Monday, April 25, 2016

Pat Spencer Gets Dual Awards

From the Capital-Gazette:
Pat Spencer, right, excelled for Loyola despite receiving special 
attention, amassing a team-high 58 points on 23 goals and 35 assists. 
The Davidsonville resident is the first men’s lacrosse player in Patriot League history 
to be named Rookie of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year 
in the same season. (Christopher T. Assaf / Baltimore Sun)
Patrick Spencer announced his presence on the Division I lacrosse scene during the season opener against Virginia.
Spencer started on attack for Loyola-Maryland and promptly beat his defender multiple times from behind the cage. Before the first quarter was even concluded, head coach Dom Starsia called for a switch and asked All-American defenseman Tanner Scales to cover the freshman phenom.
"It was really fun to see Virginia move its best defender onto Patrick about five minutes into the opener," Loyola head coach Charley Toomey said. "Patrick has drawn the opponent's top defender every game since then."
Spencer excelled despite receiving special attention, amassing a team-high 58 points on 23 goals and 35 assists. The Davidsonville resident is the first men's lacrosse player inPatriot League history to be named Rookie of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year in the same season.
"I'm in awe of what Patrick accomplished this season. He was the quarterback of our offense and we were at our best when the ball went through his stick," Toomey said. "Patrick is such a threat in so many ways. He's a terrific playmaker who is always dodging with his head up in order to find the open man. He puts pressure on teams from both sides of the goal with his ability to drive left or right and he's capable of creating his own shot."

Spencer was undersized as an underclassman at Boys' Latin School in Baltimore and therefore lightly recruited. Toomey, a Severna Park resident, had personally scouted the youngster and got a steal by offering a scholarship.
Spencer, who came up through the Annapolis Youth Lacrosse Association (AYLA), went through a major growth spurt and is now 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds. Spencer, who was 5-6 and only weighed 150 as a sophomore at Boys' Latin, enjoyed a strong senior season and was named an Under Armour All-American.
"We expected Patrick to come in and compete for a starting job. Obviously, there was no way to predict he would perform at the level he has this season," Toomey said. "Watching Patrick's skill set during preseason, I think our whole team knew this kid could be something special. Good news is that I still see a lot of room for improvement."
Spencer played basketball at Boys' Latin and was a two-year starter at point guard for teams that made consecutive appearances in the MIAA B Conference championship. He was one of the youngest players in the Annapolis Summer League in 2015 and showed his athleticism by throwing down several dunks while starting for the Stanton Center franchise.
"I really think the basketball background has helped Patrick immensely. He has great footwork, great vision and is cool as a cucumber with the ball," Toomey said.
Spencer is coming off a six-point performance against Army West Point, scoring two goals and dishing off four assists. On Monday, the youngster was named Corvias Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the sixth time this season.

Loyola is seeded second for the Patriot League Tournament and will play the second semifinal on Friday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. With his next goal or assist, Spencer will set the Loyola single-season school record for points by a freshman that was set by Dave Kasemeyer way back in 1984. He is tied for seventh in program history for assists in a season.

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