Matthew Pergola's Final Nutley Lacrosse Season
Every student athlete has the goal of leaving behind a legacy. Whether with accolades or championships, Senior Matt Pergola is leaving behind his in Nutley Lacrosse. Matt has been playing lacrosse for years and has been perfecting his craft. Matt has always been ahead in lacrosse. When entering as a freshman, Matt started on varsity, which is very impressive. I asked Matt how he thought starting varsity as a freshman shaped him as a player, and he said, “I believe that starting varsity as a freshman helped me develop into the player I am today very quickly. I was matched up against juniors and seniors who typically possessed better attributes than me, so I was forced to be creative and use my skills against them. I also gained tons of experience from starting varsity as a freshman which has contributed to my knowledge and leadership.” Matt Pergola is one of the captains of the Lacrosse team not just because of his years of playing but because he is also a great leader.
This is Matt’s last year playing Nutley Lacrosse and he made sure he made the most out of it. Matt had a very exciting year to watch. He broke multiple records and was just so dominant on the field. Matt got his 100th career goal this season, 100th career points (broke that one junior year), and 200 career points. This is nothing short of spectacular.
This milestone came in the game against Dayton, and it was the first night game held under the Nutley Oval’s brand new lights. Matt said, “It felt surreal but also relieving. Having the game stop and my teammates storm the field congratulating me felt amazing. I felt I accomplished my goal of creating history in the program.”
Like many athletes, Matt was plagued by pre-game jitters. “I am nervous going into every game since I want to perform at my best. But going into the game I wasn’t really nervous about setting the record. I just wanted to score as many goals as I could to come closer to the record. Thankfully my team and coaches kept feeding me the ball so I could do my thing and I am appreciative of that.” Even after accomplishing a big goal, he is still so appreciative of his team and coaches. Matt is a player you want on your team no matter what. He is a hard worker and a great teammate.
Since it’s Matt’s last year in Nutley, the Maroon and Gray wondered what he would miss.“The one thing I will miss most about Nutley Lacrosse is being able to play with this group of kids. I have made great friendships throughout my career, beginning from 2nd grade through senior year. This team has provided me with so many memories, great opportunities, and constant support which means a lot to me. I am definitely going to miss this group of guys. I will also miss my coaches who have supported me along the way and advocated for this program. They have done a lot to heighten people's awareness of Nutley Lacrosse. My teammates and coaches are dedicated individuals.”
This will not be Matt’s last year playing lacrosse, however. He has committed his next four years to playing lacrosse for Steven's Institute of Technology in Hoboken. Stevens is a powerhouse school in division three Lacrosse, so that is where Matt will be able to showcase his great skills for the next four years. The reason why Matt picked Stevens is that after deciding what he wanted to major in, the school selection really narrowed down because not too many schools have a lacrosse and engineering program, but Stevens did. He calls the school a “great fit.”
When asked if he is excited about playing in college he says, “I am very excited to play college lacrosse. It has been my dream since I really became invested in the sport at the age of 5. I know Stevens is a great fit for me and it will be an opportunity to showcase my ability at the top of the division three level. It is also a chance not many people are given and I want to make the most of it.”
Matt is aware he is fortunate enough to get the opportunity to play at the collegiate level and he is determined to do good and have great success. I also find it really admirable that he chose a school that also had what he wanted to study. It shows that he wasn’t just in it for lacrosse but that he is also there for their education. Matt Pergola left a legacy behind in Nutley lacrosse that will be remembered.