Drexel (6-5, 2-2 Colonial Athletic Association) played PSU (5-5, 2-1 CAA) at State College, Pa. April 9, and even without home field advantage, the Dragons surged ahead early and maintained their lead throughout.
Senior attackman Scott Perri played a large role in earing this win. With a total of eight points against Penn State (five assists and a hat trick), Perri earned his role as the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week for the second time this season.
“It feels good because so much hard work goes into [lacrosse],” Perri said. “It’s just great to see that the hard work pays off in the end.”
This season alone, Perri has scored 29 goals and dished out 21 assists, amounting to a total of 50 points. This is the first time a Drexel player has reached the 50-point mark since 2007. His high level of play earned him the spot of leading scorer in the CAA and top-10 scorer nationally this week.
“As a senior you know you have a lot of leadership responsibilities, and you don’t want to let your team down, your coaches down, or the alumni down,” Perri stated. “That’s something that I bring to every game — I try my hardest in every game and every practice.”
Perri and his teammates brought this mentality to the field against Penn State. The Dragons came out with guns blazing in the first few minutes of play. Perri put the first point on the board just 1:08 into the game.
Moments later Trizano, followed by Perri and Church, gave Drexel a 4-0 lead. The rapid succession of goals didn’t sit well with Penn State, and they responded with four goals of their own. In between the navy and white scoring frenzy, Drexel’s Andrew Collins put a goal in after missing a month of play due to injury.
With less than five minutes left in the first quarter, Perri and Trizano each found the net, bringing the score to 7-4.
“We definitely came out strong,” Perri said. “Our offense scored a lot of goals in the beginning.”
Drexel didn’t ease up in the second quarter. In fact, they surpassed the amount of goals they scored in the first.
Penn State’s Nick Dolik scored the first goal of the quarter nearly two minutes in, but failed to gain momentum for his team. Instead, Church, who put in two more goals, and Trizano, who scored one, added to the Dragons’ lead.
To close the half, the Nittany Lions’ Colton Vosburgh scored a goal and Drexel’s very own Brendan Glynn put in a pair. The score at halftime was 12-6.
At this point in time Perri, Trizano and Church already had hat tricks.
“I knew that we needed to win the [Penn State] game,” Perri stated. “If we keep winning, we have a shot of making it to the playoffs. So I think everyone just came out and knew that we needed to win that game.”
Until this point in the competition, Drexel had little trouble dominating PSU. After halftime was another story.
Though Kyle Bergman scored two more goals for the Dragons in the third quarter, they would be the last points by Drexel for the duration. Penn State, on the other hand, began their shooting spree and put three on the board in the third, brining the score to 14-9.
“We just knew we had control of the whole game,” Perri said. “We kind of lost momentum at the end but we knew that if we kept the possessions then they wouldn’t be able to score.”
Although the Dragons kept control of most possessions, Penn State still found their way to the net … four more times.
In an effort led by Vosburgh, PSU scored the last four goals of the game all in the final seven minutes of play.
Though the Nittany Lions made a last ditch effort, they fell short and the Dragons took the game 14-13.
This was the first conference loss for Penn State this season.
“I think that we just need to carry that momentum [from our game against PSU] into our next game against [the University of Massachusetts], which is really important,” Perri stated. “I think this whole week we have been coming out strong so it should be a good game against UMass.”
Drexel is set to play No. 16 University of Massachusetts April 16 at 1 p.m. in Amherst, Mass.
The Dragons hold high expectations for themselves this weekend.
“This is the biggest game of our season right here; if we beat UMass we have a great shot of making the playoffs,” Perri said. “Everything is right out in front of us that we said at the beginning of the year — we had goals that we wanted to make the playoffs, we wanted to make the CAA Championship, we wanted to win the championship and be the first team at Drexel to get to a national tournament, so this UMass game is a pivotal part of our season and I think everyone knows that.”
Though UMass defeated conference rival Towson in overtime April 9, Drexel is prepared to rally and take down the Minutemen.