Growing up in Maine, Roman loved the game and worked diligently, passionately, and whole-heartedly to make it to where he is today. Roman was a co-captain at Lehigh University, played in the 2013 Champion Challenge for Team USA and currently plays in the MLL for the Florida Launch. His position as a midfielder makes him centered around dodging and shooting on the run, but he has been forced to become a more well-rounded player. Balancing his busy schedule, Roman also works with young lacrosse players on making them the best players they could be. See what he has to say about his own recruiting experience.
Where did you play college lacrosse and why did you choose that program?
I played college lacrosse at Lehigh University and I will always be a proud Mountain Hawk alumni. I chose Lehigh for two main reasons. One being the arrival of head coach Kevin Cassese and the uprise of the program. Coach Cassese’s passion and determination was immediately felt when being recruited by him and one thing that stuck over other coaches at other programs is he did not give me a strict timeline to commit. He genuinely wanted me to make the right decision for myself in terms of school and lacrosse. This leads me to the second main reason why I chose Lehigh. It is a smaller private school where I felt I wanted to be, regardless of whether or not I was playing lacrosse there.
What other colleges did you consider and what was the determining factor in your decision?
Some of the other colleges I considered and visited were Towson, Vermont, and Brown. The determining factors were that Lehigh was a great school, with a smaller, private school feel, and that the program really felt on the rise, namely due to the arrival of the new coaching staff.
Did you have any positive and negative surprises about the program once you were on campus?
There were not many surprises about the program as a whole when I first got to Lehigh. I feel like this is mostly because our coaching staff did (and does) a great job of shooting players straight. As players, we respect hearing the truth, whether it’s what we want to hear or not.
One thing that I did have to come to terms with over time, was that I couldn’t just show up and win a National Championship. I can honestly say that I felt I would win one before I graduated Lehigh, but after the first season, my mentality changed. It wasn’t that I had given up the dream, it was more about refining it. I became set on taking smaller steps toward program success and by my senior year, we won our first Patriot League Championship in a long time. I leave behind a legacy that will hopefully help the program to a National Championship.
How did being a collegiate student-athlete shape your college experience?
Being a college-athlete shaped my college experience greatly. My college schedule and lifestyle was literally based around school and lacrosse. Because of this, my social life was not as thrilling and packed as other student’s were. What my team and I were able to accomplish together, however, far outweighs the momentary pleasures of partying. I still take with me the mental strength that was necessary to compete and succeed as an athlete in college.
Given your recruiting experience, what advice or tips do you have for current recruits?
The advice I would give to current recruits is to pick a school that you see yourself going to whether or not lacrosse is in the picture. Injuries happen and passions change. You never know what can happen once you’re at a school, but what you can do for yourself is choose a school that fits your needs and feels right.
My advice for players who are trying to get recruited by better programs is to watch and learn from the best players on your team, on college teams, on MLL teams, and world teams. Watch players that have a similar game to your own, do what they do, and then make it better.