball at Boys’ Latin. Late on weeknight evenings, Spencer can be found shooting baskets alone in Loyola’s Reitz Arena. He gets home regularly on weekends, where he will shoot in the driveway with Cameron or someone else from the neighborhood, sometimes with car headlights illuminating the makeshift court. One thing seems very clear. The early rush of collegiate success has not gone to Spencer’s head.


“That experience last year is something I’ll never forget,” said Pat Spencer, who does not enjoy reliving the Greyhounds’ 18-13 loss to eventual champion North Carolina in the NCAA semifinals. “I want to keep that [bitter] taste in my mouth, that feeling that we were two games shy of getting it done,” he said. “But I’m not holding onto last year.” USL


54 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE May/June 2017


TEWAARATON WATCH ELLIE


DEGARMO PRINCETON


STEPH LAZO


PENN STATE


MARIE MCCOOL NORTH CAROLINA


KYLIE


OHLMILLER STONY BROOK


MEGAN WHITTLE MARYLAND


The Nike/USL Preseason Player of the Year and U.S. World Cup youngster ranks among Tar Heels leaders in nearly every statistical category.


The reigning Kelly Award winner would be just the second goalie to be a Tewaaraton finalist. She ranked second in Division I with a 59.2 save percentage at press time.


Lazo was the nation’s No. 2 scorer with 71 points through 13 games, including three game-winning goals to propel the Nittany Lions to a 12-1 start.


Ohilmiller was on pace to break NCAA single-season scoring record with 40 goals, 35 assists through 11 games and has elevated her game with Courtney Murphy’s season-ending ACL injury.


Taylor who? Whittle’s explosive scoring (34 goals in first 12 games) had Maryland as the undisputed No. 1 at press time.


USlacrosse.org


©BALTIMORE SUN MEDIA GROUP


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