Lichtenstein!

Up above the young Rhine
Lies Liechtenstein, resting
On Alpine heights.
This beloved homeland,
This dear fatherland
Was chosen for us by
God's wise hand.

Long live Liechtenstein,
Blossoming on the young Rhine,
Happy and faithful!
Long live the Prince of the Land,
Long live our fatherland,
Through bonds of brotherly love
united and free!

The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine microstate in Western Europe, It borders Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east. It is 61 large square miles in size (For reference, Syracuse is 25 sq. miles) and has a population of about 35,000 (to Syracuse's 400K).

Their motto is  Für Gott, Fürst und Vaterland (For God, Prince and Fatherland).  Considering now that Syracuse fans look to freshman kicker Ryan Lichtenstein as our God, prince AND father after making a 41-yard field goal to beat Northwestern, it's more than a little coincidental.

Not only did Sir Ryan kick the game-winner, he also scored a total of 13 points on three field goals and four PAT kicks.  Not bad for a guy who a terrible warm-up session.

"I thought Coach (Bob) Casullo did a very good job of talking to Ryan about that calmly and getting him going," Marrone said. "Then all of a sudden you get into the locker room (after warmups) and as coaches you say, ‘Can you believe he missed a 10-yard field goal? We better make sure we score touchdowns.’ And sure enough we’re sitting at the end of the game saying, ‘Holy cow, he’s going to kick a game-winning field goal.’ And he kicks it through the uprights. It was an interesting chain of events."

And if Marrone could sum up Ryan Lichtenstein's performance on the season to date (5-for-6 FGs, 7-7 XP)...

"Ryan Lichtenstein has been tremendous for us so far."

Of course.

Lichtenstein has come a long way from a couple months ago when he was just a walk-on, unlikely to ever see any playing time.  Then Shane Raupers left the team for whatever reason and Lichtenstein was thrust into the starting spot.  Now that we know who he is and what he can do, we're learning a little more about the Lichtenstein football family and how Ryan got here:

Football and kicking talent run in the family. [Ryan's father] Sam was a walk-on defensive back at Pittsburgh; [Brother] Matt kicked for two seasons at Princeton. Ryan knew he, too, deserved a chance to play college football. It was just a matter of getting someone with the keys to that opportunity to agree.

[Ryan's high school coach Terry] Smith said Minnesota and Villanova were among the schools that showed interest in Ryan as a walk-on. But Ryan assessed the competition at Syracuse and figured that was the best portal to playing time.

"The one thing Ryan kept re-iterating to me was I just need an opportunity to show what I can do," Smith said.

Opportunity provided.  Talent assessed.  Kudos delivered.


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