The Brown and White spoke with fifth-year athletes Alex Ladda, Davis Maxie and Owen Quinn to discuss their athletic and academic careers at Lehigh, why they chose to come back for a fifth-year and advice they’d give to their younger self.
Q: Why did you ultimately decide to come back to Lehigh and what has it been like to get one more year here?
Alex Ladda, women’s lacrosse: I was really excited when I first heard that we’d have another year of eligibility, and I knew I wanted to explore the option of coming back for a fifth year. We have such a great group of people on the team and I was able to have an honest conversation with my coach regarding what coming back would look like. Athletically, being able to come back for a full season has been super exciting. Just knowing the potential that we had last year on the team, and not being able to get all the way through Patriots, and now being in a position where we’re just about to start Patriots, has definitely been very exciting.
Davis Maxie, football: The decision was mostly academic. It gave me the opportunity to finish my degree and figure out what I actually wanted to do. I’ve spent four years of my life on a strict schedule because of my athletic commitments, and this gave me a chance to sort of grow outside football for the first time.
Owen Quinn, men’s golf: Having the season cut short last year was tough and obviously unexpected for everybody. With the uncertainty in the world and being given the opportunity to come back, it was almost a no-brainer. I was fully expecting to be done after four years, so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to come back and get a Master’s. Athletically, the team has made the most of it. We were all committed to following all the rules so that we could compete. Overall, I’m glad I got to come back and get some closure on the season we missed.
Q: What has your favorite memory on the field been?
AL: I would have to say it might have been this year when we beat Navy. It was the first time we’ve beaten them in 10 years, and every year since I’ve been here it’s always a really big and important game. This year we came out really strong and have such a talented team. I would say that was definitely a really exciting moment in my lacrosse career.
DM: There’s two, and they’re pretty close in my rankings. The first one would be, in my freshman year against Bucknell, a senior defensive end named Pierce Ripanti had a game-winning strip-sack, and we won the Patriot League because of it. It was the first time I had won anything at a level that high before. My other one would probably be, during my junior year in the Le-Laf game, I had a strip-sack fumble recovery and then scored a touchdown on the road at Lafayette. That one is hard to beat.
OQ: That’s tough. It would probably be being able to win the Lehigh Invitational my junior year. I had my mom and my grandma here, and it was the only tournament in my college career that my grandma was able to come to. That was pretty neat. Being able to win at home in Saucon Valley was definitely special. We get to play there all the time. We’re lucky to be able to play there and to be able to play well in something that means something over there was really cool.
Q: If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your freshman self, what would it be, and why?
AL: I would say that you’re going to make mistakes, and in the end, they’re only going to make you stronger. Learning from times that you fail and being able to take what you learn and move forward with it in order to become a stronger teammate and leader is really important.
DM: I would say to not take anything for granted, but at the same time, also understand that your time is valuable and not to overstress everything. Everything comes and goes, and everything will be OK at the end of the day. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
OQ: In terms of just as a student, it’s very cliche, but just to cherish every moment because it does fly by. I was here for five years, and it still felt that way. I came off that last green yesterday down at Navy, and I just couldn’t believe it was the last time I was going to play for Lehigh. I would also say to go out there and give it everything you have every time you’re able to tee off because playing golf as a team sport is not something you ever do besides collegiate golf. Being able to play on a team is so neat in its own way. Taking that and making the most of that entire experience is something I would pass on to my freshman self.