Maryland vs. Duke Post Game Press Conference
Nov. 21, 2003
Head Coach Missy Meharg Opening Statement:
We're obviously very disappointed and we knew the game that we played pretty well because it's very similar to the first time we played them. We got ourselves down a couple goals and just a lot of energy a lot too late. So obviously we are very disappointed. We think very highly of Duke. They have tremendous athletes and certainly their team speed was a problem for us from the get go and it was something we worked hard on in preparation and didn't have our best performance in the opening twelve to seventeen minutes.
Q: Missy what did you tell your players during that timeout in the first half.
We bumped it up. We played more of a three four three. We talked about securing the ball on restarts and we talked about energy. I mean we had to make a lot of substitutions. We, unfortunately, we had individuals that kind of were waiting to see what would happen instead of being the proactive ones and making sure it happened and I think what I would like to remember about the game is the second half and the energy in that. But again it's just amazing and feels a little bit disappointing that it's exactly the same game that we played October 11. So it's just a disappointment.
Q: Coach talk a little about what happened in the first thirteen minutes or so. I mean Duke sort of had the ball in there pretty much the entire time. What did you do wrong? What adjustments did you make after that timeout?
I think we were emotionally way too excited. I think we played dead balls with too much excitement and gave it to Duke and then I think we were very impatient on individual defense. We gave away too many corners just by sloppy footwork and being off balance and you can't do that with Duke.
Q: Missy and Colleen it seemed like with the exception of Colleen, the forwards just weren't very aggressive pushing the ball up toward s the goal. Was it something that Duke's defense was doing or was it their play? What was going on?
Meharg: Maryland's attack has been hot and cold all season and I think that pretty much you know Colleen was a burst of energy that gave us something today. But collectively in the attack we lacked movement and creativity and real energy for a lot of the game. But I think again the second half we did pick it up.
Q: For the players, was there any sense that because all of you are coming back that there's still a little optimism for next year since you got the same team coming back.
Colleen Barbieri: think it's great that for a young team, everyday we have been growing this season. I mean we saw in the game against Penn State that there is a level that we can play at which is higher but we need to work on being more consistent with that. I think it's great that we are younger.
Sara Silvetti: We definitely need to take this as a learning experience. The championship experience will benefit us for next year.
Q: Missy you played Kristina a lot in the second half and you switched Sara and Emily, was that for speed or was it for something else?
Meharg: You know I think youth is a great thing. I think sometimes when there's no storybook and players are very athletic and very ready sometimes the inn once of not knowing what's out there and the ability to just come in and make things happen and Kristina is a great player. Emily was struggling a little bit with Chrissie Murphy's speed and she had talked a lot about it and we've worked on it. You know I think she just needed a break. She, and Sara and Tina all played much better in the second half and you know that's what we reflect on. Two to one that half.
Head Coach Beth Bozman Opening Statement:
We're just ecstatic to be here. I mean you dream of going to the Final Four and we've realized that dream and then you dream of getting to the Finals and you realize that and it's almost, and Gracie said this a few minutes ago, it's almost surreal right now. But we'll regroup tomorrow and really enjoy the moment for a day and then get back to work.
Q: Coach I know your team has never been to the Final four before but you have. What would you say to your team? What kind of wisdom can you impart on your team, knowing what's like going to the Final four and for the players does it give you more confidence know that your coach is a leader that has been there before and knows what it's like since this your first time going into a championship game?
Beth Bozman: Wisdom and leader (laugh). We just talked about, I mean we have been talking about all along, especially when you get here, to just stick to our game and play our game. We felt like we were in the Final four two weeks ago in the ACC championship and we just kept talking about, it's the same thing, it's the same thing. A few more people, it's the same experience, the same pressure, one game you lose you're out. We have been relating everything to that and I think it worked for us.
Gracie Sorbello: I'd say definitely her experience in the Final four definitely gives us confidence but it's nothing new. She's been giving us confidence all year. We've needed it before just as much as now, this is the fourth time we're playing Wake.
Q: Coach those first thirteen to fifteen minutes you guys pretty much just dominated. What did you do so well in that period of the game and what changed since that timeout?
Bozman: We obviously have speed and we have a dangerous attack. We just went after it in the first fifteen minutes or so and Maryland did make a couple of adjustments and made it difficult for us. I mean I know we won but they are a very good team. So, we didn't adjust quite as sharply and I think probably both teams were nervous and a little jittery. You get to the point where you are afraid of making mistakes even when you're winning. We probably did a little bit of that but we still stuck to our game and ended up winning.
Q: How important do you think was that early lead to get rid of the jitters?
Bozman: Well since we sort of went backwards I'm not sure it was that negative (laugh).
Q: It seems once you got started the team seemed to calm down, was that the case?
Bozman: No I don't think we did. I mean it's their first Final four game and it's nerve racking and even when you're a head I don't think there's any athlete that in the back of their mind isn't thinking, we'll we could still lose this game. Being up 3-0 against a team as good as Maryland, it's not much of a cushion. So, we definitely had some jitters but I think we got those out and we'll be ready to go on Sunday.
Q: Is it fair to say you guys we're playing not to lose in the second half?
Katie Grant: I don't necessarily think that was the case totally. I think that in a way that happens when you have such a huge lead, you're just trying to protect it but in the second half we tried to come out a little bit harder and tried to do more offense as opposed to the end of the first half. I think we were getting a littler more intense.
Bozman: And really still I mean Maryland is a good team and they did some things that made our jobs harder.
Q: You're going to be playing Wake Forest in the Championship. How are you guys going to prepare for the Championship?
Bozman: We'll have a game plan (laugh). I mean we had a pretty strong game plan for the last time, so it ended up going to over time so I am sure Wake Forest will be very prepared for us and we plan to be very prepared for them.
Q: What will your schedule be like for the next day and a half?
Bozman: We'll sleep in. We are going to go see, Elf, tomorrow (laugh). We have practice tomorrow afternoon. I mean we're going to take it pretty easy but we're going to go to the movies and we have been talking about this the whole time. We want to enjoy this whole event and with their course load right now it's rare to get the opportunity to go to the movies so we're going to do that (laugh).