Dec. 12, 2003
COLUMBUS, Ohio -
Head coach Sasho Cirovski
"When you come to a stage like this, you hope your team shows up and plays like they're capable of playing and plays like champions. This is a tournament of champions and I felt like we played like champions. Soccer is a strange and cruel game, as we all know. The ball didn't bounce our way. We had some terrific opportunities, but whether it was a missed shot here or there or a good save by their goalkeeper, the ball just didn't go in the back of the net. We made two mistakes in the first half and got punished on one of them, severely. That sometimes happens. I just told my team that I just had two of the best years of my coaching life with this terrific group of people who are champions in every aspect."
On lack of scoring
"We started out the way you want to start out. The defending was good, we were creating chances and getting shots off, getting close chances and you think one of them is going to go in the back of the net. There's no explanation for it. Soccer can change in an instant and today it did. We still felt very confident and I think these guys showed a lot of poise all year. They just kept pushing; there was no panic. There were chances right in the last 30 seconds of the game.
I think we've all been around enough soccer games to see that happen and that's the sad cruelty of the game. Unfortunately, this is the third time I'm standing here with similar harsh endings. That does not diminish those years, or the past two years and especially this year. We brought a lot of joy to a lot of fans and a lot of people associated with the University of Maryland and I couldn't be prouder of what we've accomplished. We will continue to do the things that we know how to do and persist and hopefully we'll walk away here as the last team standing."
Junior forward Abe Thompson
On St. John's goalkeeper Bill Gaudette
"The keeper played very well today. I thought we did what we could to keep the pressure on him the entire game, but he came up with a couple big saves early on and again at the end when we had that final wave. You can't really do much else. We kept the pressure on him and put a bunch of shots on goal. He just kept stopping them."
On overall thoughts of the season
"I'm very proud of the past two seasons we've had. I think we obviously would have liked a better result at the end of both of them, but that's the way it goes sometimes. You can't take away from the things we've accomplished in the last two years."
Senior defender Seth Stammler
On playing the last game of his collegiate career
"It's disappointing. I think we came out and played well today. We got an unlucky break on their goal and we weren't able to convert on any of our chances. That's the way that soccer is sometimes and I'm going home with the same feeling as last year and I just hope that Maryland can come back next year and leave with a different result."
On overall thoughts of the season
"I think we, as seniors, have left Maryland soccer in better condition than when we came here. I'm just so proud of being a part of this team-the coaching staff, the trainers and obviously all of the other players. I just wish them the absolutel best of luck in future years."
Junior goalkeeper Noah Palmer
On play that led to the penalty kick
The ball got played over the top-it was kind of a 50/50 ball-played in the top of the box and I got there a second late. I didn't get to the ball in time.