The Brown and White spoke with three men’s lacrosse alumni — Erik Digirolamo, ‘20, Austin Pierce, ‘20, and Jackson Monnin, ‘19 — to reflect on their years at Lehigh and catch up on how they have filled their time post-graduation.
Q: What are you currently up to?
Erik Digirolamo, former midfielder: I’m living in Philadelphia right now working full time for a real estate finance company called Walker & Dunlop. Actually, there is another former Lehigh Lacrosse player who works here as well, Adam Johnson.
Austin Pierce, former attackman and midfielder: I am doing construction management at Katerra.
Jackson Monnin, former midfielder: I am working at Citibank, and I’m working in their health care investment banking group right now.
Q: What is your favorite individual memory from Lehigh lacrosse?
ED: My favorite win would have to be against BU (Boston University) junior year. It was the semifinals of the Patriot League Championship. I would also say scoring my first ever goal freshman year against BU at home. It was a must-win game as we were just coming off a loss. That was my favorite individual goal.
AP: One of my favorite on-field memories, personally, was scoring against Cornell (University) on Alumni Day. There were so many alumni there and just cherishing that moment was a memory that I will always remember. I would also say competing in the Patriot League playoffs two years in a row was a really cool experience as well.
JM: During my sophomore season, we had a win-and-in game against Bucknell and we beat them.
Q: What is your favorite team memory from Lehigh Lacrosse?
ED: I would say the most memorable was my freshman year when we did “the program,” which is when Navy SEALS come in and wake us up at 3 a.m. on a Saturday and then drive us to a lake in the pouring rain. We were in the lake and it was 40 degrees out. I would have to say that was the most memorable moment. Every year they come in and we do two days of training with them.
AP: Away trips, hotel trips. One example was Jacksonville my freshman year. It was my first travel experience with the team and it was so fun going on an airplane and staying at a hotel and going out to a nice meal. You don’t get that every day, and that’s where the bonds are formed.
JM: Every year we go to coach (Kevin) Cassese’s house for Christmas. Not on Christmas, but for a Christmas send off. I always felt that was a unique thing he did for the team. It was really nice because we had kids come from all over the country. It was really nice to get a pre-Christmas family feeling and get into the season of it all. It was an awesome way to close out the semester right before we took exams and went home.
Q: How has the entire Lehigh lacrosse experience aided you for the job you have today?
ED: I work on a team right now, and I think lacrosse formed me into a perfect person for this role because (I’m) working on a team and bouncing things off each other and always collaborating. I got really good communications from lacrosse and that relayed over to the real world and has been very helpful.
AP: Always being around people, the 50 person roster, you’re always interacting with different types of people and learning how to get through adversity with a group. In the workforce, you’re working with other people and trying to solve tasks. Interacting with people and working together to accomplish a goal, being a part of that team atmosphere, totally helps in the workforce.
JM: Everyone has to play a role at my job, we are always working in teams of people for our customers. The ability to communicate, get along, and work effectively with my seniors and the people above and below me is all related to sports more so than you would probably think. It is incredibly correlated and has been really helpful for myself.
Q: What would you say to the seniors on the team now, with so much uncertainty about their season?
ED: Regardless of having lacrosse or not, just enjoy your time with your teammates as much as possible. You only realize how far you guys will live from each other in a few months and living in the same house is the best thing you can have.
AP: Even off of my experience, there was so much uncertainty because we never got to finish our season. Talking to seniors now, they still have that same uncertainty. I would tell them to just cherish every moment. Our season got cut short last year, and you don’t know what lies ahead for you, but in a snap of a finger you are not going to be at Lehigh anymore. So cherish those last moments living off campus and hanging out with the team.
JM: I would tell them that you only get to be a senior on that team once. Every senior is thrust into a certain degree of a leadership role, and you have a unique opportunity as a leader to make an impact on the three classes below you of Lehigh lacrosse players. Whether you play or not is not the most important part of that legacy.