Se­nior duo helps No. 2 Loy­ola roll past Le­high

Spencer’s 5 goals, Stover’s 15 saves pro­pel Grey­hounds

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - COLLEGE LACROSSE - By Ed­ward Lee

On a day when the Loy­ola Mary­land men’s lacrosse pro­gram saluted its 12mem­ber se­nior class, the one per­son who might’ve been most over­joyed by the mo­ment was Le­high coach Kevin Cass­ese.

That’s un­der­stand­able af­ter Cass­ese and the No. 15 Moun­tain Hawks ab­sorbed a 15-9 drub­bing by the No. 2 Grey­hounds at Ri­d­ley Ath­letic Com­plex in Bal­ti­more on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Loy­ola (8-2, 5-0 Pa­triot League) was paced by se­nior at­tack­man Pat Spencer and se­nior goal­keeper Ja­cob Stover. Spencer (Boys’ Latin) to­taled 11 points on five goals and six as­sists, and Stover (McDonogh) turned aside a game-high 15 shots.

Since 2016 — the se­niors’ first sea­son — the Grey­hounds are 5-0 against Le­high and have outscored their con­fer­ence ri­val, 71-42.

“I do think the best way to stop him is grad­u­a­tion,” Cass­ese said of Spencer, who has 14 goals and 20 as­sists in those five meet­ings against the Moun­tain Hawks. “So we’re look­ing for­ward to that. It seems to be so close, but it’s so far away.

“But at the same time, I’m a com­peti­tor and we’re a team full of com­peti­tors. We TV: look for­ward to play­ing against the best. And not only is he the best, but this is the best team in the Pa­triot League and one of the best in the coun­try, and it’s also one of the best coach­ing staffs around. So from a com­pet­i­tive na­ture, I en­joy the chal­lenge.”

With his dou­ble-digit out­ings against the Moun­tain Hawks and Colgate (two goals and eight as­sists) on March 30, Spencer be­came the first player in school his­tory to score at least 10 points in back-to-back games. He also be­came the first player in NCAA Di­vi­sion I his­tory to reach dou­ble dig­its in points in two con­sec­u­tive games since Al­bany at­tack­man Lyle Thomp­son on March 14 and 17, 2015.

Spencer in­creased his na­tion-lead­ing points-per-game av­er­age to 7.7.

“I’m not shoot­ing for it,” he said. “I’m just tak­ing what the de­fense gives me. So to­day, they gave me plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties, and I tried to take ad­van­tage of them. It doesn’t mean any­thing.”

Loy­ola took any mys­tery out of the pro­ceed­ings by scor­ing the game’s first nine goals be­fore five min­utes elapsed in the sec­ond quar­ter. The run was fu­eled by Spencer, who had three goals and two as­sists against an in­jury-plagued Le­high de­fense. The Moun­tain Hawks lost start­ing fresh­man de­fense­man Michael Ha­gen­berger to a right knee in­jury he suf­fered while hawk­ing Spencer in the first quar­ter.

Any hope that the Moun­tain Hawks had of mak­ing a come­back was snuffed out by Stover, who made at least 10 saves in his 11th straight game — a streak that dates to last sea­son’s loss to even­tual na­tional cham­pion Yale in the NCAA tour­na­ment quar­ter­fi­nals.

Grey­hounds fresh­man de­fense­man Cam Wy­ers lim­ited se­nior at­tack­man Lu­cas Spence, who en­tered the game lead­ing Le­high with 34 points, to two as­sists.

Coach Charley Toomey mildly dis­agreed with Cass­ese’s sen­ti­ment that Satur­day’s dis­play was the Grey­hounds’ best this spring.

“I cer­tainly hope not. I hope there’s more out there,” he said. “But I will say this: I think that we’re get­ting healthy at the right time both of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively. So our prac­tices have been bet­ter. They’ve been more com­pet­i­tive with guys that we’re not sit­ting out as much, and I think it’s start­ing to show.” Le­high 0 3

Loy­ola Mary­land 6 4

Goals: L—Kirst 2, Klose 2, Rai 2, Eichel­berger, Mon­nin, Tum­minello; LM—Spencer 5, Olm­stead 3, Scan­lan 3, Cox, Duffy, Lind­ley, Swindell. As­sists: L—Schelling 3, Fitz­patrick 2, L.Spence 2, Rai; LM—Spencer 6, Duffy. Saves: L—J.Spence 12, Kier­nan 1; LM—Stover 15.

LARRY FRENCH/LOY­OLA MARY­LAND ATH­LET­ICS

Loy­ola Uni­ver­sity Mary­land’s Pat Spencer scores his sec­ond of five goals on Satur­day af­ter­noon against Le­high.

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