Players and coaches from the four teams in the NCAA men's lacrosse semifinals met with the media yesterday up in Foxboro, Mass. where championship weekend is being held at Gillette Stadium.
Here are some of the best quotes, leading up to Duke's game vs. Maryland on Saturday at 5 p.m., determining which of these two ACC squads will make the championship game>
Duke head coach John Danowski on focus going into the game:
“If it’s the first game of the season or the last game of the season, you want to win face-offs, you want to pick up ground balls, you want to win your battles defensively, you want to make saves, and you want to shoot smart. None of that really changes from week to week.”
Danowski on his plan to avoid a slow first-quarter start:
“You just gotta play the game and see what happens. A lot of crazy things could happen in that first quarter. There’s really no way to plan it. You’ve just got to hope that your guys are relaxed, you’ve got to hope that they’re confident and that we can make some plays in that first quarter. But if we don’t, we’re just going to relax and keep playing.”
Danowski on adjusting to a lower-scoring game than that against Colgate:
“There’s no doubt that we’re going to have to make good decisions. If you have transition opportunities, either off a face-off or from the defensive end, you’ve got to stay aggressive. Defensively we’ve got to be poised and win our individual battles.”
Senior midfielder CJ Costabile on the biggest strength of the team:
“We’re just a tight-knit group. I think that’s the biggest thing that we have. During my time at Duke we’ve had a lot of great teams, but I think this year particularly there really has been no divide between classes. I think that chemistry carries over to the field tremendously.”
Maryland head coach John Tillman on defending against a deep offensive attack:
"We're certainly going to have to play seven against their six offensive players, including our goalie. They're a team that doesn't really key on one person, so we're going to have to communicate really well, understand what defensive scheme we're in, and think one play ahead."
Tillman on adjustments the team has made since its loss to Colgate May 5:
“I could probably go on and on. Everything from the way we practice to the way we stretch, the drills we do in practice. The one thing we asked everybody to do was to wipe the slate clean, and everybody said, ‘Alright, we’re back to ground zero. Let’s recommit ourselves and play the best lacrosse that we can possibly play down the stretch’.”
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