BALTIMORE – Pat Spencer broke the Patriot League single-game record with nine assists on Saturday as Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse downed College of the Holy Cross, 16-9, at Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Greyhounds (3-2 overall, 2-0 Patriot League) recorded assists on all 16 of its goals in the game.
Spencer’s nine assists the school record for a game, matching the output of Gary Hanley in an April 25, 1979, game against Morgan State University. The nine assists are a Loyola Division I record, eclipsing the seven Brian Duffy posted on April 1, 1995, against Towson State University.
The total also marks the most in NCAA Division I this season and are tied for 10th most ever in an NCAA Division I game. The sophomore also tied his career-high with 10 points in the game. The previous Patriot League record of eight was held by three players: Tim Pearson (U.S. Military Academy, 2002), Chris Cara (Bucknell University, 2004) and Jon Brisner (Navy, 2005).
John Duffy scored a career-high three goals for Loyola, and Alex McGovern recorded two goals and four assists. Graham Savio went 20-of-29 on faceoffs with 10 ground balls for the Greyhounds.
Loyola used two runs, one of 5-0 in the first half and a 3-0 span in the second, to take control of what had been a tight game. After Mike Perkins scored the game’s first goal at 7:19 in the first quarter, Holy Cross (1-4, 1-1) tallied back-to-back goals by Sean Kirkpatrick and Kevin Kodzis to lead 2-1 with 5:12 to go in the opening stanza.
The Greyhounds evened the score 2:05 later when Duffy ran out of the box causing an unsettled situation, and Brian Begley gave him a pass for a 12-yard goal.
Duffy’s goal started a stretch of five-straight Loyola goals during which the Greyhounds held Holy Cross scoreless for more than 17 minutes.
Spencer assisted on three goals during the run, and McGovern recorded both of his tallies during the stretch. Twice in a row, Spencer drew two defenders below goal-line, and he hit his fellow attackers for goals. McGovern struck from eight yards out, and Jordan Germershausen snuck free on the left side of the goal and slung a hard sidearm shot for a goal at 5:03 in the second quarter.
McGovern then converted a Spencer feed at 4:15 before Spencer scored a goal of his own 16 ticks of the clock later. Zac Davliakos threw a pass to Spencer on the high left side from the top of the box, and Spencer’s momentum carried him past a Crusaders’ defender for a 10-yard goal.
That goal put Loyola in front 6-2, but Kirkpatrick scored his second of the day at 2:30, sending the Crusaders to the locker room down 6-3 at halftime.
Holy Cross then pulled within two 61 seconds into the second half on a Jon Vogel goal off one of Kevin Lux’s three assists, but Spencer fed Duffy for a step-down look at the top of the left alley for his second goal of the day.
Duffy’s goal again launched a Loyola run as Jay Drapeau tallied a man-up goal from McGovern at 9:40, and Davliakos ripped an overhand shot to score at 9:26, putting Loyola in front, 9-5.
Kirkpatrick and Lux had goals that bookended Duffy’s third of the day before Jared Mintzlaff ran a slow break and stayed on to catch a McGovern feed for a goal at 3:15 in the third.
Brian Sherlock then used a Romar Dennis feed to get free down the left alley, and the Loyola midfielder shot left-handed to the opposite stick-side of Holy Cross goalkeeper Jonathan Tesoro, pushing the lead to 12-6 at 2:14 in the quarter.
Marc Buermann responded for the Crusaders with an unassisted goal with 41 second left in the quarter, but Spencer threw to Begley at the top of the box, and he struck with a 17-yard rip seven ticks before the expiration of the frame, giving Loyola a 13-7 advantage going into the final period.
Matthew Fischetti pulled Holy Cross within five 2:53 into the fourth quarter off a Buermann assist, but Germershausen and Dennis each scored off Spencer passes over the next three minutes to push the lead to seven.
Kirkpatrick then added his fourth of the day with an even eight mintues left in regulation, and Sherlock scored his second 56 seconds later to close the game’s scoring.
Jack Carrigan led Loyola defensively with three caused turnovers and five ground balls, helping Loyola to a 42-31 advantage off the ground. The Greyhounds also held Holy Cross to 15-of-22 in clearing.
The Greyhounds take a break from Patriot League action next weekend as they travel to Durham, North Carolina, to face Duke University on Saturday, March 11, at 12 noon.