After defeating Syracuse 16-10 to win their second national championship in program history, the Blue Devils returned home and addressed the media for the first time since returning to Durham Tuesday afternoon. Here are some highlights from their press conference, which featured head coach John Danowski along with juniors Brendan Fowler, Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne. Fowler was named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, Wolf led the team with six points in the national championship game and Dionne added three goals and two assists.
John Danowski on his journey during his seven years at the helm of Duke lacrosse:
"I consider myself fortunate. I'm always humbled by the fact that something had to happen here and a good friend of mine lost his job—Coach Pressler—and that's why I'm here. But if that didn't happen, I wouldn't be here. And Michael was very supportive of me trying to get the position here at the time. So I owe a lot to him, I owe a lot to the people that had faith in me to be here. But it wasn't about winning championships—it was about moving forward."
Danowski on his championship team's dynamic:
"The underclassmen loved the seniors. They loved those guys, and that is not an easy thing when you have 47 young men, but they've gotten along great. And the last three weeks, every day has been a pleasure. And it was more about earning another week together than it was about winning."
Brendan Fowler on his team's roller-coaster postseason, which saw Duke both play with big leads and surrender them:
"I think it's a testament to our senior class. We have really good leadership on our team. I think they help keep us calm—when things go bad, when things go good, they help keep us level-headed."
Josh Dionne on what two championships in four years says about Duke lacrosse:
"I think it proves to everybody that what we do here is right. I think what Coach Danowski preaches to us—the discipline—he makes us mature very quickly."
Jordan Wolf on his team's inspiration throughout the season:
"This year we just wanted to build off of what Matt Danowski started in 2006. I definitely think it's just a special group this year. We have the best seniors in the world. We've been playing for them the whole year."
Wolf on how this momentum carries into next season:
"You get this first ring, it's the best feeling in the world and you want another one. We're going to come back in the fall and practice really hard, listen to the coaches and go from there."
Wolf on the lesson his team learned from Cornell's fourth-quarter comeback attempt:
"You learn from every game and every game is different. Cornell is a great team and they have great players. We knew they were going to make a run and we were fortunate enough to hold it off. I think in the fourth quarter against Syracuse when we were up a little bit we just tried to ignore the clock as much as possible, keep playing as hard as we can and just stop when the whistle blows. So I guess we really did learn from it."
Wolf on winning a national championship in Philadelphia, his hometown:
"I was downplaying it all week, but obviously after we won it, it was so much more special to win it in front of my friends and family. But I would have been fine in Boston and I would have been fine in Maryland. Just to be with these guys and win it, it was amazing. But to be in my hometown, what else could you ask for?"
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