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May 25, 2019

Matt Brandau

TD Ierlan

Jackson Morrill

Andy Shay

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Yale - 21, Penn State - 17

THE MODERATOR: Joined by Yale head coach Andy Shay, TD Ierlan, Jackson Morrill, and Matt Brandau. We will start off with a short statement by Coach followed by questions for the student-athletes, and then we will send them back and have questions for Coach.

ANDY SHAY: Thank you. First of all, what an impressive lacrosse game. Two very good teams going at it. Penn State should be very proud of the season that they had. Not only that, to be down 10-2 and to fight back like they did, it's just unbelievably impressive, and I kinda felt like it was going to happen the entire way. They're incredibly talented, incredibly well coached, and they played really hard and, you know, ended up being just a great game.

Q. Jackson, when the team got off to the start that you did, how much did that set the tone for the game?
JACKSON MORRILL: I think it does a lot of good things for us, and we started moving the ball quick and we knew Penn State could come back any moment, and we knew it wasn't done after the first quarter, so we tried to keep going at it one possession at a time. I think we did a good job of that today.

Q. Jackson, a few words on the depth of the offense and how much that means to the success of this team overall.
JACKSON MORRILL: It's huge. Especially our second midfield has stepped up, Lucas Cotler and Christian Cropp have came out of nowhere in the last couple of weeks. We knew we had them, but they hadn't produced as much as they have been in games of late. It helps us. I don't think defense can key in on one or two guys, and that helps us. It helped us game plan against any sort of defense, and it's really helpful.

Q. TD, when you are taking that many face-offs in a game with that many goals, how do you mentally approach it throughout, knowing you had so much success early and knowing they're going to do everything in their power to try to change that?
TD IERLAN: I think when you go into game like this, their offense is so high powered, and we know our offense can score with anyone. You know there are going to be a lot of face-offs, and I got off to a hot start and Gharrity came back and won a bunch of them. You know there are going to be a lot of face-offs, you're obviously going to lose some, so you've got to reset and stay focused. Joe Neuman came in and did a great job of giving me spills when I needed it. I was getting tired -- sorry, they rip me on my accent -- during the second half, which was huge. Just take one or two face-offs off, but my wings did an unbelievable job, too. They were great spill options for me and got a lot of 50/50 ground balls.

Q. TD, how much resilience did the team show withstanding the run that Penn State gave you?
TD IERLAN: I think with a team like that, they're so dangerous, for them to cut it to 12-9 and us to come out in the second half and play like that, it was a good step for us. I mean, we maybe didn't want to give up that run in the second half, but we knew it was going to come at some point. A team that talented is always going to go on runs. I think it showed a lot about us, and we're growing and getting better and hopefully we're going to get better on Monday.

Q. Matt, if you can take us through what happened with your ankle there when you spilled, and go through after coming back, scoring three goals when you come back on the field.
MATT BRANDAU: Well, when I was riding, I went over to the sidelines, and I must have misplanted, rolled my ankle and I was freaked out, but our training staff did an awesome job and got me right back out there, and it was a good experience with them.

Q. Coach, talk about what it means for the program to have an opportunity now to defend a national championship.
ANDY SHAY: You know, it's something we have been trying to keep way from thinking about really the entire season, because it's all people have talked about since it ended last year.

The game just ended a little bit ago, and it's really the first time I thought about it. I'm really proud of our guys for fighting through this season and putting themselves into a position to go to the Final Four, and they won a game and now, like you said, we're in a position to defend it. We're going to try to attack these guys and do our best on Monday. See what happens.

Q. It feels like you guys came in with an underdog mentality, in some sense, Penn State became America's team and a team that everyone enjoyed watching. Do you feel like your squad, especially the way they're made up, with that grit and toughness and that mentality, kind of thrived off that?
ANDY SHAY: Yeah, there is no doubt about. As soon as it started kinda lookin' that way, we shoved that in our guys' faces, no one was picking us, and we're going to have to roll up our sleeves and play as hard as we possibly can to overcome this incredible team and, you know, I think in the back of our minds our guys think that they're pretty good, too, and, you know, take nothing way from Penn State, they are phenomenal, an incredible team, but we did feel like there was a little bit more, I guess -- a lot of people picking them and not a lot of people picking us.

Q. Coach, just a few words on how much that depth of the offense means to your successes, especially with a guy like Matt coming back on to the field and scoring three goals.
ANDY SHAY: We can absorb a bad day out of a lot of guys, as long Matt can come into game and have one goal, and then maybe Matt Gaudet will step in with four or five. The second midfield, I think they had a few goals today, but the first midfield doesn't need to carry the load the entire way.

I think it speaks to, like you said, our depth. We also have high-character kids that are okay with other people, you know, having a little bit of the spotlight. They'll share the ball, and whoever is on the end of the chain that gets the goal, they're just happy we scored.

Q. Andy, we had 38 goals in this game. What in your estimation led to 38 goals? Was it just terrific offense? What was it?
ANDY SHAY: Yeah, I think so. I would like to think that it's two teams that are very, very difficult to stop. There's a few goals I would like to peel off the board on our end, but I think we have been playing with a little bit of immaturity all year, and we kinda feel like our guys in the defensive end sometimes are on a life boat and we can't get to them. So there are a couple of goals I would like to pull off the board.

Couple of decisions on letting their face-off guy shoot as many as times as he did. We didn't want to rotate off those guys, and he only had five goals coming in; he had three today. So you go back to that decision, do we do that. There are a lot of ways we can chip away at the overall production, but a game that fast and that intense, you know what, it's just kinda like, you just hope you're standing at the end of it, I think.

Q. Andy, what do you know about Virginia and what are your initial thoughts?
ANDY SHAY: I think it's one of the original 13 colonies, right? (Laughter.) Thomas Jefferson designed the campus. I don't know anything, to be honest with you, other than those two things. But I think we got a lot of work to do. We don't tend to look too far ahead, and in this situation we haven't scouted them, don't know much about them, and we didn't look past Penn State. So we've got a lot of work to do in the next few hours.

Q. Is there anything that you can take from the fact that it's a Lars Tiffany coached team?
ANDY SHAY: Yes and no. I think the way that Virginia -- on the surface, I would say, the way that Virginia -- I think their tempo is a little slower than it's been, than what they have been the last couple of years, and that's just from the surface, looking at pace numbers and statistics, you know, because our pace is fast. And looking at them, you know, how come they're not in the top-five right now. I know they have tried to be a little bit more intelligent, which is, you know, a little scary when you think of it, that talent can play with a little more temperament, it's a little bit nerve-wracking, at least from the surface.

We've got to watch film, figure out all that stuff.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you.

ANDY SHAY: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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