Division I Final Pre-Game Press Conference
May 24, 2009
Senior Midfielder Rocco Romero
On playing with teammate Max Siebald
Playing on the same midfield line with him, he obviously draws the best defensmen day in and day out. With him drawing so much attention and what's nice about our offense is that we don't depend solely on one guy to make plays. For us as an offense, there's no one individual match-up. It's a team effort; we're just trying to play 6-on-6.
On Cornell's slow-down style of play
Looking at last game against UVA, like Syracuse, they like to push the pace. If we just stay the course for four quarters and play a very disciplined style of lacrosse, I think as we saw last game, we could do that again against Syracuse.
On his play in the postseason
I try to create opportunities for myself and for Max [Siebald] and John [Glynn] and playing with them, I've learned a lot this whole year. Just having their confidence rub off on me has helped me especially during the playoffs. It's been a long time coming and I just stayed the course...it was just a matter of time for me to step up and make the plays that I know I'm capable of.
Senior Attack Chris Finn
On Cornell's style of offense
Over the course of four quarters we believe in our team offense as opposed to the individual match-ups that the defense might have against us. We just keep trying to do what our game plan is and keep going after it. And we believe that we'll hopefully come out on top at the end of the game.
On playing with teammate Max Siebald
One of the things about Max that goes overlooked is that he just exudes this quiet confidence on game day on the field. It gets everyone else on the team relaxed. He's our leader, he's out front and that confidence he exudes just gets everyone ready to go for the game.
On Cornell's concentrated effort to control the pace of the game
In practice no matter what drill it has been, we've taken a much more focused look at how we're doing controlling the pace of the game. If we can focus on that tomorrow, I think we have a good chance at the end.
Head Coach Jeff Tambroni
Once again, we're thrilled to have an opportunity to advance into this kind of a scenario. Cornell, an extremely tradition rich lacrosse program, now has a chance to compete against Syracuse for a national championship and that's all we can ask from these kids who have committed and sacrificed so much throughout the course of the year or their careers. It is exciting now to have an opportunity to have two teams left, both with one goal. I'm hoping that both teams play extremely well. A very impressive team, Syracuse, we had a chance to watch their film last night and again this morning. I think the understanding is that it is going to take a pretty monumental effort to beat a team like that, but I think we're excited to go out there and give it our best shot.
On the importance of a good start:
The game plan is to maximize 60 minutes of lacrosse and whether you get off to a good start or a slow start, at the end of the game you hope that you got more goals than they do. We'd like to say, as we do every game, that the first five minutes is important. We said that in the first game of the year against Binghamton and we'll probably say it in this final game of the year against Syracuse. I think confidence plays a factor in that if you can get up early, like you saw yesterday, our guys played with a lot of poise but I don't get the sense that if we go down by three goals, with this group that we have that there is going to be a lack of confidence or a panic button at this point. It's going to be important but more importantly is going to be our guys' ability to commit to 60 minutes of lacrosse and just stay poised whether we're up by three or down by three, Syracuse is a team that can really put a lot on you in small bunches of time.
On Rob Pannell:
He was compared to a guy like Tim Goldstein back in 1988. He's a guy who can control the tempo of an offense. For a guy who's a freshman, playing at the level he's playing at now, its been pretty impressive to lay witness to what he's been responsible for with the likes of guys like Rocco (Romero), Chris (Finn), Max (Seibald) and John (Glynn) in the same offense, he seems to be the guy that has the ball in his stick the majority of the time. Division I Final Pre-Game Press Conference - Syracuse Quotes
Senior Attack Kenny Nims
On the chance to cap off his career with back-to-back titles: "There's definitely been a lot of ups and downs in our career and just to see the way that the seniors led us last year, they really paved the way for us and we took a lot of what we did this year and based it off of what they did last year. To have a season like we've had so far, it would definitely be a great way to cap it off."
On Cornell's defense: "They're definitely playing really well as a unit right now. I think at times they had a couple let downs in our game (April 7), but we've watched them the last two weeks and they're playing as well as anyone in the country right now. Their goalie is playing well so they're clicking on all cylinders right now and it's going to be very important for us to get the most value out of our possessions as we can."
Senior Midfield Matt Abbott
On the chance to cap off his career with back-to-back titles: "We've seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows with the 2007 season and not making the playoffs to last year and winning it all. It's our last go-around as seniors and we're just trying to go out on top and we're just trying to win one more game."
On his relationship with former Syracuse and current Cornell Goalie Jake Myers: "He played with us our freshman year. He was the backup behind Pete Coluccini and he is a good friend, a great guy and a pretty good player from what I remember. I'm happy for him that he's succeeding at Cornell and it should be an interesting game tomorrow."
On if the result of the Cornell game surprised him: "The score surprised a lot of people, I don't think anybody expected either game yesterday to be as big of a differential as they were. We saw (Cornell) play at Hofstra against Princeton and it was a 6-4 game there and yesterday was 15-6. They've been playing great lacrosse lately and we're definitely going to have to go through practice and come up with a game plan and play together tomorrow to have a chance to win."
Head Coach John Desko
Opening Statement: "We're obviously very excited to be back in the national championship game, very proud and happy for our seniors. These two guys sitting next to me (Matt Abbot and Kenny Nims) along with a few other guys have been with us and playing a lot the past four years. I think they have shown their character, maturing here after winning a national championship a year ago and playing through the season we did and winning our playoff games with the nucleus we have and our leaders on and off the field. We are very excited to play Cornell; enjoyed watching them at Hofstra a week ago. We are very impressed with what they did. They've now beaten their last two opponents, teams that have beaten us during the year. We are very impressed with what they are doing. They've certainly willed themselves into the championship game and have a very special group of seniors themselves. We are trying to get through these guys; what it's going to take to beat them on Monday. We are excited to have a Central New York flare to the championship this year."
On facing (and defeating) Cornell earlier this season and the Big Red's impressive play since:
"I think right after our game, you know they showed a lot of character in our game too. All of a sudden you look up and it's 12-10, anybody's game. Then we were fortunate to put a few on at the end. But I think after our game I've seen a change in them, they really value their possessions and are playing great team defense. They're really sliding well and recovering. Jake (Myers)'s making some good saves in the goal for them so it makes them even tougher. So I think they're playing really well and their senior group has really gotten them there and is leading them and they're playing extremely well and we have to be ready for everything they do."
On Cornell goalie Jake Myers:
"I think he's done a nice job. I think that he got there, played, went back this year, didn't play in the fall, didn't start the first few games but stuck with it and some guys wouldn't. He did, and as a result, a little more hard work paid off. He got back in the goal; he had a lot of experience for Cornell and now he's playing the best ball that he's played.
On whether familiarity with Myers is an advantage to Syracuse or Cornell:
"We're both different. Jake's different than when he was at Syracuse. He's a starter there for two years now. He's seen a lot of lacrosse. I think anybody will tell you, it's one thing to work hard in practice, but that game experience is huge. He's got a lot of it now and look at what he's done. He's brought this team back to the national championship game so he's got to be playing with a lot of confidence."
On whether he wishes Myers was still with Syracuse:
"Well, he was great for the team, but I think he did what was best for him. You see where we are in goal and we are pretty happy with our guys. For him to go there and he's succeed is great, so we are happy for him."
On rivalry with Cornell:
"I think the rivalry has been renewed recently. Jeff (Tramboni)'s brought them (Cornell) right back. I think they are doing a great job. There is some local flavor with both teams and just the fact that we're so close to one another. Recently, the games have been very competitive."
On Max Seibald:
"Max is a tremendous player. He's the guy that teams really have to focus on. He plays offense; he plays defense. He can go out there to face-off; he can be on the wings for the face-off. And when he comes up with it, he's a real threat going to the goal there. It usually takes more than one person to stop him. He's been a motor for them and his teammates make him better."