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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #6 Loyola Greyhounds

The Greyhounds made another appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals and had their first ever Tewaaraton Award winner.

Matt Dewkett

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:

To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.

Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review with the teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament!

#6 Loyola Greyhounds

Conference: Patriot League
2019 Record: 12-5 (7-1 in Patriot League)
Postseason: Lost to Army West Point in Patriot League semifinals, defeated Syracuse in NCAA First Round, lost to Penn State in NCAA Quarterfinals
Head coach: Charley Toomey (14th Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Kevin Lindley (60)
Assists: Pat Spencer (65)
Points: Pat Spencer (114)
Faceoffs: Bailey Savio (246-of-471; 52.2%)
Ground balls: Bailey Savio (141)
Caused turnovers: Ryan McNulty (25)
Goals against average: Jacob Stover (10.75)
Save percentage: Jacob Stover (58.3%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: A Pat Spencer (49 Gs, 65 As, 37 GBs, 8 CTs), G Jacob Stover (10.75 GAA, 58.3% SV %, 44 GBs, 3 CTs, 1 A), M John Duffy (20 Gs, 8 As, 15 GBs), M Alex McGovern (7 Gs, 8 As, 9 GBs, 4 CTs), M P.J. Brown (6 Gs, 5 As, 9 GBs), D Paul Volante (8 CTs, 17 GBs), D Lucas Jackson (1 CT, 3 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 173 of 385 points (44.9%)
Senior starts lost: 88 of 170 (51.8%)

Season Summary

Loyola had nearly everything they needed to make a deep run in May. Led by a Tewaaraton favorite in Pat Spencer and stud goalie Jacob Stover, the Greyhounds hoped to claim the program’s second national championship this decade.

And things appeared to look that way in the early going. In their season opener against Virginia, Loyola got a pair of five-goal performances from Spencer and Kevin Lindley along with 18 saves from Stover in an eight-goal victory. The following week down Charles Street at Johns Hopkins was a similar story as Spencer dominated the Blue Jays defense with freshman midfielder Chase Scanlan scoring six points in an 18-12 win. With a No. 1 ranking underneath their belt, the Greyhounds got up on Rutgers early in the first half thanks to a seven-point performance from Spencer and another 18 save afternoon from Stover for their third win over a ranked opponent.

Everything was going right for Loyola as they entered a huge midweek road matchup with seventh ranked Towson. Loyola either trailed or was tied with the Tigers for the entire 60 minutes and were unable to take advantage of Towson late for their first loss of the season. Despite beating Holy Cross in their Patriot League opener a few days later, they appeared to struggle a little bit on defense as the Crusaders closed Loyola’s lead to one a couple of times in the third quarter. The Greyhounds then fell to Duke on the road in another big midweek showdown with Loyola getting shutout in the third quarter. Spencer only had a goal and two assists.

With the toughest part of their schedule out of the way, Loyola got into a groove as Patriot League play ramped up. They took care of Navy, Bucknell, and Colgate to go 4-0 in conference play. Against the Raiders, Spencer and Lindley each recorded 10 points with Spencer notching eight assists and Lindley scoring eight goals. Against Lehigh in a battle of undefeated teams in league play, the Greyhounds got off to a quick 9-0 start en route to a 15-9 win. Spencer one-upped himself from the previous week with 11 points. In their final midweek game of the season against Georgetown, Loyola appeared to be in control and held on late as the Hoyas made a late charge.

The Greyhounds got back up to No. 2 in the country as they headed north to take on Boston University. It was a fight in the first half with the game tied at nine, but the Terriers got away with a 9-2 second half for an 18-11 win. Spencer was limited to just one assist as Aidan Olmstead’s six points and Lindley’s four led the way on offense. Loyola’s defense gave up a combined 23 points to BU’s attack unit, including nine to James Burr and eight to Chris Gray. Wins over Army West Point and Lafayette ended the team’s regular season and were still the top overall seed in the Patriot League Tournament.

Loyola’s rematch with the Black Knights in the Patriot League semifinals was a lot more defensive. 12 goals in total were scored with Army putting up seven to Loyola’s five. Spencer was limited to one assist, Lindley only had one goal, Olmstead had two points, and Scanlan was the team’s leader in points with three. Both goalies played well, but the stingy Black Knight defense came out on top. The Greyhounds entered the NCAA Tournament as the eighth and final seed and hosted Syracuse in the first round. Down four with 3:32 to go in the third quarter, Loyola went on a game-changing seven-goal run to beat the Orange by two. Spencer finished with nine points and Stover stopped 17 shots.

Their quarterfinal matchup against Penn State was the complete opposite of the Army loss. 35 goals were scored altogether, with at least 10 in each of the first three quarter. The Greyhounds took a one-goal lead into the second quarter but gave up a nine spot to the Nittany Lions in the next 15 minutes and trailed by seven. Loyola scored seven of their own in the third to cut the deficit to two, but Penn State scored the final five goals for the win. In their final college lacrosse games, Spencer tallied 11 points while Stover stopped 19 shots.

Spencer’s 114 points were second in the country behind Penn State’s Grant Ament. But Spencer broke the all-time NCAA record for career assists with 231, surpassing Lyle Thompson of Albany. Spencer also became Loyola’s first Tewaaraton Award winner. Lindley was third in the country with 60 goals on the season, while Olmstead recorded 46 points to complete the attack unit. Scanlan made a big impression as a freshman up top with 43 goals and 58 points. Seniors John Duffy and P.J. Brown joined Scanlan as the starting midfield unit. Alex McGovern, who started three games at attack early in the season, was part of a second midfield line that consisted of a combination of Peter Swindell, Dan Wigley, and Riley Cox.

The defense was a young group early in the season with Paul Volante as the veteran leader at close defense. John Railey played for the first time after missing his first two seasons with injuries. Cam Wyers was a solid freshman defender with 17 caused turnovers, good for second on the team. Lucas Jackson also saw time, primary on man-down situations. Ryan McNulty became one of the best long stick midfielders in the country with 25 caused turnovers and 65 ground balls. Alex Johnson, who started the first six games at close defense, was typically the second LSM for most of the year. Scott Middleton also got reps as a pole. Matt Higgins, Cole Boland, Payton Rezanka, and Matthew Benus were all short stick defensive midfielders. With Stover in goal, Bailey Savio was Loyola’s only true faceoff guy and finished with a 52.2% win percentage.

Looking Ahead

There’s a lot of hole to fill on both sides of the ball for Loyola.

Five of their starters graduate, including Spencer and Stover. Chase Scanlan also transferred to Syracuse in the summer, increasing that number to six. Adding Scanlan’s departure to the scoring and starts lost, the Greyhounds lose 231 points (60% of their scoring) and 105 starts (61.8%). There will be a lot of players that have to play an increased role.

To start at attack, Lindley, now wearing No. 7, and Olmstead both return. Ross Pridemore could fill that third spot down low. Same could be said with Jack Raba and Logan Devereaux. The entire first midfield is gone, as well as McGovern. Swindell, Wigley, and Cox return from the second midfield, and Bellarmine transfer Riley Seay comes in after being named the SoCon Rookie of the Year. He should be an immediate starter on the team. Depth midfield is a necessity, with Collin McCarthy, Corey Millhouse, and perhaps even one of the reserve attackmen such as Adam Wagner or Raba being asked to move up.

On the defensive end, a veteran crew comes back in front of a brand new goalie. That was flip-flopped last season as the team’s defensive midfield began the season young but developed as the season went along. Wyers and Railey are back as starters, and so should Matt Hughes who missed the entire season due to injury. He was expected to be a starter last year. McNulty, Johnson, and Middleton return as long stick midfielders along with the shorties. As for who starts in goal, the Greyhounds have four goalies on their roster. Rising junior Sam Shafer appeared in two games (17:44) last season, while rising sophomore Freeman Whitaker saw action in one game (3:19). Rising senior Joe Tabor and incoming freshman Colton Teitelbaum are also options.

Loyola’s coaches are excited about both ends of the field despite all the losses. It will be a lot more challenging to win the Patriot League this season, but the Greyhounds should not be counted out of the race.


How many wins will Loyola get in 2020?

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  • 3%
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