As a freshman, Lucas Spence was a revelation at attack for Springfield, collecting more than 30 points while still getting adjusted to the speed of the varsity game.
This year, the 2015 erupted for the Cougars to the tune of 29 goals and a county-best 44 assists en route to collecting All-Delco, All-Central League and All-EPLCA honors. Along the way, he led Springfield to within two games of the state tournament. Fittingly enough, the end of his All-Delco capsule read as follows.
“Spence led the county with 44 assists to go with his 29 goals, stats that should endear the uncommitted Spence to college recruiters.”
Scratch that “uncommitted” part. Spence, who plays his club lacrosse for HEADStrong 2015, made the call for defending Patriot League champion Lehigh University.
Spence, who had narrowed his list to Penn State, Saint Joseph’s and St. John’s, admitted that he knew the Mountain Hawks were the team for him as soon as he visited LU another time.
“It’s a big relief,” Spence said. “I didn’t want to rush anything because it’s such a big choice, but everything was the right fit. When I went up there, I knew I wanted to go there. I have an older sister (Autumn, a 2014 midfielder for the Cougars who’s committed to Washington (Md.) College) and watching her go through it let me know that you had to take the time.”
The Springfield junior cited the location and academics as big draws for him and also liked the fact that a strong group of local players figure to be prominent members of Lehigh’s team for the foreseeable future.
“It’s a great location. It’s close to my house – only about an hour away – and it has a really good engineering program and a great business school. The coaches were great and my family liked everything.”
Spence joins a group of Delco players that features Strath Haven All-Delco and All-American goalie Steve Brodeur and Radnor sniper Ben Junior, both of whom will be sophomores in the fall. There’s also senior defenseman Bryson Craft, an All-Delco via Episcopal Academy, senior midfielder Harrison Lawrence out of Radnor and incoming freshman midfielder Ian Strain, who was All-Delco in both football and lacrosse at Episcopal Academy.
“He’s a good Springfield boy,” Spence said of Strain with a laugh. “It’ll be like a little reunion there with all the Delaware County kids.”
The evolution of a 30-point scorer into Delco’s best passer didn’t come overnight, but Spence was happy with the progress he made. The 5-9, 150-pounder also knows that he can still improve.
“I feel like I stepped up more in bigger games,” Spence said. “I contributed more in games that my team needed me to. I want to work on my outside shot. I’m pretty strong inside, but I need to develop more of a complete game.”
Springfield’s season came to an end in the District One playbacks against Downingtown East in a 13-10 loss. That defeat showed the Cougars what they need to do to take the next step. There’s been a lot of hype about another Spence, too, as freshman goalie James has already garnered rave reviews and could potentially start for Springfield this year. The opportunity to play with his brother is something that the elder Spence is looking forward to.
“It would be great,” Spence said. “He has to compete with the rest of the goalies, though. Nothing will be given to him.
Spence is also confident in Springfield’s ability to contend for the Central League title and everything else that comes after that.
“If everyone steps up, I think we’ll be competing with the best,” Spence said. “We’re going to compete for the Central League every year, especially this year, because we’ve got a lot of good leadership coming back.”