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May 26, 2018

Connor Fields

TD Ierlan

Scott Marr

Boston, Massachusetts

Yale - 20, Albany - 11

SCOTT MARR: Well, first and foremost, congratulations to Yale and the effort that they put in today. They certainly were just the better team today. Good luck to them on Monday.

As for my team, I couldn't be more proud of the effort that we've put in all year. From September until this time, my group has worked extremely hard, and they've become extremely close to each other, and it's just been a pleasure to be around.

Today just wasn't our day. Didn't have a great day, unfortunately, and they did. Hats off to them, like I said, and looking forward to next year with our group. Just have to thank my seniors, and you have Connor here, but he's one of 11 seniors that have contributed to our program to an amazing level, three quarterfinals appearances, a Final Four appearance, and an opportunity to play for a National Championship, and that's all you can ask of your kids. I was, again, thrilled to have Connor come back and play after injuring himself earlier in the year. You people have no idea what this young man has been through for the last month and a half, and I could not be more proud of him for leading our team and being a warrior and playing with a really serious injury.

Again, I thank my assistant coaches, Liam Gleason, Merrick Thompson, Derrick Eccles, my entire staff, my president was here today, President Rodriguez, my boss, Mark Benson, and just the opportunity to coach at Albany is a privilege, and I look forward to attacking next year. Thank you.

Q. Connor, you knew -- DL has kind of been their bread and butter for their defensive unit all year. With the exception of that middle portion of the second quarter where you guys cut it down to four, it just seemed like you couldn't quite figure out what they were doing. Was there something in the scheme that you guys just couldn't figure out?
CONNOR FIELDS: Yeah, credit Yale. The whole team played great. Defensively they played really solid. I think in the first couple quarters, throughout the game, we had a lot of mental errors on the offensive end, just throwing the ball away, a couple missed passes, forcing some stuff. I think we kind of went out with a game plan and didn't execute that game plan. They played great defense, but I think we just left a lot on the table out there.

Q. Connor, just my observation after the game was it felt like you didn't want to leave the field. I know you wanted to say hello and thank you to some fans and sign some autographs, but was there a sense that as soon as you left that field that it would really be over?
CONNOR FIELDS: It's tough. I mean, I love it here. I couldn't ask for a better opportunity.

Q. TD, just first time for the program being here. For the guys who get to come back next year, who do you try to take from this experience?
TD IERLAN: I mean, it's an unbelievable event. You can't -- it's the mecca of the sport. You want to be here. I mean, I know everyone watches growing up, and it's just an unbelievable experience. I mean, to do it with a team like us, just unreal.

I think we did everything right, our preparation, and I think you take that away and you see the hard work it takes in the off-season and that extra stuff when no one is looking, and you've got to really take that and move with it and just use this as a stepping-stone and try to get here in the years to come.

I just think it was -- it wasn't our day. Last year in the quarterfinals wasn't our day against Maryland, and I mean, you just try to move past that. I think we took a big step this year as a program, so we'll try to do another one.

Q. Connor, I know you had some great mentors here when you were a freshman and sophomore. Now that you've taken that role, what's maybe the message that you have had to the guys who are kind of carrying the baton for Albany after you leave?
CONNOR FIELDS: Are you just talking about after this? Just to keep it going, knowing what this feels like. Obviously they know what it feels like to get here, but know what it feels like to lose, too. I think we've grown a lot as a program throughout the years, and just to keep growing. We're a family here, and even though us seniors are leaving, you saw all the family we have in this crowd with all our alumni and our family and everything. We're still going to be a part of the family as seniors and we're still going to be coming and supporting all the time, and we just wanted to keep it rolling.

Q. Connor, I know this is tough now, but when you look at the season as a whole, the Dane Train, all of that, do you feel like you guys really left your mark and put U-Albany lacrosse on the map in an even bigger way?
CONNOR FIELDS: I mean, in a sense maybe. Yes because we got to the Final Four, but I think the Thompsons did a great job with that. A bunch of teams in the previous years did a great job with that. I think we just tried to keep growing as a team and just tried to keep pushing. I'm so proud of my teammates, proud of this team, and I couldn't ask for a better coaching staff. I love it here, and it's definitely going to be really hard to go.

Q. Connor, even more so than this season, when you get a chance, I know it's too immediate now, but when you get a chance to take a look back on your career, what are going to be some of the memories that you cherish?
CONNOR FIELDS: I just think just being with the guys. I mean, practice I had so much fun at. We worked hard, and it was just great to be with the guys. Obviously there was some fun games to be a part of. This game, obviously, UNC last year, there's so many great games we've been a part of. But I think the memories are just with my teammates and my coaches. I had so many great times here, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Q. TD, is it kind of an expectation now at this point to be back here next season?
TD IERLAN: Yeah. It's like -- I mean, the goal is to get back and win it, though. We're not satisfied with getting here. But definitely just to get back here, we don't really accept anything less.

Q. Scott, from your perspective, what was it that Yale was doing to get as many looks in the middle of the field as it was there, especially in the first half?
SCOTT MARR: That's a tough one. I mean, honestly we didn't play great. That's all. I mean, the bottom line is that they played better than us. They made plays. Just unfortunately just didn't have a great day. It's a good offense. You mean, you have one of the best players in Ben Reeves running the show and Jackson Morrill is outstanding. He went to the goal early. I thought that hurt us. He wasn't that aggressive the last time we played him. And then Gaudet is a good finisher inside, and we just didn't cover him up enough. Just like I said, like Connor said, we made some real mental mistakes in that first half on both ends of the field. And not covering up a guy inside is a mental mistake, and unfortunately we made those mistakes.

Q. Having seen Reeves twice now, what does he do that makes him so unique or tough to defend?
SCOTT MARR: Well, for one he's the total package. He's 6'4", he's got to be about 220 pounds, maybe 225 pounds. He's a big kid, very athletic. He runs with his head up. He sees the field, so when you go to him, too, he's able to pass the ball. You know, it's one thing to be a good finisher or a good feeder, but he's got a combination of both, and when you have a combination of both like that, it's tough to stop, and I thought he showed why he's a senior and why he's on that Tewaaraton list this year, and he's just a great player.

Q. Same question I had for Connor just because it seemed to be like you guys were the last two to leave the field, and for good reason. Was it difficult? Am I reading that correctly that it was difficult to leave the field today after all it took to get here?
SCOTT MARR: Absolutely. We wanted to be coming back on Monday, and we had so much support from our fans. We had three full sections there right behind our bench that were just incredible, the number of people that came out to support us. I was just shaking some hands and saying thank you and finding different people in the crowd that have been supportive of us for a long time, and like Connor said, we have so many of our alums that are still involved in our program and take so much pride in what we do. Just wanted to say thank you and then take as much time as I could before we had to go in. But definitely wanted to be coming back on Monday.

Q. Scott, was it hard to pull J.D. in the first quarter?
SCOTT MARR: Sure. He's a senior, he had just been named first-team All-American. It's a team game. Not everything that J.D. is doing in there is his fault. Some of those shots were right on top of him. But we thought about taking him out and giving him a little bit of a break to kind of maybe just get his head together a little bit for a couple minutes, and I thought Nate came in, did a great job, made a couple saves, sparked our first goal. We just wanted to make -- give him a little bit of a break. It was kind of a barrage there early in the game, and you can't fault J.D. for shots being five, six yards away. Those guys are good shooters, obviously, so you just feel for him. J.D. has been coming to Albany lacrosse games since he was about six years old, and J.D. always wanted to be a Great Dane. I told him when we recruited him that he would take us to a Final Four at some point, and he did. It was a pretty cool story.

Q. You just mentioned J.D. and his journey here, but this entire senior class, what did all 11 guys mean to you?
SCOTT MARR: Honestly it's just like any senior class I've had for the last 17 years. When you get to know kids for four years, you spend so much time with them throughout the course of that time, you really become close to them, and you really -- you just enjoy being around them. So like Connor says, the fact that they're gone now and we won't have a chance to be together, it's always the saddest part about losing the senior class is that you just don't have this team together. This team bonded so well together this year and they worked so hard as a group, but our seniors did a really good job of leading our team, and again, having those experiences as a senior class of playing in a couple of quarterfinals prior to I think really helped us going into last week's game.

Again, they took our program to another level. We said it earlier, Connor said the Thompsons are the ones who really got us to this point, and this group now has taken us to the next level, so I appreciate all their efforts.

Q. A lot has been said about this senior class and what the players have been able to take away. For you and the coaching staff, what have you been able to take away from this experience playing on this stage? What can you take away from this and build on from your end going forward and to get the team back here next year?
SCOTT MARR: I think for the young guys, it makes them hungry. It makes them understand, and they see being on this stage and just having that opportunity to play for a National Championship. That's why we all play. But I think it does -- it gives them that look at, okay, as a freshman, sophomore right now that they want to get back to this level and get -- and keep making that next step. Like Connor said, maybe next year we're able to get this game past us and get to the final.

It just serves as motivation. Now that they've seen it, this is the first team to see it, once you've seen it, I think you don't want to go backwards, so you want to keep working hard to get back here and keep it going.

Q. Scott, I know a lot is behind the emotions, leaving the senior class, having this be the last game, the disappointment. Will you guys leave today with any regrets?
SCOTT MARR: No, no, definitely not. I told them after the game, the result isn't why you do it, you know, why you coach. You coach for the little things during the week. You coach for the times that you have them in the office or you have a -- we went to Dippikill and did a retreat for three days and had a chance to hang out together with no phones, and just talking to them. It's just -- you know, the result is the result. It's the effort that these guys put in and the attitude that they have towards every day and everyday life, and we're just trying to teach life lessons, and that's what this was today. It was a tough one. But at the end of the day, it doesn't diminish how hard we worked, what kind of kids we have, the character that we have. We just, like I said, just didn't play well, but that's not the end of the world. It's just a game, and now we'll move on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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