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May 24, 2015

J.B. Clarke

Mike Messenger

Peter Papaleonti

Reid Reinholdt


Limestone – 9
Le Moyne - 6

THE MODERATOR:  Joined by Limestone head coach J. B. Clarke and student‑athletes Mike Messenger, Reid Reinholdt and Peter Papaleonti.  Coach, an opening statement.
COACH CLARKE:  First of all, I'd like to say that we are truly honored to be playing on this weekend.  We are very grateful to all of our servicemen and women, past, present and future.  One of our seniors will be going into the Marine Corps in just a couple of weeks.
So all that is very, very important to us, and we're very grateful.  Our senior class has had one heck of a run.  And Peter Papaleonti here next to me, and Reid Reinholdt are just two of the guys, two captains, two great captains.  But what a run by our group of seniors over the last four years.  It's culminated today by a great lacrosse game.  If you told me it was going to be 3‑3 at the half and we would win it, I probably wouldn't have believed you.  It's just great players, and we're really blessed that our administration cares a lot about our student‑athletes and our sport.  So thank you.

Q.  Mike, what was your mentality going into the fourth quarter?
MIKE MESSENGER:  All through the year we've been like a second half team, third quarter, fourth quarter.  We just knew as a team to keep going, keep pushing.  We knew we could get them.

Q.  Peter, comment on the defensive effort?
PETER PAPALEONTI:  Well, we kind of thought‑‑ we have a mentality we try to come out firing the first five minutes of every half.  They came out usually in the first five minutes of each half.  We had this thing called dig in, try to dig it out.  Pat Sheridan was amazing in goal today.  He was saving all the shots from deep and all the shots inside, and Billy Koelmel was sliding and Jason Lee [phonetic], stopping their roll‑back with their strong hand.  And Tyler was a stout all year and showed today.  These guys, when they came down on defense they came down off probably a two‑minute possession on offense tired and still stuck it out.  We just dug in.

Q.  Mike, difference from the first half to the second half?
MIKE MESSENGER:  Like Pete was saying we decided to dig in the second half and realized the three‑goal lead in the first half was nothing, just a couple of goals.  Lacrosse is a game of runs.  We just had to get our game started.
REID REINHOLDT:  We had to regroup.  We had to get the nerves out in the first half.  We came out in the second half and we just knew that we had to stick to the game plan and focus on the end result.
PETER PAPALEONTI:  All respect to Le Moyne.  They came out firing.  But I think in the end it came down to our strength and conditioning coach, Coach Lamb, really got us in shape.  At the very end of the game it looked like there were seven guys up top and trying different schemes.
But we just kept sprinting hard, running hard, and really stuck it to them.

Q.  Mike, the sense of responsibility going into the fourth quarter to take control.
MIKE MESSENGER:  All year, fourth quarter's, not just myself but others too, we just play stronger in the fourth quarter.  I felt when I had the ball on my stick, it was easier just coming to me.  I had people like Reid here who was getting me open and the other offense was helping me out, and I was just getting the shots that were landing.

Q.  (Question off mic).
MIKE MESSENGER:  It started with Kevin Reisman, winning that face‑off, nice and easy, giving it to Reid here.  And I just saw a lane open in front of me, started running down there, and Reid found me for a nice easy shot.

Q.  Comment on the face‑offs and how they did.
MIKE MESSENGER:  All year Kevin has been huge getting us‑‑ we got more possessions than most teams we've played just from him winning face‑offs, giving us a huge advantage in all the games.  And today he kept doing that and we kept getting possession after possession when we scored.  He was a key part in our win today, huge part.
REID REINHOLDT:  Every face‑off he wins is one extra possession on offense and one less on defense.  Every one of those that he can win is gi‑normous for the end result of the game.
PETER PAPALEONTI:  Kevin Reisman is a defenseman's best friend, keeps possessions away from us.  He's been doing it all year.  He played another amazing game today.  If they did pull it out, he was able to stop them from a break, same with the wing.  So the wings also have a lot to do with what he does in there.

Q.  Coach, talk about the job that Mike did to rally the troops?
COACH CLARKE:  Yeah, being down by a goal in the fourth quarter is a little bit unusual to us, recently.  We are a team that we worked really hard this year to try and teach our guys how to win the different ways.  And we were down late up at New York Tech, down by a couple, I think, in the fourth quarter.
We were down to Seton Hill late in the fourth.  Actually had to tie it up.  I think we scored twice under a minute and won it in overtime.
So it wasn't a panic situation.  I've learned over the years that your team kind of takes on your personality a little bit.  And I wanted to make sure that I didn't show any panic there at the end.
And I really kind of felt like we were right where we needed to be.  I didn't want to be down by a goal going into the fourth.  But I felt in all other aspects of the game I think we were outshooting them after three quarters and outground balling them, winning face‑offs.  We were clearing the ball well.  We were starting to get to them a little bit in the ride.  Our defense was playing well.  Our goalie played great, I thought late, especially.
So it was not a sense of panic.  It was we just need to run harder, longer.  And last year I think in this game we'd be tougher longer.  And this one was more about running harder longer.

Q.  Talk about Mike's role, specifically.
COACH CLARKE:  When you have Mike Messenger and Reid Reinholdt on the same midfield, it makes it very difficult to match up against us.
So over the course of the season, it's really been one or the other.  And if they both get rolling, then the defense is in a lot of trouble.  But Mike is a very‑‑ I was very proud of him today speaking to you.  He doesn't like the attention very much.
So he's the kind of guy that I almost felt like he was waiting to explode today.  I really did.  And every time I looked at him, it was like "I got this, Coach.  I got this, Coach."  He didn't say that, but that's how I felt.  And he's a big boy; he went out there and got it.

Q.  Comment on the defensive effort.
COACH CLARKE:  We felt that it was not going to be a 15‑14 game today as a coaching staff.  I didn't tell my team that.  They're a very disciplined offensive team and defense, but they're such a disciplined team.  They run very hard on offense even when they're not trying to score, they run hard to just have possession of the ball.
And I think there were a bunch of timer‑on calls today.  And we had some, which are very uncharacteristic of us, but I knew we had to do that because it was going to be that kind of game.  3‑3 at half, I felt okay.  I didn't like being 3‑3 at half.  But, again, we were doing the things I felt we needed to do in order to win it late.
That's a very uneasy feeling as a coach.  You like to get it over with.  But our guys did a good job possessing the ball and making good decisions for the most part at the end.  I didn't like some of our four‑on‑three chances we took and turned it back over to them.
But, again, our goalie was playing very well late.  So those turnovers, fortunately, didn't hurt us.  And I don't have to worry about coaching them not to take those chances again.

Q.  Comment on the changes at half, after one goal in the second quarter.
COACH CLARKE:  No, we didn't make any real Xs and Os changes.  We went through just a few changes offensively.  We felt like we weren't coming off of picks hard to score.  We felt like they were pressuring us out and they were playing us pretty far outside the box.  And we were kind of standing around trying to pass it around.  We weren't running at guys.  We were running with them, is the term we used.
I told them at halftime it's not a dance party.  We kind of like dodged like this in the first half.  We wanted to get our big guys going at them more.
I thought they did a really good job of that offensively.  So that was really you can call it an adjustment.  It was point of emphasis to get running at them offensively instead of trying to run with them or spinning around.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

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