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2012 Lacrosse NCAA Championship

NCAA Quarterfinals – Saturday, May 29, 2012

NCAA Quarterfinals – Saturday, May 29, 2012

Florida 15, Penn State 2

Post-Game Quotes

 

Florida Head Coach Amanda O’Leary

 

Opening Statement:

“I’m really proud of our program, the players, the coaches, the support staff. This was a monumental win for us. We’ve been preparing for this since we lost to Duke in this same round last year. These young ladies have put in so much hard work. They have the heart, they have the passion and I thought it really showed today. I credit Penn State with their fantastic game plan. They came in here, worked hard, they were gritty, they were scrappy, offensively, they kept us on our heels, defensively, I thought Dana Cahill did a fantastic job in the goal cage so I just want to credit them as well with a game very well played.

 

On playing a complete game…

This was 60 minutes of great lacrosse for Florida. I thought our players across the board defensively, in the goal cage, through the midfield, in the attacking end, absolutely I thought this was one of our best efforts.”

 

On how challenging the Final Four will be…

“Just to reiterate what Kitty said, when you get to this point in the season and you’re going to the Final Four, every team is excellent, every team is great and the parity amongst those four teams is going to be the same. We’re just looking to continue to work hard this week and do the things we feel we need to do to prepare ourselves for whomever we see but I think it’s the same old thing we’re going to be continuing to do as we’ve done since early January.”

 

On what they did so well today…

“I think we just executed. I think Erica and Caitlyn came up with a fantastic offensive game plan but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. You have to have players to go out and execute that game plan. I thought offensively they executed it perfectly. Defensively, I thought they came out and played strong and, as Mikey said, they played with heart, they played with passion and Mikey is a piece of that puzzle as well and all the pieces to the puzzle just fit today.”

 

On the team’s improvement on ground balls and draw controls over the season…

“Well I do think Shannon is a key component to that. When the ball is up in the air we’re pretty confident she’s going to come up with it. When it’s on the wings we have Kayla and Brittany. We have solid group of attackers on the back line and a solid group of defenders who can also compete for those ground balls. Again, draw controls are just so critical because whoever possesses the ball has the opportunity to score. I think Shannon’s a huge part of that but I also think that we are maturing through that competitiveness that if there’s a ground ball or if the ball is in the air I see these guys with a hunger of want to get that ground ball and wanting to get that ball in the air and I think that’s one of the biggest improvements to our game.”

 

On where this ranks among her accomplishments…

“I think it’s exciting and it’s wonderful but I think its more of a testament to the University of Florida, Jeremy Foley, to these young ladies, to our coaching staff, to our support staff because it’s a whole group of individuals. Its just not one person that decides that we’re going to make it to the Final Four, it starts at the top and it goes all the way down and I think these guys have bought into our system. We’re so blessed here. We have tremendous fans to come out each and every game so it’s a tremendous accomplishment and one that I’m incredibly, incredibly proud of but we have some more work today and I hope that I can stand  up here in a little while and say this wasn’t the most proud moment. We still have a couple more.”

 

Florida Junior Attacker Kitty Cullen

On what feels different from last year…

“I remember sitting in this exact same spot last year just being so upset thinking we could have done this, we could have done that, we could be going to the Final Four. We just worked so hard in the offseason and this whole season and just progressing and becoming a better team to make sure that didn’t happen again.”

 

On the difference Shannon Gilroy makes…

 “I think she’s made a huge impact. In the past two years we would have different people trying it out and switching each game and Shannon has really stepped up for us this year and really made a huge difference on the draw.”

 

On if it feels different being the No. 1 seed..

“ Even though we are the No. 1 seed, it could have gone either way this year and there’s really a lot of other talented teams out there and I don’t really think its going to come down to the seeding. It happened to help us out being the No. 1 seed for the first two games but going into the Final Four, it’s going to be anyone’s game. All the teams are going to be really ready and all of them are really great competitors.”

 

On how important is to have those big runs…

“It’s definitely a huge boost and a huge spark. Mikey will make a save at one end and it will get us more pumped up and want to score and keep scoring and once you score once and get the ball again you just want to keep going and keep going because then we’re going to get up by even more.”

 

On what it will take to win on the road after playing at home…

“I know already so many people who have told me weeks ago, ‘I’ve already booked my trip to Stony Brook. We have faith in you that you’re going to get there.’ I think we’re going to have a lot of fans come out and support us which is going to help us a lot but no matter what field we’re on, I think we’re going to just play great. We played great today but I play against this team everyday and I think we have a lot more potential and we have a lot more to come and hopefully we’ll bring that out this weekend.”

 

 

Florida Junior Midfielder Brittany Dashiell

On how important the ground balls and draw controls were…

“I think the little things are the most important things in the game like ground balls, draw controls. I think those are key in every game because I think whoever has possession is the team that’s going to score the goals. The little things are really what it comes down to in the end.”

 

On how much the programs has grown…

“It’s amazing how much we’ve accomplished in three years. I know when all of us committed we were all juniors in high school and we hadn’t seen any facilities. All we heard was what Mandee  and all the other coaches were talking to us about, and Jeremy Foley. I think we were all just so confident with here as a coach and with Erica (Legrow) and Jeremy Foley that we knew this program was going to grow really quickly and that all Florida sports really rapidly progress and I think we’ve had a lot confidence in the program so that’s why we came here.”

 

On how much the home field advantage has helped…

It’s helped a lot. Our fans are amazing and when they start getting pumped, it pumps us up. I think being home does give us an advantage just because we know the field and the fans.

 

 

Florida Junior Goal Keeper Mikey Meagher

On how it feels to make it to the Final Four…

“This feels amazing and we definitely don’t want to stop now. Like we were saying before, all this hard work put in to get to this point is just incredible and in feels amazing and we just want to keep going.”

 

On if she is hearing stuff about Florida from friends and teams up north…

“I have some friends at home that don’t really know much about lacrosse just because they didn’t play and I’m getting messages from them wishing us luck and they can’t believe how great of a team we are in such a short amount of time. This is just incredible.”

 

On how here teammates help her in the goal…

“The defense is incredible. Every game they just get better. To have those seven in front of me, I love them. You can’t ask for anything more of them because they just go out with such heart and hustle every single game and no matter what they do I know they have my back and I have theirs.”

 

 

Head Coach Missy Doherty

Opening Statement:

“It was a tough loss for us today, definitely disappointing. We have really young team so I think that we made great sides this season. We’re disappointed to not make it to the Final Four but obviously we’re going to work hard next year to get back here.”

 

On missing Maggie McCormick…

“We didn’t get to play this game, and NCAAs, without our leading point getter and that’s a huge deficit to have, especially against great teams. We definitely missed her back there. She’s been somewhat of our quarterback all season so we missed her presence back there for sure. A lot of people stepped up and worked hard but going into a game like this you really want to be full strength and unfortunately we weren’t today.”

 

On the little things in the game…

“Well you have to get possession in order to win the game. We were down draw controls in the first half and they made some really good goals on some really good shots in the early part of the first half and it’s hard to play form behind against Florida.”

 

On the season…

“I think this was a great season for us. At times we started five freshmen. We’re definitely going to miss Dana next year, our goalkeeper who had a fantastic season and was really incredible today, especially in the second half making some unbelievable saves and an unbelievable stop in the first half in transition point blank so we’re definitely going to miss her but having experience for some of our young players in this type of pressure situation definitely bodes well for the future.”

 

On Florida’s defense…

“They’re a physical defense. They do a good job of collapsing. A lot of defenses will play you way out where as they really sag in as a unit and protect the eight meter so they aren’t a defense that will really come out at you and make you play but when you want to get to goal they do a good job of collapsing with each other.”

 

On Florida’s speed…

“In every position they’re a fast team all over the field. It doesn’t matter if you’re on defense, the middle, or attack they have great speed and they definitely use that to their advantage. On defense we tried to slow them down a bit and I think that worked some in the second half so that was good to see.”

 

On how difficult Florida is to prepare for…

“This week in practice we really tried to take a team approach and put a little less pressure on a certain defender to stop Kitty (Cullen). It was more of we need team support because if you stop one player then another player may be open in the middle. It’s just working as a team to try and stop some of their tendencies was one of our focuses this week but they do have a lot of threats and you saw that today.”

 

Sophomore Attack Mackenzie Cyr

On what they can work on going into next season…

“One thing I think we can work on is draw control. If you have the ball you can score and if you don’t you can’t. I think that’s one of the most important things but there’s always stuff to work on.”

 

Senior Goalkeeper Dana Cahill

On Florida…

“We know going into it that Florida was the number one seed and they’re a great team, you can’t deny that. So in practice we worked really hard to try and shut down the best aspects of their game but with a team like that, it shows today, they just never stop. They’re a great team and we gave 100 percent for 60 minutes so I was really happy to see that.”

 

On what they can work on going into next season…

“I think our attack is one of the strongest areas on the team, at least this year. We had three great attackers and some great middies down there so I think if we just keep building on that in the next couple of years they’re going to be unstoppable.”

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