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Loyola Maryland men’s lacrosse standout Pat Spencer does not need to use last start as motivation

By any standard, Pat Spencer enjoyed a remarkable season. The sophomore attackman set a Loyola Maryland record for assists in a season with 55, became the first player in Patriot League history to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors in each of his first two years, and was the program's third finalist for the Tewaaraton Award, college lacrosse's version of the Heisman Trophy.

But Spencer's final start of 2017 ended with a one-goal, zero-assist performance in the Greyhounds' 7-4 loss to No. 3 seed Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It tied the Davidsonville resident and Boys' Latin graduate's worst outing of the season when he finished with a lone assist in a 12-11 overtime loss at Boston University on April 15.

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So is coach Charley Toomey worried about how Spencer will deal with that showing? In a word, no.

"Pat's a competitor," Toomey said. "… I think Pat was a little disappointed that he didn't create a few more opportunities for himself when he had a chance, but Pat is also one of the most unselfish kids in our program. So he's really about getting others involved. If somebody slides down to him, he's going to move the ball. He's always going to make the right decision. That's one that you keep growing from. It was very similar to the BU game where they pressed him out and they challenged us. … It was a physical matchup and a tough matchup, and the way they played it, you give them credit. But I don't see that happening an awful lot in Pat's career. Pat will learn from everything as will we as coaches. We will put him in different spots to attack that matchup. I know he's handling it the right way, and I know our program is, and we're going to learn from it, and teams are going to have a bear on their hands as Pat Spencer becomes a junior."

Toomey said Spencer is motivated enough that he does not need to use that memory as inspiration for next spring. Instead, Toomey said he would like Spencer to concentrate on assuming some of the leadership roles picked up by midfielder Brian Sherlock, attackman Zack Sirico, defenseman Jack Carrigan and long-stick midfielder Ryan Fournier who have since graduated.

"If anything, I try to motivate Pat to send an email out or send a text out to say, 'Hey, what are you doing today? I'm lifting or running or I've got a basketball game,'" Toomey said. "Just to stay in touch because that's something I need him to take that next step on in terms of being that vocal leader. He's already the guy every freshman – when he walks in – is going to look at him and kind of try to emulate. Now we need him to be a little bit more vocal and to lead where Brian did that for us for a few years. I think guys are going to look around at [junior short-stick defensive midfielders] Brian Begley and Jared Mintzlaff and Pat and [sophomore midfielder] John Duffy to be that voice of Loyola."

Twitter: @edwardleesun

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