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May 28, 2017

Kenzie Kent

Zoe Ochoa

Acacia Walker

Boston, Massachusetts

Maryland - 16, Boston College - 13

THE MODERATOR: Joining us are Zoe Ochoa and Kenzie Kent, along with head coach Acacia Walker. Just one note before we get started, Kenzie Kent has been named the Most Outstanding Player for the tournament. Coach, an opening statement?

COACH WALKER: I'm really proud of my team. I think to take down Maryland is like slaying a dragon, and I think my girls fought until the very end, which is all I can ask of them. Really, I'm really proud of our group. They're really good people. That's all I can ask for. They changed everything for BC. They changed everything. They're a good group of girls.

Q. Kenzie, how draining was it just being constantly playing catch-up every time you get close, they'd pull away from you?
KENZIE KENT: I tried not to think about it that way. I tried to just take one play at a time. From experience, (indiscernible) and it caught me in the end. So I just try to take it play-by-play.

Q. Zoe, your class has played a pretty instrumental role in elevating this BC Lacrosse program. While things unfortunately came to a close today, what have you seen from that growth and what have you seen from when you stepped on campus until now?
ZOE OCHOA: I can't really put words to how amazing an experience I've had these four years. It just goes to show how great our team is. People, they're amazing people. Our coaches are incredible people. We wouldn't be as amazing as we are without the leadership of our coaches. They teach us how to be amazing people and work hard, and don't take any days off. We go out to every practice best friends, and we just work hard and beat the crap out of each other. It's just been an amazing four years and I'll never forget the people, the coaches, and the games we've had. It was really amazing.

Q. Kenzie, you were just named Most Outstanding Player. Obviously I know you guys wanted to win, but what is that like? You seemed startled by the news, but talk a little bit about that?
KENZIE KENT: I mean, obviously, it's (indiscernible) a big accomplishment, but I wouldn't be here without everybody on my team. So I just I just -- I don't know. I can't really think.

Q. Zoe and then Kenzie, you had a couple moments here when Maryland really put their thumb down. They scored ten seconds in, jumped out 2-0 quick. You battle back to tie it. You run out five goals early in the second half and cut it down to 1. Looking at Zoe and then Kenzie, because on different ends of the field, you probably have different perspectives. What was the mentality like not to fall in the hole and let that gap get to 7, 8, 9 and let the game get away?
ZOE OCHOA: Well, we've been saying it the whole season that mainly the tournament is just kind of being present in the moment and not thinking too far ahead, and just playing as hard as we can, especially today. It's the last 60 minutes of Lacrosse this team's going to play. So kind of when we went down, just keep fighting. When we were up, keep fighting. Kind of just trying to stay level and working hard.

KENZIE KENT: Yeah, I think it gives negative mojo to your team if you think of how many goals you're down by. Instead we take it, like I said earlier, play-by-play. I think that's what got us out of that hole.

Q. Kenzie, you had to go against a Tewaaraton Finals defender, and you played very well. What did you have to do against Hadnagy to be successful here today?
KENZIE KENT: She's amazing. The first half she really shut me down. So during halftime I just had to pick up a little bit and go harder than I was before.

Q. Zoe and Kenzie, when the season began, you look at your schedule ahead and you look at the games in the ACC. What were your expectations heading into this season and as the season began when you looked at your team? How amazing is it to go on a run that ends in a national title game?
ZOE OCHOA: It's pretty amazing. You look at your schedule when you get it, and you obviously want to win every game. Every game that comes, you get a game plan, you go after it, and you hope to perform your best and get a win and make it to the ACC, win your first ACC game, and when the ACC isn't there you either win or you don't. Then you go to the National Championship, and you're here. It kind of happens so fast, and it's kind of incredible how you blink and your season's over. You look at it in the beginning and you think there are so many games and all of a sudden you're here. I'm so proud of our team. I think we've had some amazing games and really have had a lot of comebacks. I'm just really proud of my team.

KENZIE KENT: Yeah, and obviously no one expected us to be here. Personally this might not sound too good, after I lost in the Frozen Four, I couldn't be more excited, for some reason this year more than others, to join the team. Obviously we lost today, but it's a cool experience, it's been amazing, especially with this team. It's been a really special one.

Q. Acacia, the team played incredibly well today. A lot of production coming from underclassmen. Kenzie, Sam, Lauren, you have so many pieces coming back. We talk about Zoe's class getting the program to this level. But what is the future like with this core of sophomores and juniors that you have coming back the next couple of years?
COACH WALKER: I haven't thought about it quite yet. But I'm confident that because of our seniors, these underclassmen have been led in a really, really good way. So I do believe the culture has been strengthened by the leadership and by the families that support us. So I think we're in good hands. The underclassmen have been taught a lot by the seniors. Just how to dig deep. How to come together, really, and a lot of adversity that we've seen this year. They were so good. They're such good leaders and I know our underclassmen are well battle tested on the field and off the field. So I'm looking forward to the future.

Q. Twice when you got in the hole you called timeout and they came back and either got it to one or tied it. What was the message in the huddle?
COACH WALKER: Just to do their thing. We were a little shook-up again in the first half. We just got into a rhythm. We had so many plays we run, these poor girls. I make them run like 55 plays with 12 options on each play. They're just so smart, and they just tuned in and did what they needed to do, and every person did their job. We just sort of plugged away on our set plays.

Q. Was there a thought today that you weren't just going up against a really good Maryland team? That maybe emotionally you were going up against a team that wanted to redeem last year and they had something maybe a little bit deeper, just trying to win another national title after what happened last year?
COACH WALKER: Yeah, I knew. I think Jen and I knew in the back of our heads that was their motivation, but I don't think my girls were paying attention to that, really. We watched a lot of the film of that game, last year's game to sort of educate ourselves. But, yeah, we knew we were going up again. Maryland's amazing. They're amazing. Their coaches are amazing. Their players are some of the best. So you have to be excellent. You have to be at your best. We knew we were playing an emotional team and in a good way. Credit goes to them. They're excellent. They're amazing.

Q. Sam wound up leading the country in goals. How has she matured? What kind of season was this?
COACH WALKER: Sam's funny. She's a really quiet, really quiet kid, really shy. Something ignites in her when you put a Lacrosse stick in her hands. So she just loves the game. She plays really hard for her teammates and she's funny and quirky. Her teammates love her. I think they love when she does well. So she's a special kid. I'm really excited for her. She's really focused. She's come back from an ACL injury, which is content to make or break you as an athlete, and I don't think she's at her full speed yet. She'll work hard in the off-season, and it will be fun to coach her for the next couple years.

Q. It seemed like your team is very calm, very composed, even when they were down five early in the second half. Is that something you teach to them or is that something the way they naturally are?
COACH WALKER: I think a little bit of both. They're calm people. I think they're really smart, so they know better than to get too high or get too low. I think it's sort of been the culture of Boston College for the past couple of years. Sometimes it drives me crazy because I wish they would celebrate a little bit more. But then when they're calm, even when we're down, I'm really grateful for them. I don't really think they get it from me, because I'm pretty high and pretty low sometimes. So I think it's them, the kind of people they are.

Q. Talk a little bit about the atmosphere of the game. Almost 12,000 people are here. What did that do for your team, and not only that, but of the 12,000, seeing the BC fans in the neon, what did that do for the team?
COACH WALKER: I think it was awesome. We did it so the girls could look and find their families and feel really grounded from it. Playing in front of 12,000 people will change you in a good way, no matter what the result of the game is. I'm really excited. I think it will build their confidence as people and realize that they've done a really special thing for themselves and for their teammates. So I'm really excited for the confidence it will give them, because that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to make these girls confident women to go out and change the world once they're done at BC.

So I think it's something they'll remember forever. I think that maybe now they'll think that they're good, because I think they're so humble sometimes I have to shake them and be like you guys are great. Look at what you've done. Listen to the crowd. Half of that crowd, that's for you. I mean, it was cool. I'm excited for them.

Q. Was it a strategy to face guard Jen Giles when the game started, and why her? It's kind of pick your poison with Maryland?
A. Yeah, no, it wasn't the strategy going into it. But my assistant coach is like the queen of adjustment. She's so good on the fly. The defense has learned to be able to adjust very quickly, very often in the game. Jen is really very good at adjustments, so, no. It was not the game plan we were going into or going in with. We quickly had to make adjustments. There are seven girls that are phenomenal, so we had to be ready for changes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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