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Lax star Fraser excelling at Johns Hopkins

By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

In recent years, the town of Walpole has produced elite collegiate lacrosse talent such as Peter Bowes (Loyala-MD), Davis Butts (Loyola-MD), and Ryan Izzo (UMass, Boston Cannons). Unlike Bowes, Butts, and Izzo, who played their youth and high school lacrosse locally here in Walpole, Pat Fraser moved to Walpole from Franklin when he was in middle school and never played for WYLL or Walpole High. Instead, Fraser grew up playing for Franklin Youth Lacrosse before attending Dexter-Southfield (Brookline) for high school, where he emerged as a standout attack-man with a wicked shot. It was at Dexter that Fraser quickly became one of the more dominant players in the state and was arguably the most heavily recruited lacrosse player in all of Massachusetts.

After achieving immensely during his freshman and sophomore seasons at Dexter, Fraser ended up committing to play at collegiate lacrosse powerhouse, Johns Hopkins University (Maryland), during his junior year.

Fraser credited his upbringing in a competitive environment with Franklin Youth Lacrosse, his youth hockey team, the Providence Capitals (EHF), and his time spent at Dexter as the main reasons for his ability to succeed on the field and in the classroom at Johns Hopkins.
“I think my youth sports experience played a huge role in where I am today,” said Fraser. “I think a lot of the competitive edge and work ethic that I have today can be attributed to my years of playing hockey. I was always surrounded by really great players and coaches, and I use a lot of the life lessons that I learned back then today on both the field and in the classroom.”

During his freshman season at Hopkins, Fraser quickly made a name for himself as one of the more prolific lefty sharp-shooters in the entire country. In his first ever division one game against University of Maryland-Baltimore Country (UMBC), Fraser notched a goal and two assists in a 16-4 victory for the Blue Jays.

An extra-man specialist, Fraser’s most notable performance during his freshman season at Hopkins came in a 16-15 loss to rival-Princeton on February 28, 2015, when the Walpole native netted four goals, all from the same general area and on the man advantage, with a wicked crank shot. The four-goal effort earned Fraser Big 10 Freshman of the Week honors. Following the four-goal performance against the Tigers, Fraser became the nucleus of the Blue Jay man up-unit, scoring 11 goals and notching two assists throughout the year, all on the man advantage.

Fraser’s 11 man-up goals that season tied for third-most in all of Division I. Fraser went on to play in 17 of Johns Hopkins’ 18 games that season and helped lead the Blue Jays to the 2015 Division I National Championship Game against arch-rivals Maryland at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Hopkins would fall, 12-11, in a classic heavyweight bout.

Fraser continued to dominate on the man-up unit during his sophomore campaign, playing in all 15 games for Hopkins and netting nine goals and two assists on the year. Fraser’s seven extra-man goals in 2016 were the most of any Blue Jay. The highlight of Fraser’s sophomore season came in an 11-10 come-from-behind overtime victory over third-ranked Syracuse on March 19, 2016, when the sharp-shooter potted two goals in a span of 65 seconds to get the comeback started for the Blue Jays late in the third quarter. Fraser’s efforts as a sophomore again helped lead the Blue Jays to an NCAA Tournament berth, but Hopkins fell in round one to top-seeded Brown (17-8).

While the success he had during his freshman and sophomore seasons in college were great, Fraser says that he has developed into a better player during the past two years and is excited to see what he and his teammates are able to accomplish during his junior season in 2017.

“Compared to freshman year, I would say I am definitely a much different player,” said Fraser. “It took me a bit of time to get used to our systems and having to work as hard as we do day in and day out, but I’m excited to show my maturity this upcoming season.”

In 2017, Fraser will try to help lead his team back to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year, as the Blue Jays search for their first national championship since 2007. Fraser stated that he and his teammates are all aware of the expectations the program has from a national perspective, and that they are excited to take on the task of competing for a national championship.

“Generations of great alumni have laid out a standard here at Hopkins, and I think our seniors this year are definitely leading us in the right direction.”

The International Studies major also offered some advice to kids currently playing lacrosse at the youth and high school levels if they want to improve their shots and go on to achieve at the collegiate level.

“My advice would simply be repetition,” said Fraser. “A lot of shooting has to do with muscle memory, and the only way to become comfortable with a particular shot is practicing it time and time again. A regret that I have is not spending as much time with my right hand as I did with my left. What made Ryan Brown (Johns Hopkins class of 2016) so successful was his shot variety with both hands, and it translated into him becoming the second all-time leading scorer here at Hopkins.”

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