Wearing a black and gold Adelphi University hat and a gray Adelphi sweatshirt, there is no question where Emily Perry’s allegiance lies.
It can be traced back to when Perry, a goalie for the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school girls lacrosse team, attended an Adelphi camp before her junior year.
“That’s when I fell in love with the school,” the Southold High School senior said. “It was the first school I looked at and so I always kept going back, Adelphi, Adelphi. I kept in contact with the coaches.”
Adelphi’s nursing program may have been the clincher, though.
“The nursing program there is just incredible,” Perry said. “Tons of people recommend it and I went there to see it and it looks like a hospital. So that really inspired me to go there.”
It’s a done deal. Perry put pen to paper and signed a national letter of intent on Monday to attend Adelphi, where she will make saves for its NCAA Division II women’s lacrosse team and study nursing.
“Now I know what I want to do in college and where I’m going so it’s really exciting,” Perry said after the signing ceremony that included her parents, Kim and Richard, in the Southold High School gym.
In joining Adelphi, Perry is signing on with a successful program. The Panthers went 21-1 last season, their sole loss coming to Florida Southern, 8-7, in the NCAA Division II national final. Adelphi has a 7-1 all-time record in national title games.
It has been quite a journey for Perry, who began playing lacrosse as a fifth-grader. She was a midfielder or a defender before moving to goal as a sophomore.
She said, “It was an option for me so I tried it out the summer going into 10th grade and it kind of clicked and I really enjoyed it, so I stuck with it through the seasons and got better and better and now I’m here.”
Perry said she progressed a lot as a goalie by playing for a club team, Team 91. Talking about her development in two years of playing the position, she said: “I went from zero to now. It’s been a crazy ride. Every weekend I had training and I went to tournaments, clinics all over the northeast and south.”
Perry has also played for the Southold/Greenport girls soccer team as a midfielder or striker since she was a freshman. Her senior soccer season this fall was limited to a couple of games, though, because of injury. She said she suffered a stress fracture in the bottom right side of her back during the first week of preseason training and the injury wasn’t diagnosed until a month later.
Perry said she expects to be fully recovered in time for Mattituck’s first lacrosse practice.
Southold athletic director Steve Flanagan said Perry’s future in college women’s lacrosse is “a great achievement. I think any high school athlete going on to play at the college level is a great thing.” He added: “She’s put in a lot of work in the past and she’s had some challenges going through her soccer season not being able to play, but still being there for every practice, every game, really showing the support of a leader.”
Does Perry see any similarities between goaltending and nursing?
“You always got to be on your toes,” she said. “Anything can happen.”
Photo caption: Mattituck/Greenport/Southold goalie Emily Perry was joined by her parents, Kim and Richard, and Southold athletic director Steve Flanagan at Monday’s signing ceremony. (Credit: Bob Liepa)