WORCESTER, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse freshman Kevin Lindley scored eight goals, setting a Patriot League freshman record, and Pat Spencer moved into second all-time at Loyola in points and assists, on Sunday as the ninth-ranked Greyhounds defeated College of the Holy Cross, 13-5, in conference play.
Spencer scored three times and had six assists, while Lindley added an assist for dual nine-point games. Jay Drapeau had a goal and an assist, while Peter Swindell added the Greyhounds’ other goal, and Aidan Olmstead had a pair of assists.
During the win, Spencer took over possession of second in all-time points (199) and assists (122) at Loyola in just his 39th career game. He now trails Gary Hanley (1978-81) in both categories; Hanley had 160 assists and 311 points.
The Greyhounds (4-1 overall, 2-0 Patriot League) controlled the first half of the game, keeping the Crusaders off the scoreboard while leading 7-0 at the break. Loyola posted five first-quarter goals, three by Lindley.
Holy Cross came back to tally the second half’s first three goals, a trio of goals that came in less than three seconds.
Lindley broke the Crusaders’ run with a goal off good ball movement by the Greyhounds. On a man-up possession, Olmstead moved the ball from left-to-right behind the cage to Drapeau, and he ran toward the topside on the right. Drapeau fed Lindley crashing to the crease, and he scored at 9:55 in the third to put Loyola in front, 8-3, a score that would stand through the end of the quarter.
On the fourth quarter’s opening faceoff, Mike Orefice won the clamp for the Greyhounds, and Ryan McNulty scooped up the ground ball. He ran the ball into the box and sent it to Lindley on the low, right-side, and Lindley sent a pass to Spencer coming down the left for a goal 13 ticks into the fourth.
Less than a minute later, Spencer found an open Drapeau on the left side of the box, and with the defense coming late to engage Drapeau, he dropped his hands for a low-to-high shot from 12 yards out, making it 10-3 Greyhounds with 13:56 left in regulation.
Matt Farrell responded with a transition goal for the Crusaders, scoring with 11:43 left to cut the Holy Cross deficit to six.
Lindley ripped off three goals to finish the game, wrapped around one Holy Cross tally, for Loyola. His first came at 10:07 when Spencer fed across the defense, and Lindley went sidearm for a 11-yard shot, and he was camped on the right side of the crease and one-timed a slick Spencer feed from the left alley at 9:48.
The Crusaders pulled within 12-5 with 6:35 to play when Farrell cleared and fed Drew Babiak for a sidearm shot from the left point.
Lindley canned his eighth of the game with 1:48 left on the clock. Brian Begley cleared the ball for Loyola, threw it to Spencer on the left, and he immediately redirected it to Lindley on the right side.
Lindley’s eight goals are tied for second-most in Patriot League history, one behind the record of nine set last season by the U.S. Naval Academy’s David Little. The eight goals are also the most by a NCAA Division I player this year (as of the most-recent NCAA stats report).
Spencer’s nine points are second-most in his career, trailing the 10 he has put up twice, most recently last March against the Crusaders in a one-goal, nine-assist game.
Loyola put up five goals in the first quarter as Peter Swindell got the scoring started with a hard, lefty strike from inside 10 yards off a Spencer feed at 11:43. Spencer added his first goal 17 seconds later as he came down the left side, faked toward the goal before stepping back to score at 11:26.
Lindley notched his first of the game at 4:51, racing past defenders from behind the goal to get topside with his hands free. He scored again 42 seconds later off an Olmstead assist, pushing the lead to 4-0.
With less than two seconds on the clock in the first quarter, Lindley notched his second-straight hat trick at the end of a transition run. The Greyhounds caused a turnover, cleared it quickly to Spencer who sent it near goal-line to Olmstead. Lindley then caught a pass from his fellow freshman, and he finished it with 1.5 before the first-quarter’s expiration.
Spencer produced a highlight-reel play with 5:40 to go in the second as he face-dodged a defender passed up a shot and threw it to Lindley on the right for the Greyhounds’ first of the period. Spencer then scored himself with 8.9 seconds left in the first half, running from behind and lowering his shoulder into a defender to create space; he wheeled to shoot and ripped a high-to-low shot to put Loyola in front, 7-0 at the break.
Despite outscoring Holy Cross by eight, Loyola had just a one-shot advantage in the game, 34-33. The Greyhounds put 21 of those shots on goal.
Foster Huggins had three caused turnovers for the Greyhounds, and Ryan McNulty led Loyola with seven ground balls.
The Greyhounds return to Ridley Athletic Complex for their next game, a 3 p.m. tilt on Saturday, March 10, against Duke University.