Syracuse vs. Duke Notes and Quotes
May 23, 2009
Division I Semifinal - Syracuse vs. Duke Notes
Division I Semifinal - Duke Coach Quotes
Head Coach John Danowski
First off, hats off to Syracuse head coach (John) Desko, his staff and his student-athletes. What a great performance by them. We certainly respect so much of their history and tradition and they certainly lived up to that today. We thought they were terrific. If we made a mistake, they capitalized and we tip our caps to Syracuse for a job well done.
On defending Syracuse's offensive attack:
We know Syracuse likes to play to their strengths and they knew exactly what their strengths are. Coming into the game, we thought we had a plan for that, but I thought they made some tremendous looks and plays. If we left someone open, the ball was in his stick and out quickly. When you reach the Final Four, everyone has skilled players and plenty of talent. Everyone is capable of making plays. If you look at their box scores from all season, they evenly distributed their goals and points.
On falling behind in the first half:
Early on, we didn't have many possessions and violated a bunch of face-offs, so we didn't really have the ball on offense a lot. It's been a long time since we've been behind in a game, so I think we began pressing a little bit. We tried to force the ball and make plays.
On defensive play today:
We were certainly on our heels. I think it was a group effort and everyone probably has a hand in this, but we won't know until we look at the video, which probably won't be until the year 2012 or 2013. All seven guys on defense need to be on the same page. We did some uncharacteristic things at the end of quarters, and we seemed to be out of sorts, but maybe that was Syracuse making us out of sorts, opposed to saying it was us.
Division I Semifinal - Duke Athlete Quotes
Junior Attack Max Quinzani
On falling in the semifinals for the third time
"We always come here the same way. We come here very confident. (Syracuse) punched us in the mouth early, give them credit for that. I thought going into the first quarter, we would have composure. We look to a lot of guys, but they kept on making saves, we were hitting them in the stick. They didn't allow us to have long possessions, and then we started running around like chickens with our heads cut off."
On any pressure playing in the semifinals close to home in front of friends and family
"The pressure was last year. I was just trying to have fun this year."
On the Syracuse defense
"Right off the bat, they pressured all over the place. We couldn't get around. I know that first play, I wanted to take a wing dodge, we couldn't even get it to my side. (Zach) Howell ended up taking it on the inside. We weren't really ready to play at that point."
"The pressure kept on growing. We couldn't get the ball to Ned (Crotty) up top. The rest, I think they laid off on the pressure, but we didn't have long enough possessions to even see what they were doing. That's a testament to their faceoff game, their possessions on the offensive side."
Division I Semifinal - Syracuse Coach Quotes
Head Coach John Desko
I'd like to congratulate Duke on their season. I know it didn't end the way they wanted it to. I'm very happy with how we played today. I thought out defense understood their personnel and what they were trying to do. We got some saves from our goaltender, especially early, so that was a very good defensive effort. And offensively we were able to score in settled situations and unsettled situations. To put the number of points up that we did, we certainly have to be happy with that. We came out healthy, and we are looking forward to playing again on Monday.
On neutralizing Duke's team speed:
We really felt that Duke really concentrates on the center of the field, that they really want to go after ground balls and get possessions there and beat you there. So we really kind of challenged our group all week long to say, 'Hey, this is their game. I think it's our game. Game starts with a face-off and we have to go after loose balls and get possessions and get the ball to our offensive end. And we were able to create some transition off of it too. So I think we kind of challenged the guys, and they did a good job of understanding and coming out and performing today.
On getting to the right spot and not allowing Duke to front Syracuse's offensive players:
We use a couple different offensive sets. We didn't alter or slide early or hold. They started to slide early against us, so went to our 2-3 set and came off the crease early. We just tried to get a lot of movement. We tried to read their slides and move the ball quickly when they did. Guys were used to that after we played in Chapel Hill.
On winning face-offs and getting extra possessions:
I think it was pretty big for us. We were 18-for-28, looking at some of the stats. To have that many more possessions when both teams are pretty good on offense, to give our offense that many more opportunities, it didn't hurt us at all. To have eight goals at halftime and hold them to four, and then to win the very first face-off to start the second half. Jake went down and scored off of it. That was a big lift for us, coming back out at halftime, wondering what we were going to see, wondering if we were going to see one of the runs. That got us started off on the right foot.
On switching different players on attack:
It gives us different looks. Guys go in for different roles. We added Cody to the roster, a few weeks ago, basically, which gives us another person that people have to concentrate on. Tim came in, gave us some possession time with that group, which gives Kenny a little break from holding the ball. It helps keep us fresh too. We like to ride and when we get the other attacker in, it helps keep us fresh and light in situations. Kenny doesn't get a lot of breaks out there. We rely a lot on him. He's kind of our motor. I think it gives different looks and different ways of scoring.
On the short stick matchup and having it work in their favor:
I think everybody does that to start with. They play the percentages. What we had seen on some film was that they are a little quicker to slide to their short sticks in situations, so that we knew that in our offense we had to get to our spots earlier. Some teams are a little slower to go, which means you can take your time in your movements. We ran stuff that we wanted to get to open spaces early to have outlets, so that when we did slide, we could make easy passes to the men that were open.
Division I Semifinal - Syracuse Athlete Quotes
Senior Midfielder Pat Perritt
On having a career game in the national semifinals
"It meant a lot. It was a big game for us and on this stage it's nice to come out and be able to play like that. Fortunately, the shots I was taking were finding the spot and I had a good day shooting. Their goalie takes up a lot of space in the cage and I just wasn't trying to shoot the ball too hard, shoot it through the net. Coach said during the week just try and place the ball, shoot it overhand and put it to the far corners and that's what I tried to do and it worked."
On the chance to win back-to-back national championships
"It would be great. It would mean a lot to the program, to myself and to the rest of my teammates. That's our goal right now and we're looking forward to seeing who we'll play after this next game...Being a Syracuse lacrosse player, your goal is to win a national championship and that's been our goal all year."
Senior Attack Kenny Nims
On the offense working well
"I think it's just the fact that we're so deep. We have about 10 guys who are capable of putting up big numbers. Any given day someone new can have a huge day. That's been the story of our season pretty much all year and I wouldn't be surprised if someone new stepped up and a huge game on Monday."
On junior attack Cody Jamieson
"He's played excellent since he's been on board with us. It's kind of like having two [Scott] Kahoes out there, one righthanded, one lefthanded. It's nice to come around the cage and see either one of those guys wide open most of the time."