2009 NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship Game Notes And Quotes
May 25, 2009
Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller
"It's very hard for me to put into words how proud I am to be the coach of this team. Tonight's game was a great display of incredible lacrosse and it meant so much to represent Northwestern University this way. I am proud to have been part of it."
How would you compare this team to the last four teams that won the national championship?
"Every team has been a special team to me. Every season has been special. Each group has been a very important part of the history of our program and they will always have a special place in my memory."
Can you talk about the play of Katrina Dowd, the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament?
"Katrina took it upon herself to step up and raise her level of play when Hilary (Bowen) got hurt. To her credit, after she got hurt, Hilary went to her and mentored her. Hilary could have kept to herself and stayed away but she tried to give Katrina the experience that she already had. So, Hilary deserves some credit for the way Katrina played."
Did you ever think you'd ever win a game by a 21-7 score when Hannah Nielsen only took one shot?
"Hannah is such an unselfish player that it doesn't surprise me. She knew that when Carolina was concentrating on her, she could find a teammate who was open. She doesn't care who scores the goal as long as the team scores."
How does it feel to win a fifth straight national championship and go undefeated?
"It feels very special to me. Every championship has been special in different ways. We had to overcome a lot of adversity to get here, so that makes it satisfying."
# 7 - Sr. Attack Hannah Nielsen
How does it feel to be a part of an undefeated national championship team?
"Before the season, we were joking that the only thing we had not done was go undefeated and win the national championship. I am so proud of my teammates for doing this. We should be proud of each other."
In the first half, your team put on an amazing shooting display and made 15 of 17 shots. What were you thinking while that was going on?
"Our offense was really firing in the first half. We were working as a unit and we were moving the ball very well. Before the game, we talked about playing as a team and passing to the open player. It was an amazing half and I'm happy I was part of it."
During you career, you and Hilary (Bowen) worked so well together. How do you explain that?
"Ever since our sophomore year, we have worked on developing an on-field connection. It has gotten to the point where each of us knows what the other person is going to do before they even do it. This on-field relationship has gotten better each year. When she was injured, I felt like I was lost out there. I am so glad she was able to come back and be a part of this."
#1 - Sr. Attack Hilary Bowen
After your ACL injury, did you ever think you'd be playing in the national championship game?
"This was an amazing performance and I never thought I'd be a part of it when I got injured. Honestly, if it wasn't for the encouragement of my friends, my family, my coaches and my teammates, it never would have happened. They kept pushing me to come back and I'm so happy that I did."
#2 - Jr. Attack Danielle Spencer
Since your team is losing so many seniors who have such big parts of the program, it seems like all the other schools may be thinking that next year is the year that your championship streak will end. How do you feel about that?
"I would like to enjoy this for a while and let the feeling sink in. I know we are losing a lot of great players like Hilary (Bowen), Meredith (Frank) and Hannah (Nielsen) but we have a lot of talent on this team. I'm sure we're going to have a strong team next year."
University of North Carolina Quotes
Coach Jenny Levy
"Congratulations to Northwestern on a perfect season. They [Northwestern] came out with a target on their back and performed up to their abilities with a tough schedule. This was not our best game of the year. We had a great season and I'm proud of my girls. We're certainly disappointed."
Was their ever a point in the game when you thought of pulling your goalie?
"Not really. We have one back-up goalie and she's a freshman and a walk-on. The first half didn't go as planned. Everything was shot high and close to the pipe. At each stoppage point in the game, we took the time to give her encouragement. She's been there all year."
What were the key points to Northwestern's win?
"Stick skills. We had a hard time on the draws. Even when we did touch the ball, things just didn't go our way. The margin of victory is up to the players, it comes on their own time. Northwestern's players put the extra time on their own." "We had quick possessions. We needed to make good decisions. Northwestern took high percentage shots. We struggled on offense then struggled on defense. I told the defense to hold their position, stay at home, and not go for the grand slam check. Unfortunately, we didn't get the saves in cage. We didn't give Logan a lot of opportunity to make a save. Northwestern had too much space inside and Logan was force to try to make a save one-on-none on high percentage shots."
9 - Jenn Russell (Junior midfielder)
With Northwestern's top three scoring threats graduating [Hilary Bowen, Meredith Frank, Hannah Nielsen], how do you think Northwestern will fare next year?
"Every year is different. Next season is a whole new beginning for every team. Northwestern did a great job this year and in the past. We'll just have to wait and see."
Talk about your feelings regarding today's game
"I would think any athlete would be frustrated. Calls weren't going our way. Northwestern played a great game. We're not going to put our heads down. It was a tough day. It's hard for anyone to end the season on a game like this."
13 - Amber Falcone (Senior defender)
Talk about Northwestern's offense
"Northwestern has a lot of offensive threats on the field. As a defense we didn't play as well. Northwestern had a lot of backdoor goals."
Talk about Northwestern's offense in comparison to that of Maryland's
"Maryland also has a lot of offensive threats but last night, Maryland was doing a lot of one-on-one offense, where Northwestern were feeding it in more."
"Coach Amonte-Hiller has a great system on the field where she can just plug girls in. They're consistent year after year because the girls play well together."
What were you telling the girls when you gathered them up into a huddle?
"To keep their heads up. Unfortunately, there's not much to say. We all knew what was happening. We struggled today."