Athlete Worth Watching: Pat Spencer of Loyola University Lacrosse
Jul 14, 2017 11:55AM ● Published by Nicole Gould
Photo by Larry French/Loyola Athletics
Tension builds while silence fills the air. The players take a knee at the center circle. Their cleats firmly pressed on the turf while their sticks lay face to face. Peering down through the cage of their helmet is the view of the small rubber ball that’s about to determine who walks away the victor.
The sound of the whistle blows and both sticks clash, struggling for possession. Loyola grabs control and sophomore Pat Spencer receives the ball, cuts through the turf, cradling the ball as he makes his way through the opposing team. With one swift move, Spencer propels his stick forward, releasing the ball, flying past the goalie and scoring one for The Hounds.
Known as number seven on the field, this sophomore has come quite accustom to putting points on the scoreboard, immediately drawing the opposing team’s attention.
A Davidsonville native, Spencer became interested in the sport when he was only seven years old. After gradually learning the sport, he began playing for his local county team, The Annapolis Hawks and the Baltimore Crabs.
“I’ve always enjoyed lacrosse,” Spencer admits.
Prior to his college debut, Spencer received USLacrosse High School All-American honors, was named to the MIAA ‘A’ Conference All-Star First Team, became a member of the Baltimore Sun All-Metro First Team, and named an Under Armour All-American while attending Boys’ Latin School of Maryland.
As the lead attackman for the No. 18 NCAA Division I Loyola University Maryland Men’s lacrosse team, Spencer has received numerous national accolades throughout his record-breaking collegiate career.
“I have always enjoyed lacrosse and I wanted to play at the Division I level,” Spencer says. “I wanted to be a part of a winning program and Loyola is that. I also wanted to stay close to home, so this checked that box too.”
During his freshman year, Spencer tied the school’s single-season record by tallying a total of 89 points, naming him Freshman of the Year by Inside Lacrosse. He led the team with 52 assists and tied for team-high honors with 37 goals.
“It was a nice honor to be in pretty elite company,” Spencer says. “Initially I just wanted to try to get onto the field, but I started to quickly realize what I could do to help this team win.”
While juggling the responsibilities of a student athlete can be a difficult task, Spencer finds the time to work towards his finance major, with interest of starting his own company down the road, all while he remains dominant on the field.
“You have to learn good time management skills and how to balance everything,” Spencer explains. “We have great academic support at Loyola with study halls and a lot of people who work very hard to help us handle the rigors of college athletics and academics.”
A typical day of practice for Spencer starts off with film, of both of themselves and their upcoming opponents. The team then moves outside for some stretching before beginning their practice. On some days, the Hounds extend practice and head into the weight room.
As any collegiate player does, Spencer looks to enter the championship season and take the Hounds all the way. With the success he’s had thus far, he admits the Final Four was a memory he’ll never forget.
“Winning the quarterfinal was a great experience and knowing that we were going to be able to move on to the next round,” Spencer says. “It was something that you want to do as a player and it’s the pinnacle of the sport at the college level.”
During his sophomore season, Spencer led Loyola’s No. 6 ranked scoring offense, as well as all of the NCAA, with 23 assists. The attacker currently leads the Patriot League in points and assists per game with an average of 5.46 and 3.54. He is also tied for ninth in Patriot League history with 98 assists.
Spencer was named the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) and BSN Sports Offensive Player of the Week after a record-breaking nine assists in Loyola’s match up with Holy Cross, putting Loyola in the lead for Division I in assists per game with 11.
“I want to bring another championship back to Loyola,” Spencer says. “I don’t have any specific goals, just to do whatever I can to make that happen.”
With two years of eligibility remaining, the sky’s the limit for number seven.