Dom Madonna is living his dream as SU’s goalie

first_imgAnthony Grizanti couldn’t fathom what he heard on the other line of the phone. His nephew, Dom Madonna — an All-American starting goalie at Merrimack College — was on the verge of quitting lacrosse, the sport he’d lived and breathed his whole life.Grizanti heard the sadness in his nephew’s voice. This life of lacrosse appeared near its end.“He told me, ‘I don’t even care if I play lacrosse anymore,’” Grizanti said. “To hear him say that, to me, I was like, ‘You’ve got to get out of there. That’s not you.’”Madonna listened. He transferred from Merrimack and walked onto the Syracuse University campus in fall 2016 clad in orange and blue. Madonna, a Liverpool native, dreamed of playing goalie for SU his entire life, but after receiving little attention from premier Division I programs, he ended up playing lacrosse at a school that nearly drove him away from his life’s passion.Now, as a redshirt senior, Madonna is one of the leaders of a No. 10 Syracuse (4-3, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) team that needs excellence between the pipes to reach the Final Four weekend for the first time since 2013. For Madonna, simply stepping on the Carrier Dome turf is a culmination of a 22-year journey filled with roadblocks that nearly prevented him from reaching his ultimate goal.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Growing up, you watch all these people play at Syracuse, and now you get here, and you get a shirt with an ‘S’ and your number on it,” Madonna said. “A lot of people I think take it for granted when they’re here right away. I really think being at Merrimack first was almost beneficial to me because you really appreciate what you have when you come here.”•••Resting on Madonna’s bedroom wall is a lacrosse stick head painted SU orange. It used to have a shaft that Grizanti dyed orange and blue, but that piece eventually broke because Madonna used it so often. On the back of the head is a No. 5 for Madonna’s favorite Syracuse athlete, Donovan McNabb. Madonna walked into his room every day and stared at the stick, fantasizing about playing for SU one day.Courtesy of Virginia MadonnaAt age 2, Madonna sent an 11-year-old Grizanti to the hospital by throwing a lacrosse ball at his eye with a baby lacrosse stick. By 3, Madonna was watching full SU games, and by 5 he was playing competitively.He wanted to be like the Grizantis — his uncles Anthony and Michael — who played lacrosse and were close enough in age to be his brothers. Both went on to play collegiately.When Madonna started playing, he turned to his uncles for help. He wanted to play goalie, sort of. Once in net, Madonna ducked out of the way of what Michael called “very light shots.”When the two forced Madonna to stay put, he started crying. In response, Michael and Anthony stood on both sides of Madonna and bounced the ball off his helmet until he stopped.Madonna quickly learned the ball wouldn’t break him. From that moment on, nothing could keep him out of the cage. One day while playing lacrosse outside, Madonna fell on pavement and cut his face. His cheeks were swollen, his face was scraped and it hurt to put on his helmet. Still, he practiced.Madonna was determined to play, but his chance to compete against the country’s best vanished. Prior to fifth grade, Madonna’s family moved to McKinney — a town in central Texas about an hour outside Dallas — where lacrosse was not treated like it is in New York. Madonna had to rely on community recreation teams to practice. None of the roughly 3,000 public high schools in the state had sanctioned lacrosse.“Down there in Texas they really had no idea what the hell they were talking about,” Michael said.Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorHis best training came from working with his uncles. Madonna filmed his games, even in middle school, and sent the tapes to Michael and Anthony for critiques. The two often visited McKinney for weeks at a time and worked with Madonna every day until the sun set. And when it did, Madonna’s father, Dominick, set up floodlights in the backyard so his son could keep practicing.“’You know Dom, we’ve been at this for a couple hours, you can take a break now,’” Michael would say. “And he was just like, ‘No. I’m good.’”One night after practicing, Anthony marched into Dominick’s home office and told him the family had to move back north. Madonna had the talent to play D-I, but he needed exposure from the country’s top teams. Dominick and his wife, Virginia, couldn’t believe what they heard.“You never really think he’s going to be able to play Division I,” Dominick said. “I mean you feel that way. Obviously you always think that. … You’re kind of stunned by it, that someone else thinks that way.”Within two years, Madonna’s family settled back into Liverpool, and Madonna’s young career began to bud. But in the world of lacrosse recruiting, it may have already been too late.Much of that, Liverpool head coach Mike Felice said, is the nature of lacrosse recruiting. Colleges often have an entire class filled before the players reach the 10th grade, Felice said. Madonna didn’t return to central New York until then, placing him at a major disadvantage.That year, as a 10th grader in 2011, Madonna helped lead Liverpool to an eventual triple-overtime loss in the New York Section III title loss to a West Genesee team featuring former SU greats Dylan Donahue and Tim Barber.“He played one hell of a game, and I’ll never forget that,” Donahue said. “We got one lucky shot.”The following year, Madonna led Liverpool back to the title game, beating West Genesee along the way and winning Liverpool’s first section title since 1989.“We always used to laugh and say, ‘Thank God Dom came,’” Felice said. “If it wasn’t for him, we probably wouldn’t be able to win that championship.”Despite being one of the top goalies in the region, Madonna, with limited college offers, landed five hours away at Merrimack, further from home than he wanted to be.During his freshman year, Madonna finished top-10 nationally in goals against average and earned a spot on the Northeast-10 All-Conference Rookie Team. That success continued in his second year. Madonna earned All-American Second Team honors while leading Merrimack to the NCAA Division II Championship semifinals, where the Warriors fell to Le Moyne.Heading into that contest, Madonna knew it would be his last game at Merrimack. He knew Merrimack was not the right fit. His mechanical engineering major was not officially accredited by Merrimack at the time, and the looming accreditation wasn’t guaranteed. And his Merrimack teammates didn’t share his passion for lacrosse, he said. Merrimack head coach Mike Morgan declined to comment for this story.“‘He would call me up and say, ‘I’m so frustrated. These guys are going out and partying. I don’t want to do that. We have to lift. We have to work out. No one’s taking it seriously,’” Anthony said. “That was tough. You’re out there busting your butt trying to go win that national championship and win that next game, and you see 10 of your teammates that are hungover from partying the night before.”School mattered to Madonna. Lacrosse was his passion. He yearned for a place where the two co-existed. He needed to come home.When Madonna decided to spend his last two years of eligibility elsewhere, he only applied to Syracuse.“I just think that there was this driving force in him that wouldn’t allow him to settle anywhere until he was at SU,” Virginia said.By the end of his sophomore season, Madonna had been accepted to Syracuse, and he committed to the school before knowing if he would play on the field. He and his family met with SU lacrosse director of operations Roy Simmons III and head coach John Desko to see about a potential spot.That summer, former SU attackman Jordan Evans walked into the locker room in Manley to work out. Right by his No. 22 locker was a new No. 25 locker for Madonna.•••In Madonna’s second start with SU, Albany couldn’t be stopped. Shot after shot found the back of the net, and the Great Danes repeatedly won the ball back on the faceoff. The offense couldn’t produce, and the defense couldn’t slow down the country’s highest-scoring attack.Madonna faced 50 shots and gave up 15 goals in a 15-3 thrashing that marked SU’s worst loss in the Carrier Dome since 1989. That marked a low point in Madonna’s career. After redshirting in 2016, playing backup in 2017 and holding Binghamton to four goals in his first start in 2018, he watched as shot after shot found twine. Even though there was little Madonna could control, he felt responsible for the loss.After the game, Madonna told former teammate Sergio Salcido that he felt embarrassed and unsure of himself. It was his first major start, Salcido told him. “Use it is as fuel.”The following week, SU hosted then-No. 9 Army in a game that went to triple overtime. Madonna made three saves in the first two overtime periods before making the biggest play of his career.Syracuse won the faceoff to open the third overtime period. Grant Murphy scooped the ground ball before passing back to Madonna. But Madonna didn’t find anyone immediately open on the clear. He scanned the field, looking left and right, before launching a 45-yard bullet downfield to a cutting Ryan Simmons. Simmons split the defense and fired the shot home for the win.“Holy sh*t moment,” Michael said. “My jaw was on the floor.”Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerMadonna’s eight saves and game-winning assist earned him ACC Defensive Player of the Week.After Madonna won the award, his parents called to congratulate him, but when they did, he wasn’t focused on the award. Instead, he just talked about what he needed to do to prepare for the next week’s matchup with Virginia. The next night, Madonna went to Anthony’s house for dinner. As soon as he walked in, his focus was lacrosse.“He says hi to my kids, and then the first thing out of his mouth is, ‘Hey, what did you think of the game?’” Anthony said. “I know after (every game) … I’m going to get that text saying, ‘What’d you think?’ He could have 20 saves and two goals allowed and I know I’m going to get that text or phone call saying, ‘What’d you think?’”Since the Army game, SU has gone 2-2, defeating two top-five teams in Duke and Virginia but also giving up a combined 32 goals in losses to Rutgers and Johns Hopkins. While Syracuse has struggled on the defensive end this season, it wouldn’t be competitive in some of those games if it wasn’t for Madonna’s play, Desko said.Still, Madonna feels responsible. He wants to anchor the team. But while he’s focused on the next game at hand, he thinks back to the journey that landed him in the position he is in.In early February, 30 people packed two rows in the Carrier Dome, all friends and family of Madonna. Virginia sat in the middle of the crowd, hoping to record the first time her son’s name was called in the team’s starting lineup against Binghamton. As she pressed record and her son’s name echoed through the Dome, Madonna’s fan section hollered so loudly that the recording is muffled.When the final whistle blew, the scoreboard read Syracuse 21, Binghamton 4. Madonna talked to Anthony, asking what he could do to improve. He talked to his parents, who were at a loss for words for seeing their son compete in the Dome. Friends and family mobbed and congratulated him.Madonna thought back to the four goals he allowed, wishing he could have those back, but then he thought about the big picture.“I knew I’d never be able to live with myself if I didn’t give it a chance,” Madonna said. “If I never made the move, I wouldn’t be playing lacrosse right now. That’s kind of the surreal thing.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 27, 2018 at 8:56 pm Contact Matt: mdliberm@syr.edulast_img read more

Kiren Rijiju: ‘We will form a committee for Sports Code’

first_img COMMENT Last Updated: 19th November, 2019 00:02 IST Kiren Rijiju: ‘We Will Form A Committee For Sports Code’ Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said that a committee will be formed for sports cod for sports federations to run efficiently in the country “We will form a committee for the Sports Code. This committee will be very credible. After the recommendation of the committee, I can say anything. We will bring the Sports Code, which will be acceptable to all. We cannot ignore anyone from society. If I say to a particular group member that you can’t be a sports federation head that will be not good. In sports, only those can run (federations) who have the best knowledge of good administrative skills, accountability, transparency, and governance. These are the three parameters on which we will see, who can run sports federation in democracy,” he added. Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has said that a committee will be formed for sports federations to run efficiently. The Minister said a sports code that will be acceptable to all will also be bought. He also said, only people who have the knowledge and administrative skills will be allowed to run federations and parameters will also be set. ‘We will bring the Sports Code’ Nisha Qureshi READ | Kiren Rijiju felicitates World Para Athletics medalists after India’s stellar showREAD | Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Sports sets top-10 Olympics medal-tally deadline for IndiaNew Sports code rejectedEarlier, the Indian Olympic Society rejected the new National Sports Code draft and also questioned many articles that are part of the newly crafted draft. The new sports code was drafted in 2017 and proposed changes to the 2011 draft. 2017 draft proposed for Members of Parliament and legislative assemblies to be barred from holding office in the National Sports Federation and the IOA.  “IOA said they don’t accept the old draft of Sports Code. So we will bring a new draft. After the consultation of all, we will bring a new Sports Code, Since I assumed the office, I have informed all the federations not to indulge in any kind of unnecessary fight, which has a negative impact on sports and athletes. I don’t want any sports federation to act like this and get suspended,” Kiren Rijiju said. 9 months ago Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Sports sets top-10 Olympics medal-tally deadline for India First Published: 19th November, 2019 00:02 IST India bagged a total of nine medals including two gold, two silver, and five bronze, and recorded their best-ever performance in the World Para Athletics Championships that concluded last week in Dubai. The minister said he is excited to see the Para-athletes perform well in the games and also assured that the ministry will extend all possible help to all four categories including the regular Olympics, the Paralympics deaf, Special Olympics, and Paralympics. READ | Kiren Rijiju calls for Centre-State joint effort to promote Fit India MovementREAD | Before CGF meet, Kiren Rijiju wants India’s position on Shooting considered(With ANI inputs) WE RECOMMENDcenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW US 9 months ago Watch: Kiren Rijiju visits Indo-China border at Uttarakhand’s Barahoti 9 months ago Before CGF meet, Kiren Rijiju wants India’s position on Shooting considered 9 months ago Kiren Rijiju felicitates World Para Athletics medalists after India’s stellar show Written By WATCH US LIVE LIVE TV 9 months ago Kiren Rijiju calls for Centre-State joint effort to promote Fit India Movementlast_img read more

First Floating Taco Bar Opens in the Caribbean

first_imgNews is spreading quickly about the Caribbean’s first floating taco bar, which opened last month in the waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands, 200 feet off St. John’s Hansen Bay Beach. The new business, called Lime Out VI, is creating quite a stir, and has already been featured on POPSUGAR, Caribbean Journal, Coastal Living, Travel and Leisure, Yahoo, and Lonely Planet, to name just a few.According to reports, everything about the bar is eco-friendly: It’s solar-powered, serves food in biodegradable containers, has solely recyclable cups, and will not serve straws. They’ll deliver food to nearby boats, customers who swim up to their bar (because, yes, there is also a swim-up bar for those who decide they don’t need a boating vehicle to get there), and kayakers in the area.Chelsea Baranowski, co-owner of Lime Out VI, told the paper her husband and their fellow owners, “all grew up together in St. John’s Coral Bay and have always wanted to open a business in the area.” The menu features super local cuisine and right now has 11 types of tacos, including fresh-catch ceviche, surf and turf, rum ribs, shrimp, and green curry chicken tacos.Lime Out’s cocktail menu is reportedly just as enticing, as it revolves around St. John flavors: Each drink is made with local fresh-squeezed juice and a specialty island liquor.last_img read more

Who is the GOAT: C. Ronaldo or Messi? Ronaldinho, Beckham and Ronaldo settle debate

first_img“He’s great. I like him much more than any other player. Everything he does is spectacular.”For former Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and England midfielder, David Beckham, despite how impressive Ronaldo is, he just doesn’t match Messi’s standard.Beckham insisted that Ronaldo “doesn’t reach the level” of Messi. “So does Messi, but it’s a question of taste and I prefer Messi’s style.”His former Brazil teammate, Ronaldo, believes both Ronaldo and Messi are  “out of this world” but adds that he thinks Messi is the more complete player.“He [Messi] is out of this world. Cristiano, too, but I see Leo as more complete,” Ronaldo said. “I probably decided to retire when Messi was running past me,” Beckham added.center_img It’s a debate that dominates social media any time either of these two footballers plays; who is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?Every week fans go back and forth on Twitter and Facebook over which of the two is greater, with the debates often favouring whoever is in form at that particular moment.In terms of team and individual awards, both players have attained levels of success others can only dream of.Messi has won the Ballon d’Or six times, one more than Ronaldo while the Portuguese has won two The Best FIFA Player awards in the last four years.The stats don’t make deciding any easier as there isn’t much between them.So who better to tell us which of the two is the better player than footballers who were once acknowledged to be the best in their eras?Former Barcelona and Brazil star Ronaldinho, who played with Messi at the Catalan club believes his former teammate is more talented than Cristiano Ronaldo, although he admits the Juventus forward is a great player as well.“He’s the best in history, no doubt. Nobody has done what Messi’s done. The other one [Ronaldo] is complete, he has it all,” Ronaldinho said.last_img read more