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Mike Leveille's unforgettable week

"They were trying to shut me off, so I tried not to do too much and pick my spots," said Leveille.

Leveille's parents made the trip from Delmar to be part of the nearly 50,000 people that witnessed the May 26 national title game.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Leveille's father, George. "So to be there to enjoy the scenery and see the turnout was very exciting."

The NCAA tournament committee rewarded Leveille's efforts during the semifinals and finals (six goals, four assists) by naming him the Most Outstanding Player. It wouldn't be the only award Leveille would receive that week. Three days later in Washington, he accepted the Tewaaraton Trophy " lacrosse's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

"It certainly is a tremendous honor, but it was the team's success that allowed me to do what I did," said Leveille.

Leveille was hoping his neighbor and fellow Syracuse University student, Katie Rowan, would win the women's Tewaaraton Trophy that night, but the committee gave the award to Northwestern's Hannah Nielsen after the Wildcats won their fourth consecutive national title.

"I thought she was deserving of that," Leveille said of Rowan, who led the nation in scoring with 142 points. "She had a tremendous year, and she's a tremendous player."

Between the national championship game and the Tewaaraton ceremony, Leveille stopped in New York City for the MLL draft. He was hoping to be picked by Chicago, where his older brother, Kevin, plays. But before the Machine could grab him, New Jersey selected Leveille with the third overall pick.

Leveille might have remained a member of the New Jersey Pride had not a deal been made between New Jersey and Chicago. At the start of the third round, Leveille was traded to Chicago for a player and two draft picks.

"There was a lot going on behind the scenes," said Leveille. "Kevin worked hard to get Chicago to draft me. Then, New Jersey kind of pulled a fast one and picked me, but I'm glad it all got worked out so I could play with Kevin."

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