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Duke player Ethan Powley, left, tries to get the ball from Loyola player Pat Spencer.
Duke player Ethan Powley, left, tries to get the ball from Loyola player Pat Spencer. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

When the five finalists for the 2016 Tewaaraton Award were announced on May 15, Pat Spencer's name was not included in the group. At the time, it seemed curious, considering as a freshman attackman, Spencer had fueled Loyola Maryland's run to a share of the Patriot League regular-season title and the outright tournament championship with 30 goals and 41 assists even before entering the NCAA postseason.

But if you want outrage and bitterness from the Davidsonville resident and Boys' Latin graduate, prepare to be disappointed.

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"From what I've heard, the Tewaaraton Award candidates are picked fairly early in the season and then are narrowed down," the sophomore said recently. "I don't think I was as hot as I was in the first half of the season as I was in the second. I wasn't upset about that whole process at all because I kind of knew what went into it. And the first half of the season was good, but the second half was when I really settled in and started to play my game, and the coaches trusted me a little bit more and my teammates did as well. I wasn't completely upset with the way it unfolded."

Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey is one of several coaches on the Tewaaraton Award committee, and he could have nominated Spencer for the honor. But he would have been the only freshman on the list, and Toomey said he did not want to put any undue pressure on Spencer.

"Pat has every right to be on that watch list, and we'll see where the Top 50 goes this year," Toomey said. "But I think back to last year, and was he certainly capable of being one of those guys? Absolutely. But to Pat's credit, I don't think it worries him, and it certainly doesn't worry me. I think at the end of the day, you get what you deserve, and he'll get what he deserves. There will be enough rewards for Pat if he continues to do what he's been doing."

By the time the first round of additions to the Tewaaraton Award watch list was announced on March 17, Spencer had compiled 10 goals and 12 assists in six games. When the second and final round of additions was revealed on April 7, he had totaled 18 goals and 23 assists in 10 games.

That means that over the final eight games of his rookie campaign, Spencer had exploded for 19 goals and 29 assists. That's an average of 6.0 points compared to 4.1 in the first 10 games.

Spencer's absence of bitterness about being omitted from Tewaaraton consideration is reflected by his parents, Bruce and Donna Spencer.

"I really didn't expect that at all, and truthfully, neither one of us knew about the process," Donna Spencer said. "It was just about trying to get him through [his first year in college] and figuring out where he fits. You just don't even see that bigger picture when you're living it."

As Bruce Spencer put it, "No harm, no foul."

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