NETHER PROVIDENCE – As a senior, Strath Haven’s Nate Perrins has talked plenty about doing whatever it takes for his Panthers to get wins.
Last Thursday, he put that into practice to a larger degree than usual. When center back Ben Wainfain went down with an injury, in stepped Perrins – the All-Delco forward who scored 21 goals last year – backstopping a win over Lower Merion.
Monday, Perrins’ efforts were more customary for his skillset.
Restored to leading the forward line, Perrins scored twice and added an assist as Strath Haven defeated Upper Darby, 3-1.
Perrins scored in the 17th and 33rd minutes, the latter a superb volley after he juggled the ball to himself on the edge of the box before arching a majestic shot into the net. He then sent Andrew Lowman, who assisted on the first goal, off to the races in the 57th to put the result beyond doubt.
“He makes a lot of smart runs and takes defenders away, which gives us more space,” Lowman said of Perrins. “It’s easier to play balls. … He makes all the good runs. He’s usually in the right spot. It’s up to us to get him the ball.”
That’s Perrins the forward. Perrins the defender wasn’t bad in his cameo last week. Perrins had played as a center back in sixth grade, he said, and he has the aerial aptitude to do the job. With the added zest of trying to gain bragging rights against a number of teammates from his club side, Lower Merion SC, Perrins held the line for a 2-1 Strath Haven win.
“We didn’t really have another option,” Perrins said. “We were up by one then, and then we scored in the second half. I know most of the guys on that team, I play with them on club, and I really wanted to win that game. So I’ll do anything for this team to win, and going to center back did it.”
Monday presented a chance to do his usual “anything” from a more familiar position. It also allowed him to show the deepening rapport he’s developed with sophomore midfielder Lowman.
Lowman set up Perrins’ goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Kennett, and he was at it again Monday, hitting a cross-field ball from deep on the right wing to the left channel that Perrins ran onto, beat a defender and lashed home a shot.
“It’s been great,” Perrins said. “Since last year, him coming in as a freshman on this team and not really playing that much, over the summer we really developed a bond playing together and practicing together. It’s been great.”
Perrins reciprocated in the 57th, turning a goal kick into a goal in a matter of seconds. Perrins used his strength to body off a center back at midfield and nudge Noah Atsaves’ goal kick into the space vacated by Perrins’ distortion of the backline.
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