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Penn State Continues to Disappoint

Even though it's fake it's still totally amazing.
When we last left our Penn State friends, they were having issues in the dining hall. This time, it was directly in the football building. In Orange::44’s continuing coverage of the misdeeds of rival school's students and players, we have a good one for you. Young Daniel J. Costenbader, who turned 21 this past Thursday, celebrated by allegedly removing most of his clothes, breaking into the football building at PSU, breaking some glass, and groping the Alamo Bowl Trophy. Good work sir.

With Leather, via The Daily Collegian, are reporting that the young man went on quite the spree after he no doubt ingested an extreme amount of alcohol in celebration of his 21 years on this green earth. Costenbader allegedly broke into the football building and caused $5,000 worth of damage before being found as stated above. The young man was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and public drunkenness. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bail, which I can say is an OUTRAGEOUS bail amount for only $5,000 worth of damage. The judges in PA are real hard asses apparently. The real question is where the hell were his friends that no doubt fed him shots all evening? What a bunch of a-holes. Who would pump a dude full of alcohol, surely see him visibly intoxicated, then just leave him to his own devices? Bad move brah. The kids at Penn State clearly do not know how to run a 21st.

All in all I have to say this is pretty awesome. I mean, if I were going to break into an athletic building I too would go right for the bowl trophy, or in our case, probably a National Championship trophy from lax. Either way, breaking into any building is wrong, especially while so intoxicated you do not even know what you are doing. Also, friends do not let friends go to State. And again, where was this kid’s friends? I know this stuff would not fly at the ‘Cuse. We take care of our friends. You know, unless you bought me that Three Wise Men on my 21st. Then you are on your own “pal”.

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The 2008 Lacrosse Season In Review - Part 3

Syracuse once again possessed the hardware of champions.
Editor’s Note: This is part three of a three part review of the historic 2008 Syracuse Lacrosse season. Part one focused on the first half of the regular season, part two focused on the second half of the regular season, and part three will focus on the NCAA Tournament. Part one can be found here, while part two can be found here.

The Syracuse Orange finished the regular season in dominating fashion, only losing two games. None of the regular season matters when it gets to be tournament time though. Syracuse had been on a mission the entire year, led by their senior captain Mike Leveille. Anything less than a National Championship would be considered failure, especially after the last two seasons, and an absence from that kind of glory since 2004. The bracket was set. Syracuse was the #3 seed. The Orange were on the road to the Final Four. The biggest question facing the Orange would be if Danny Brennan would be able to play, as he had to sit out the team’s last game versus Colgate. Would he be ready to take the ball for Syracuse, or would the team have to rely on backups to handle the duties in the X? Time would tell.

They would first have to face Canisius, arguably the weakest team in the field of 16. Due to the few teams from the Great Western Lacrosse League gaining entrance to the tournament, Canisius was forced to travel to the Carrier Dome to take on Syracuse, a clearly overmatching team. While it is nice to see new teams making the tournament, the program could simply not keep up with the abilities of Syracuse. The Orange unleashed their offensive and rained down shots upon the unsuspecting Griffin goalie, who could do nothing but simply watch as the shot went by… 20 times. That would be 20 goals out of 41 shots. Not a bad day’s work. Mike Leveille single handedly outscored the entire Canisius team, by earning four goals and two assists. Danny Brennan won the first four of five face offs he took, but then exited the game to rest his injured leg, and really there was no need to have him in with the lead Syracuse had. Canisius did not even score until the second quarter, only after Syracuse was up by eight. Jovan Miller, a freshman on the squad, turned out to be an excellent utility man in the game and had an impressive day. In the end, this game was all Syracuse and they easily handled the Canisius team 20 to three. The team had to then travel to nearby Ithaca, New York, and leave the confines of the Carrier Dome to face their next foe.

On Schoellkopf Field at the campus of Cornell University, Syracuse would have to prove to be the better team to earn the right to go to the Final Four in Foxborough. The foe would be #6 Notre Dame, a team that dispatched a tough Colgate team the week prior. They would not go down easy. Syracuse would be trailing or tied with Notre Dame for the majority of the second half. After a six to two lead at the half, freshman goalie John Galloway would allow five unanswered goals in the third quarter, a disappointment Syracuse almost did not survive. Dan Hardy was the hero of the day, earning three goals and an assist. DBren had one hell of a day as well, winning 17 of 24 face offs he took. He gave Syracuse the possessions they needed to keep up with and eventually overtake the Irish to win the game. Syracuse, much like it had most of the year, led in shots, and they certainly had some spectacular ones. Syracuse would win the game 11 to nine, and thus punching their ticket to another Final Four. The question was if Syracuse would taste redemption, or end up short. To Massachusetts we went.

Foxborough, Massachusetts, where the Patriots play, would be the scene for which either glory or heartbreak could be found in 2008. Four teams get to play on the biggest stage in the sport, but only one could walk away with the hardware. Syracuse, or any team for that matter, did not have an easy road. Syracuse faced daunted and traditional foe Virginia in the first national semifinal. Virginia beat Syracuse earlier in the season in overtime 14 to 13 for one of Syracuse’s two losses on the season. What commenced on May 24th was nothing short of a top notch lacrosse game. Virginia scored first and led in the first half six to three. Syracuse faced a brick wall in Virginia’s goalkeeper Bud Petit. He had an outstanding 16 saves in the game. He was dominating between the cage, and Syracuse had to fight for every goal. John Galloway was unreliable and Syracuse needed offensive help. Once again Danny Brennan provided the possessions Syracuse needed, winning 19 of 27 face offs in the game. Mike Leveille had five goals in the game, which turned out to be all the difference. But Syracuse would need to chip at the Virginia lead in the second half if they expected to advance. Syracuse entered the last quarter down by three. Virginia would make Syracuse be down by four with just over 14 minutes to go in the game. Syracuse chipped away, trading goals with Virginia until Syracuse was just down 11 to ten with 6:01 remaining on the clock. Then Syracuse’s Mike Leveille stepped up and scored with exactly three minutes on the clock. After trading shots back and forth, both teams gaining opportunities to go ahead, the clock expired. It was time for overtime. If you are a fan of either team, it was the height of drama. Through seven shots between the two teams in the first overtime, and no goals scored, that meant a second overtime. There was a tension in the stands that was clearly palpable. Shots were traded back and forth, but finally after making several moves past defenders, an underhanded shot by Mike Leveille, the captain, trickled past Petit and Syracuse advanced after two overtimes to Memorial Day and the National Championship. The crowd cheered, the drama transformed to joy, and simply the best lacrosse game I have ever witnessed had come to a conclusion. The euphoria of the weekend would not be done yet however.

The National Championship would not be easy to take. While Syracuse had achieved one of their secondary goals of making it back to the National Championship, it did not earn the complete redemption that they yearned so hard for after going 5-8 the year before. They also faced a familiar foe in rival Johns Hopkins, the #5 seed in the tournament. Hopkins also had one of the best players in the game, Paul Rabil, who had carried his team through the season and the playoffs. Hopkins had struck first, and Mr. Rabil was the one to do so. Hopkins led for most of the first half, but Syracuse managed to gain a six to five lead at the half despite facing yet another game with expert goalie play. Michael Gvozden, the goalie for Hopkins had 20 saves in the game. Yes, that is a lot and he was outstanding the entire game. Syracuse battled in all facets of the game to keep their lead. DBren did not have the game he wanted though, only winning 13 of 26 face offs. However, his wins seemed to come at the right times as he was unstoppable in the forth quarter, the typical M.O. that he displayed throughout the close games of the season. Coupled with Dan Hardy’s three goals, Syracuse had a lead deep in the game. John Galloway again had a disappointing game as the utterly magical play from Paul Rabil continued late in the game as he added two more goals to make the score 13 to ten with 2:37 remaining. It was his sixth goal of the game. The predominately Syracuse crowd seemed worried that they would see another upset. But Syracuse held on and John Galloway had a couple great saves late in the game to give Syracuse their record tenth title. The final score would be 13 to ten. The players mobbed the field and each other, throwing sticks and helmets everywhere. Syracuse had done it. Syracuse won quite possibly the most important game in program history.

The Orange came back from a dismal season, newly motivated, and buying into all the changes that the coaching staff implemented. The seniors stepped up and led these young men into game after game with a fervor never seen by the program. For his efforts, John Desko earned National Coach of the Year honors. Mike Leveille earned the Tewaaraton Trophy, the “Heisman of college lacrosse”, the awarded that goes to the best college lacrosse player in the nation. Several other players earned national honors. But the most important hardware was Syracuse’s again. The coveted National Championship returned to SU, earned from beating dreaded rivals along the way. Redemption was at hand for the Orange and the sweet taste of victory was present in the Salt City once again. A record ten titles is no joke and there is no questioning who the best program in college lacrosse history is anymore. Syracuse won, and every fan that ever doubted the program could again rest easy. The team was back and the program does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

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Happy 4th of July!

America... F**K YEAH!
Happy Birthday America! While there are currently no Syracuse based sports occurring this time of year, it is still a good day to reflect on what makes America so great. Your Syracuse experiences, good or bad, are a part of that proud American tradition and that is something worth celebrating. As someone who has spent most of their adult life studying and working in government in this great nation of ours, I can honestly say we still have the best system around. So forget about those high gas prices, lagging economy, and the woes of the impending football season for a day and enjoy your friends, family, food, and the thought that men who you have never heard of fought in the 1700’s for the freedom you enjoy today. I’ll be back next week with actual blog articles and more content from Orange::44. The self imposed hiatus for work should be lifted soon, despite a few evenings of night court next week. Yes that show was awesome, but no, that is not how it is in real life… most of the time. Happy 4th of July!

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