Spencer’s fast start leads Loyola to 15-9 win over Lehigh

April 06, 2019 | WNST Staff


BALTIMORE – Pat Spencer scored three goals and had three assists in the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s game to help No. 3 Loyola University Maryland take a 9-0 lead on No. 14 Lehigh University, and the senior finished with 11 points on five goals and six assists as the Greyhounds beat the Mountain Hawks, 15-9, in Patriot League action at Ridley Athletic Complex.

In the game, Spencer moved into third in NCAA Division I career assists with 209, jumping from fifth while passing Brown University’s Darren Lowe (1989-92, 205) and Cornell University’s Rob Pannell (2009-13, 204) in the process. He also tied the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Joe Vasta (1983-86) for career points with 343.

Spencer’s last goal, with 8:46 to play in the third quarter, moved him into sole possession of second in career goals at Loyola (134), passing Pat Lamon (1983-86). With 11 points on Saturday, he also became the first Loyola player in history, and the first NCAA Division I player since 2015 (University at Albany’s Lyle Thompson) to have back-to-back 10-point games.

Bailey Savio helped Loyola control possession in the game, winning 16 of 27 faceoffs while picking up 11 ground balls; he went 10 of 13 at the dot in the second half.

Jacob Stover made 15 saves in goal for Loyola, his 11th-straight game with 10 or more.

Spencer was honored with 11 of his Class of 2019 teammates prior to the game in a Senior Day ceremony, and he put Loyola on the scoreboard first. Cam Wyers caused a turnover on the defensive end for the Greyhounds, and Loyola cleared to its offensive end. Spencer bodied up to his defender, turned back to his right and scored low 1:46 into the contest, starting the opening run.

Chase Scanlan added his first of three goals at 11:14 after the Greyhounds (8-2 overall, 5-0 Patriot League) rode back a clear, and Scanlan dodged down the middle through traffic to score. Spencer then had his first of six assists as he found Riley Cox cutting to the middle, and Cox finished with a goal at 9:18.

Loyola went on extra-man after an unsportsmanlike conduct call went against the Lehigh bench, and Spencer threw to John Duffy for a stepdown goal on the high right side at 7:29.

Cole Boland caused a turnover for the Greyhounds, and after the clear, Scanlan beat his man from goal-line extended and scored his second of the day with 5:41 to play in the first quarter, stretching the lead to 5-0.

Loyola’s advantage would move to six just over a minute later as Spencer picked up a ground ball near the end line and bull-dodged to get free and score with 4:24 on the clock.

He would open the second quarter with another unassisted goal, drawing a double 12 yards from the goal, swimming to his left and scoring on a bouncer 1:52 into the game. Aidan Olmstead then had two-straight goals for Loyola, scoring off a Spencer assist at 12:39 and then tallying one unassisted off an alley dodge to make it 9-0 with 10:09 to play in the first quarter.

Lehigh (7-4, 5-1) would break its scoreless stretch that ran to 21 minutes, 34 seconds when Tommy Schelling ran down the right alley and threw to Tristan Rai on the right side of the goal for a one-timer at 8:26 that broke the Greyhounds’ run. Schelling assisted on the next goal when he found Ryan Close for a goal at 6:30.

Spencer responded for Loyola with 2:21 left in the quarter as he rolled quickly to his left and ripped a sidearm shot for his fourth of the day.

The Mountain Hawks got back within seven, 10-3, at the halftime buzzer as Mickey Fitzpatrick fed Cole Kirst for a goal with no time left on the clock. The Mountain Hawks scored the third quarter’s first goal on an unassisted tally by Alex Tumminello, closing within six, but Spencer was involved in the next two goals to stretch the lead back to eight.

He fed Kevin Lindley who had started a run that led him past two defenders, and Lindley dove across the face of the goal to score with 11:16 on the clock. Spencer then scored his fifth goal – all of them unassisted – of the day with 8:46 on the clock, making it 12-4 Loyola.

Lehigh tallied two goals in a row as Rai and Kirst scored at 7:54 and 4:15, but the Greyhounds came back with three in a row.

Scanlan started the stretch with 13.7 seconds left in the third quarter. John Duffy ran topside from ‘X’ and threw a dart of a skip pass across the defense to Scanlan who stepped in for his third of the day.

Olmstead also had his third of the game when he executed a hidden-ball trick. Spencer threw to Olmstead at the top-left of the box, and Olmstead faked the dump-off to Alex McGovern. As the Lehigh defense followed McGovern, Olmstead stuck a 20-yard shot inside the far pipe just 42 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Spencer then had his sixth assist of the day with 13:35 left in the game as he threw from behind the cage to Peter Swindell who scored from 15 yards, putting the Greyhounds in front, 15-6.

Lehigh scored the game’s final three goals in the last eight minutes to provide the final margin.

The Greyhounds clinched a spot in the 2019 Patriot League Championships with the victory.

Loyola closes out its home regular-season schedule on Tuesday, April 9, when it hosts Georgetown University in a 7 p.m. game that will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.