Feb. 12, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Postgame quotes following No. 2 Maryland's 23-6 season-opening win over Mount St. Mary's.
Maryland Head Coach John Tillman
"We kind of knew, once we read last night that a freshman was starting, we felt like with Niko [Amato] in our goal and them starting a freshman we would hope that we would have the value of a third year guy versus a young guy. Then we looked at last year's film and we did pretty well with that so we were hoping that really in the two areas that you want to be strong, we'd be strong. Faceoff and goalie play; it allows for a lot of mistakes and allows you to get into rhythm. And you don't always have that luxury but luckily tonight, Charlie [Raffa] and Curtis [Holmes] did a good job. It really gave us a chance to get into rhythm."
On Kevin Coopers' versatility:
"Owen [Blye] had been out for a while and he's coming back. We played Kevin up top a lot in the fall because we didn't have Michael [Chanenchuk] in the fall. So then when Owen went down this spring we started having him play down low a bit just to give us a little more presence, a little more leadership."
On the fast start:
"For us to get off on the start and to really get after it was important. We watched film and people might think I'm crazy but their two attackmen are really good. If you don't play them right, they can give you problems. There were a couple of times where they got shots or good looks, but again, we didn't give them many chances. Last year it was 3-0 us early, and then it was 3-3 and that game settled in. We anticipated last year's game being kind of similar, but then they bring back Burns who is a good pull, we didn't really see what he could do tonight, Ososki is pretty good. Wardis a guy that wasn't played last year and he got hurt on like the first possession and didn't come back but we think he's pretty good. I think that changed things a little bit. Because we thought they'd two pole up on the wings and try to create some havoc and that's something that's hard to simulate practice with ort scout guys."
On Jake Bernhardt coming back with a strong outing:
"I think that meant a lot to him and the team. After the way he got hurt last year, I think a lot of air went out of the balloon that day when he went down because everybody likes him so much. The way he handled that situation, how much he helped the younger guys get to where they need to get to, what a great leader he was, everybody is so excited for him and that says a lot about Jake and the kind of guy he is."
On if the 23 goals representative of what the offense is capable of:
"I don't see that happening very often. I'm shocked. I thought this was going to be a pretty tight game. I really did. I didn't have any other misconception with that. We played this game last year and they brought all of these guys back. We lost Michael [Shakespeare], Drew [Snider], and Joe [Cummings] and those guys had a big impact on that game last year. So we lost three and they added four or five. I think they have 22 seniors and grad school guys. That is a lot. And we have like eight."
On Brian Cooper playing the short-stick and solidifying defense:
"Brian has played both and can play both. We've had him do everything this year. We know we can always go back and play close. And that was one of the things we thought about with Lehrer coming back, would we want to move him down for experience. Because he played pretty well last year and we had a tough time with those two attackmen last year. They caused us fits. They were getting by guys and luckily Niko made some saves."
On Casey Ikeda's development:
"He's finally healthy. With him and Matt [Dunn] coming along. Matt has done a lot for us and he has been one of our pleasant surprises. One of the things we talked about was who are our best guys and lets try to get as many of them on the field as possible. For Brian, he was a starter and he's not a starter anymore. We told him what we need and he was awesome. He was like "Yeah, if this is what the team needs, then that is what I'll do". And that says a lot about Brian. I was really excited for Casey because he had that shoulder injury and then he ruptured his spleen last year. So for two years he has just been standing there waiting and waiting and for two years to be doing rehab is tough and when he came back last year he just wasn't the same guy."
Senior Attackman/Midfielder Kevin Cooper
On making the switch to attack this season:
"Everyone on offense is pretty versatile. It feels good to be able to play both positions. It is something we have been trying out a little. I am comfortable with either position. I'll play wherever I can to help the team."
On getting out to a fast start:
"Mount St. Mary's is a very dangerous team. Anytime you play a team like that, you want to take the wind out of their sails right away. We got a hell of an effort from both our faceoff guys. By them getting every possession, it was hard for Mount St. Mary's to get any momentum."
On the chemistry between the starting attackmen:
"I have really good chemistry with all those guys. I have played two years with Billy (Gribbin) and four years with Owen (Byle). It comes natural. The chemistry is just really good."
On if he has a preference between attack and midfield:
"No, I do not. I will play wherever I can help the team."
On Jake Bernhardt's performance and seeing him back on the field tonight:
"Jake is a guy that brings so much passion and intensity to the game. To see all his hard work through rehab and everything pay off today in our first game was awesome. He is such a great guy. To see him score four goals was just awesome."
Redshirt Senior Midfielder Jake Bernhardt
On scoring that first goal after missing all of last season:
"It was a great feeling to get out there and play. That first one took off a lot of pressure. Coach Moran did a good job all week getting us prepared. Obviously, it was evident on the field. "
On Kevin Cooper playing attack:
"Kevin is a great player. He brings a different dimension down at attack. He is a physical player. He will body people up, but he also has great vision. He got me on that crease play early on. Kevin likes to give it up. He keeps his head up."
On his decision to redshirt last year:
"It was easy and hard at the same time. It was easy because I could not think of anything else I wanted to do for a fifth year than play lacrosse, especially coming back and playing with the seniors and having an opportunity to play with my brother. The hard part was that you go through four years of school with those guys who graduated last year and you have to see them go. There are a lot memories that you have to put behind you. It was easy and hard at the same time."
On scoring 23 goals as a team:
"You do not know what to expect. Mount St. Mary's is a good team; do not let the score fool you. The attackmen they have are really good players. I had a chance to play with Andrew Scalley this summer and I thought he was amazing. We were telling Coach Tillman if [Scalley] wanted to play here he could. He is one of those late bloomer guys. We hope to come out and play our best every game. Coach Tillman does a good job reminding us that every team we play is not a pushover team. This weekend with Hartford, they are not a pushover team either."