Spencer, Savio Propel Loyola to Big Win at Lehigh


Graham Savio won 17 of 25 faceoffs, fueling Loyola's potent offense with plenty of possessions in a 16-10 victory at Lehigh.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Loyola features a dangerous offense, led by arguably the nation’s best player in Pat Spencer.

When that offense keeps getting the ball, it’s bound to do damage.

That’s exactly what happened on Saturday as No. 10 Loyola jumped out to a 7-0 lead and wouldn’t look back, downing No. 15 Lehigh, 16-10, in a battle of two Patriot League heavyweights.

Spencer finished with four goals and three assists, tying the Patriot League career assists record of 142 (he’s only a junior). The Greyhounds put 16 goals on the board against a Lehigh defense that was ranked sixth nationally entering the day, allowing just over eight per contest. The Mountain Hawks had allowed double-figure goals just twice in their first 11 games and hadn’t allowed more than 12 in a game prior to Saturday.

With Loyola’s Bailey Savio winning 17 of 25 faceoffs on the afternoon, Loyola’s ninth-ranked scoring offense got into an early rhythm while the Mountain Hawks struggled to get into a rhythm at either end of the field.

“They were playing make it, take it early on -—winning faceoffs and scoring goals,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “I give them all the credit. They have, in my opinion, the player of the year in their attack unit. When you let them play that much offense, it’s going to be a tough day for you.”

Savio won his first five faceoffs and wouldn’t look back.

“He gave us the ball,” said Loyola head coach Charley Toomey. “It’s hard to play defense and have to get a stop every time, which is the way it’s been the last couple weeks. Today, it was nice to have the ball coming from the X.”

Spencer quickly made his mark, scoring twice in the span of 1:08 to give Loyola a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter. He scored his hat-trick goal with 1:55 remaining in the first to give the Greyhounds a 5-0 lead.

Craig Chick fired home Lehigh’s first goal of the game with 3:38 left in the second quarter, but Spence found Kevin Lindley with just 2.5 seconds remaining in the first half to give his side an 8-1 halftime advantage.

Loyola’s lead swelled to 10-1early in the third quarter before Lehigh’s Andrew Pettit scored two consecutive goals. Loyola shut down any thoughts of a comeback, though, by scoring the next four goals to take a 14-3 lead.

The Mountain Hawks responded with seven of the game’s final nine goals. One bright spot Saturday was the man advantage as Lehigh converted its only opportunity and is now 12 of its last 15 on the man-up. Also in the fourth quarter, Austin Pierce scored twice in the span of 16 seconds, but it was too little, too late.

“For Loyola, it was as close to a perfect game as you could have,” Cassese said. “We dug ourselves a hole that we couldn’t get out of. We didn’t really have a chance to get going and that was really the difference in the game.”

With the win, the Greyhounds improve to 5-1 in league play, while Lehigh falls to 5-2 with the Patriot League tournament quickly approaching later this month.


Junior attackman Pat Spencer (7) had four goals and three assists, tying the Patriot League career assists record (142).

Spencer led Loyola with his seven points, while Aidan Olmstead and John Duffy each had two goals and two assists. Foster Huggins and Brian Begley each caused three turnovers, while goalkeeper Jacob Stover stopped eight of 14 shots sent his way.

As is often the case after Greyhounds games, however, all the talk was about Spencer.

“We see it every day [from Spencer],” Toomey said. “He makes incredible plays. He’s very unselfish and makes people around him better. He handles double teams and he handles anything that’s thrown at him. He’s seen it all in his three years so far. Thankfully, he’s in green.”

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