“We had a lot to play for today,” head coach Brian Voelker said. “One of the things was to go out on our home field and get a win on our senior day.”
This year, the team has four graduating seniors: Perri, Dan Layfield, John Ciavarelli and David Sleeper.
“[Winning our last game at home] is a culmination of four years of hard work and being around these guys every day,” Ciavarelli stated. “To get out here and win the last time we are wearing our white jerseys is very big for us.”
The Dragons (7-6, 3-3 Colonial Athletic Association) quickly took the lead in the first when Perri, with an assist from Craig Owen, put the ball past Towson goalie Travis Love.
Towson (0-5, 2-10 CAA) won the second faceoff and maintained control of the ball. Instead of instantly shooting, the Tigers passed around the net. Towson’s Andrew Hodgson fired one to Pat Britton who scored and tied the game.
Following the first two goals, there was a dry spell until the end of the quarter when Towson scored and took the lead at 2-1.
“The guys played hard,” Voelker said. “Towson is always a big rival, [but] both teams were a little bit sluggish in the first.”
The Dragons came out strong in the second quarter with three straight goals.
Minutes into the quarter, Towson’s Peter Mezzanotte was called for holding. Drexel capitalized on the power play, and at the 11:28 mark Robert Church tied up the game.
Brendan Glynn and Perri followed Church’s lead with a goal apiece. Towson ended Drexel’s scoring spree with back-to-back goals, tying the score at 4-4.
Glynn finished the first half with one last goal for the Dragons, sending them to the break in the lead at 5-4.
Drexel came into the third quarter recharged and scored a total of six goals.
“We really came out firing [in the second half] and put the thing away,” Voelker said.
Five of the six goals scored by Drexel in the third came in succession. Church led the way with the first goal at the 13:30 mark. Perri, Owen, Glynn and Aaron Prosser followed with goals, each scoring over the span of about five minutes.
The only goal scored by Towson in this quarter was by Dan Kramer. But the Tiger’s excitement was short-lived when Perri put his fourth goal of the game in the net.
“I mean, it was senior day, so it was my last day here,” Perri said. “And the alumni came out, it was alumni day, so I just wanted to really leave my mark here at Drexel.”
Going into the final quarter there was a sense of confidence that Drexel was exuding. They were controlling the game with a gaping lead at 11-5. Even with such a large lead, the Dragons didn’t back down.
“You know, we did it as a team, everyone did their part,” Layfield said. “Everyone from the sidelines to the guys who started, it was a team effort and we did pretty well today. We came out firing and scored enough goals to win.”
Towson made a last-ditch effort in the fourth, managing to score four goals. Drexel didn’t let the Tigers’ surge affect their level of play, and scored two more goals of their own. Perri gave the Dragons their first goal of the quarter, and Chris Farquhar gave the Dragons their last.
Drexel needed this win in order to earn a spot in the CAA playoffs — but unfortunately those weren’t the only stipulations. Pennsylvania State University needed to lose their final two conference games, and the Nittany Lions already won one. With PSU’s win, Drexel has been eliminated from the post-season race.
Although the season is coming to a close, the seniors have plans for after they hang up their lacrosse gear.
Ciavarelli still has some time left at Drexel, but he plans to “get a job with some nice finance firm and hopefully just grind it out for the next 40 years of [his] life before [he] retires.”
Sleeper has a job lined up at Blackrock in Delaware, but he is still going to live in Philadelphia.
Layfield hopes to work for his current contracting co-op once he graduates. Although he feels confident in his current position, he is keeping his options open and interviewing elsewhere.
Perri will be interning in New York City at the Maxim Group, where he will be focusing on the financial department. He is excited to return to his hometown of NYC to pursue his career.
Although the seniors are going their separate ways, they have made a lasting impression on the Drexel lacrosse team.
“John and Dave and Dan have all done a really good job in the two years that I have been here — everything we have asked from them, they worked hard,” Voelker said. “You tell them to do something, you ask them to do something, and they go out there and do it.
“You know Scott, his stats and the things that he has done for the program really speak for themselves,” Voelker continued. “He has been a great captain this year, he has been a great lacrosse player, and we really hope that he gets some national recognition — today you saw when he took over the game great things happened.”
With just one game left in the regular season, the team hopes to crush St. John’s. The game will take place in Flushing, N.Y. April 30 at 1 p.m.
Regardless of the outcome of the final game, the seniors have a lot to be proud of.
As Voelker put it, “You know it’s not a big group [of seniors], but it’s a really good group of kids.”
Although small in numbers, their influence on the team was intangible. They will certainly be missed.