May 12, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Postgame quotes following Maryland's 16-8 loss to Cornell in the 2013 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament first round at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
Maryland Coach John Tillman
"First, I would like to congratulate Cornell on just a great game. I thought from start to finish they worked hard. They are disciplined very well. They came out fast and really reached out and did a great job. They created some problems for us and when they had opportunities, they certainly made the most of them. Give credit to Cornell for a great game. Our seniors were terrific. With all that being said, obviously I am disappointed in the last 30 minutes; in the way our season ended. Yet, stepping back for a second, I feel bad for our players because I think it's a great group of young men. Especially for our seniors, knowing that we're not going to be together tomorrow and not have a chance to go out and be together on the practice field, selfishly is very difficult, but also I think for all of us because I think we enjoy being around each other so much. I think for this senior class especially, just knowing how hard that last 30 minutes was for us, but also just appreciating what this group of young men has done for our program in terms of getting us back to championship weekend and winning an ACC Championship. As I told them walking off the field and seeing all these young guys with Maryland lacrosse stuff on and realizing what they've done. The way people look at this program now. I don't think they can truly understand what they've done for our program and what they've meant to our school and, again, selfishly I'm just so proud of the type of people they are and how they've done their business. It's going to be tough saying goodbye and not being around them anymore, but like I told them in the locker room, `Once a Terp, always a Terp.'"
On Rob Pannell:
"He is a great player and I think we have to give him his due. He's going to make plays. It may not even be in situations where he runs by anybody, he just always has his head up, so there are couple times where he didn't create any leverage, yet someone made a quick cut and he can throw it at a guy's ear and make some offense and suddenly it would create some things. We kind of went back and forth. We had a number of different plans. Symmetrically, we had a number of different plans match-up wise. We obviously believe Jesse Bernhardt is the best defensive player in the country and one of the plans was to put Jesse down on him, but there is always give and take. Again, Rob is a great player, and [in the second half] we put our strength against their strength, but when you do that, you lose a guy, and you saw our first goal of the game came because Jesse was up top, so we lose a little in our transition game and we lose a little potentially on our wings because Jesse is so good there. So, again you move the chips around a little bit, there's give and take, so we just thought we would give Goran [Murray] a chance because that had been more of what we did and again we knew it was a tough assignment. Rob is a great player and a six-year guy who is very mature and very wise. Nothing is too big for him and Goran is a sophomore and Goran is a good athlete, but I think with a guy who is a little more experience is going to be a little more confident. That's a tough matchup. It's going to be tough for anybody, Goran, Jesse, whoever it may be. We decided at halftime we would give [putting Jesse on him] a shot. I think on the ball, Jesse did a great job, just about as good as anybody could do, yet it's like any great player. You help him and then other things open up."
On the difference in the game:
I think the biggest stat of the game is groundballs - 43-29. Faceoffs really gave them the opportunity to always be in front. We would creep back and then they would win faceoffs and we just couldn't get caught up. I also thought their faceoff guy, Doug [Tesoriero] did a great job today. He was on the whistle and their wing players have been good all year. So whenever we could kind of get going, they would stem the tide a little bit."
Senior Midfielder Jesse Bernhardt
On his disappointment:
"It's always not an easy thing. The past couple years, we've been fortunate to make it as far as we did and going out like this is not a good feeling, but, John [Haus] and I were talking and we wouldn't trade any of it for a second for the four years we've been here. Coach mentioned this, but in no way does today define our class. I think we have a great group and it's a hard thing, but that pain will hopefully eventually go away and like coach said, `Once a Terp, always a Terp.'"
Senior Midfielder John Haus
On the season:
"I just think overall we knew we were a very good team since the first day we stepped on to campus this year. We knew as long as we put in that hard work and just continued to get better each and every day, that we could be very good. Obviously, today Cornell was a little better than us. For us to lose this way, it does hurt, but at the same time, I told all my seniors that I wouldn't trade a second of these four years for anything else or any other program in the world. I don't care what the score was today or any of these stats, I wouldn't trade any one of them for anyone else and I know they wouldn't trade me for anyone else, so to go down that way and be a Terp - being a Terp, you're a Terp for life. You're welcomed back whenever you want to be welcomed back and it's more of a total team program than `these are your four years and now you're out and we're never going to talk to you again.' We really believe in once you come here, and you're a Terp, then you are always a Terp."
Cornell Coach Ben DeLuca
"I want to thank the University of Maryland for hosting us. They did a great job. It's a wonderful facility, and they were very gracious hosts. Our guys were very excited to come down and play and the University of Maryland made it a first-class environment for our guys to come down here and compete. Thank you to those people.
"Secondly, I couldn't be more excited or proud of our players and our team - the way that we prepared this week; the way that we came out and executed the game plan. The guy to my right [Rob Pannell] and the guy to my left [Jason Noble] led the charge, along with our two other captains, with imposing their will early on in the game and not necessarily making plays, but their emotional investment. The things that they did to prepare during the week were outstanding and I think this win is immense for our program; to battle against a program like Maryland, to come in here as the unseeded, underdog team against a team that was ranked for a period of time during the season as the No. 1 team. They're a very good team, very talented and well coached, and our guys met that challenge very well today. I'm very proud of the way our team came out and played, and I have to credit our captains and our senior class for what they did in practice, the sense of urgency they instilled on our team. We're excited to be moving on. We're going to be able to go home and have a week of practice, and continue our goal of winning a national championship."
On attack Rob Pannell:
"Sometimes I definitely catch myself watching in awe for some of the things he does and the plays he makes. For the most part, I and the coaches try to stay focused on our jobs ... There certainly are times where, I don't know if I shake my head, but I just thank the Lord that we've got No. 3 on our squad and we're not playing against him. In practice weekly playing against him, it's a bear to defend him and account for the things he can do. I couldn't be more proud of the fact that he decided to come back and rejoin this team and forego some great opportunities elsewhere to come back and leave a pretty tremendous legacy here with the Cornell lacrosse program."
Senior Attack Rob Pannell
On Cornell's play:
"I think this is one of the more complete games we've played all season. We really play our best when we have a great week of practice. Our guys were focused this week. It's always easy to be focused coming off a loss. The seniors in particular do a great job of getting this team headed in the right direction. You don't really know that feeling of it possibly being your last game until it's actually here, and we've had a lot of seniors who don't usually say much step up this week, say some words to the team. You could see it in their play as well at practice, the elevation of their play. I think that was a large part of our success today. Our defense was constantly being challenged by Coach DeLuca. It doesn't get the most support in college lacrosse, but they did a great job today with [defenseman] Jason Noble and AJ Fiore in goal, and [defender] Tom Freshour. I couldn't be more proud of those guys. We were able to score goals. We've been doing that for the most part of the season, and we did a great job this week in practice preparing for Maryland and executing the game plan today."
On the shot accuracy:
"I think this was my most focused week ever at Cornell, which is a lot to say. I was watching film Monday night and Sunday night when we got the matchup and knowing how good defensively Maryland is. We were getting on guys all week knowing how great Niko Amato is. He's an unbelievable goalie, and when he gets hot, he's hot. We were really stressing to shoot the right shots and smart shots, be patient offensively. There were a few too many turnovers that I wish we could eliminate, but for the most part, we were very patient at the midfield and at attack with handling the ball. We focused on shooting the ball all week, drilling it into our offense's head."
Senior Defenseman Jason Noble
On Cornell's defense:
"The last couple games we got away from our defensive game plan. We were focused more on matchups and playing the system, playing with seven guys in the defensive end. This week we simplified and went back to our instincts. We played with all six guys and AJ. We just relied on the system first, matchup second. We're just playing with each other and each other's tendencies. Against Princeton last week, we got away from that; we were too focused on matchups. But this week we played really well. When we helped the offense get to the 4-1 lead, it really took the pressure off the defense. It just let us play our game."