For most visitors, Pennsylvania State University’s Beaver Stadium is a symbol of the school’s size and success when it comes to athletics. The 110,000-seat structure, along with the university’s raucous fan base, provides an intimidation factor that can be found at only a few other places in the country.
For attackman Scott Perri and the Drexel men’s Lacrosse team, the greatness of Happy Valley was something they embraced.
“When you drive onto campus, the first thing you see is the stadium,” Perri said. “But we went there on a business trip. We had one goal going up there, and we took care of business.”
The Dragons took down the No. 19 Nittany Lions by a score of 14-13, but the real story was about Perri and his phenomenal performance in which he recorded three goals and five assists. His eight-point day was tied for the most of any player in a single game in college lacrosse this season.
With only two regular season games remaining, Perri has already scored 30 goals and has 23 assists for a total of 53 points. He is currently placed third in the country in points per game with 4.42. His high school teammate, Rob Pannell of Cornell University, is first in the country with 5.55 points per game. Perri is also seventh in the nation with 2.5 goals per game.
Even though Perri leads the team in goals, he does not see himself as a pure goal scorer.
“The goals come, but I love passing the ball and getting the assists,” Perri said. “It’s a great feeling to know I helped a teammate and my team score, even if I don’t shoot it myself.”
Perri was introduced to the game of lacrosse at a very young age. His father was a collegiate player at Navy, and he taught his son how to play the right way. Perri’s goal growing up was to play professional lacrosse, but he plans to use his finance degree to pursue a business career at the same time. This summer, Perri will be interning at a financial service group in New York City while still investigating what professional opportunities are left for him to play lacrosse.
Former Drexel coach Chris Bates recruited Perri for the 2008 season. As a freshman, Perri was able to observe his elder players and learn how to be a leader, so when the time came he would be prepared.
“I am just trying to take my past experiences with the team and apply them to being a leader and a role model for the younger guys right now,” Perri said. “Once I’m gone, they are going to be the guys leading the team and I want them to learn from what I have to offer.”
The team has underachieved this season according to Perri and the team’s standards. At 6-6 the Dragons still have an opportunity to reach the Colonial Athletic Association playoffs, but a number of things have to happen for that to take place.
“We make a ‘goal sheet’ as a team at the beginning of the year and the goal everyone agreed on was getting to the CAA Championships,” Perri said. “Unfortunately, our destiny is not completely in our hands, but we can only worry about what is in our control, and that is our game at Towson this Saturday.”
If the Dragons win their final two games they will give themselves a chance to reach their goal. They currently sit at fifth in the conference; they need to get within the top four to make the playoffs. Drexel will need two losses from either Penn State or the University of Massachusetts to boost their position in the Conference. Perri knows the key to his team getting wins even if things do not play out in Drexel’s favor.
“We have been preaching accountability as a team all season,” Perri said. “If each player does his own job we will succeed as a unit.”