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May 23, 2018

Lakareber Abe

Kristen Gillman

Cheyenne Knight

Angelica Moresco

Mic Potter

Lauren Stephenson

Stillwater, Oklahoma

MIC POTTER: Well, first of all, congratulations to Arizona. They played great, made critical putts, hit really nice shots when they had to, and they're a good team. The progress they've made over the year, I haven't watched them really closely, but I know they're a lot better now than they were the last time I think we saw them -- besides regionals, we saw them in February in California, so they've obviously worked hard and they've improved and they're well-coached, and you have to give them a lot of credit.

And secondly, just want to congratulate our girls. They fought their hearts out all year, really hard all year. We were 110 in the card going into match play this year, something I never thought I would see in women's golf. When you put this many really elite players together, it's really fun for Susan and I to watch and be a part of, and I just want to congratulate them for the way they battled not only today but in stroke play, two matches yesterday and again today.

The thing about match play and this championship, anything can happen, and we've all just got to be aware of that and ready for that, and I just told them, every one of them gave their best on every shot. That's all we can ask. If at the end of the day, we all did that, I'm happy.

Q. Mic, as a player who's done a lot for the team, for the program, would you try to sum up what Cheyenne has meant to this team?
MIC POTTER: Yeah, well, I told them this morning, someone -- we were recruiting Cheyenne, and really it wasn't very hard. She was associated with Fran Carasolo (phonetic) and Joey Sindelar's son was there, and my son, who was at Ohio State as the assistant coach, called me and said, there's a girl in Texas, all she wants to do do is go to Alabama, and I said -- we looked up her record, and I said, well, if all she wants to do is go to Alabama, then we should make it possible for her to go to Alabama. When she walked on campus, she was a lot better player than she was when she was playing junior golf. She started competing and pushing Emma Talley every day and Janie Jackson, some of our better players, and she really solidified a pretty good team her freshman year. For some reason she wasn't SEC Player of the Year, but she was National Freshman of the Year, and it was well-earned. She was very consistent, and she just has led this movement toward where we are right now.

Q. Cheyenne, your family is a big Texas A & M family; why did you want to go to Alabama?
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: My freshman year of high school, I saw Alabama win the national championship in 2012, and I honestly didn't know anything about Alabama, like besides just their football team and stuff. But I just saw how -- I actually went and watched the national championship when it was at Texas A & M. I don't know what year, but I just saw how they had just interacted with everyone. I remember seeing Alabama, and I was like drawn to it, and they always had like a really solid team. But just being from Texas, I just wanted to experience something different, and it was important for me to play in the SEC.

When I just visited -- I always wanted to go to Alabama, and I knew that, and they didn't offer me on my first visit. But no, it was always my dream to go there.

Q. Kristen, talk about the journey, six days of golf to get to where you are today. Talk about today's match and just overall how the team played and coming down the stretch the excitement of the moment.
KRISTEN GILLMAN: Yeah, definitely played a lot of golf because with the practice round I think we played eight -- something like that, seven rounds of golf, a lot of golf. So I know we're all pretty tired at this point. But I'm really proud of my team because I know that we all fought as hard as we could, and we gave us a chance coming into the last hole to win the national championship. I mean, if you told us in the beginning of the season that we would be able to win the -- like we had a chance to, coming down to the last hole, I feel like we would all take that. It was so exciting being able to go into the ropes and just cheer on your team. I feel like we all did really good jobs today, so it was exciting to cheer everyone on.

Q. Lakareber, talk about today's play. Obviously it came down to the last extra hole for you. Talk about your mindset and everything that went into that.
LAKAREBER ABE: Well, I just told Mic when we were riding back, I said, if you told us that we'd be here with a chance, I think we'd take it. He was just like, just have fun, and we did. Honestly, it didn't turn out the way we wanted it to, but I could not hit three better shots in to get within -- I mean, you're going to make some putts. The averages even out eventually. It was fun.

Q. Angelica, if you would talk about the experience that you come in with here this week as a freshman and how this will help propel you to the future.
ANGELICA MORESCO: Yes, it was unbelievable. I would never have thought I'd come this far, and I'm so proud of my team because they're pushing me every day. Today on the course we were cheering us up and pushing each other, and this is what a team has to be, so I'm very proud of our team because we gave our best.

Q. Lauren, one for you. Talk about today's match. Obviously you had a great run coming into today. Talk about your match today.
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, today was a little bit different. I was telling Lakareber I didn't play my best, but I gave everything I had, and Yu-Sang played really well and Arizona did a great job. This wasn't meant to be for me today, but it was so much fun getting to cheer on Lakareber, and I was so excited that it was coming down to her, her senior year, and you can't ask for a better ending to a dream.

But I'm so proud of everyone. I know we all gave our best, and like everyone said, if you would have told us we'd be here, we probably wouldn't have believed you because we knew that we were good enough to be here, but it's really hard to make it year. So yeah, so proud of everyone and all the hard work we put in this year.

Q. Coach Potter, talk about your squad. Obviously one senior on the team right now, but talk about how this experience will help you going into next season.
MIC POTTER: You know, match play is something we don't do a great deal in the SEC, and I think our girls would agree that helped us. But any time, whether it's Cheyenne or Lakareber, who won't be with us next year, playing professional golf, or Kristen in the U.S. Open next week, Kristen and Lauren in the Curtis Cup, it could very welcome down to this, everything they play in. My message to them is you've got to prepare that way. Every shot is so important. When you're practicing, if you're out there hitting one-handed shots and goofing around, you've got to be aware that in their livelihood, with the livelihood that they want to have, it's going to come down to this, and I just urge them to prepare that way all the time.

Q. Mic, when Cheyenne advanced to the finals of Q-school she decided not to play because she didn't want to have that decision to have to leave mid-season. What did that mean to you for her to think about the team at that moment?
MIC POTTER: I was really happy. You know, it's tough these days because the LPGA makes it really possible for them to leave early. All of them have a dream to play professional golf, and the more opportunities the LPGA gives them to leave early, the more they're going to leave early. I don't like it, but it's my job, and so we've got to change our model a little bit, but in Cheyenne's case, she did what we all needed her to do, be a great teammate and be here and give us a chance to win. I think we're all very thankful for that, and definitely want to say we wish her the best going forward, and Lakareber. Both have Symetra Tour status, so we're hoping they play their way on to the LPGA so we can watch them on television next year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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