home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 26, 2019

PJ Clementi

Matt Solberg

Jon Thompson

Evan Wolf

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cabrini - 16, Amherst - 12

THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by Amherst, head coach Jon Thompson, student-athletes, Matt Solberg, PJ Clementi and Evan Wolf. First, we will have an opening statement by Coach Thompson, and after questions for the student-athletes, we will dismiss the student-athletes back to the locker room and we'll take questions for Coach. Coach Thompson?

JON THOMPSON: Certainly disappointed. We didn't come down here to finish second, but it doesn't take away from how proud I am of these guys for really connecting a community at Amherst beyond just the lacrosse community. The support from our fans was overwhelming to the point where I couldn't believe how such a wonderful game, lacrosse, brought so many people together.

I wish we could have given them a little bit of a better show, but, you know, Cabrini is a heck of a team who has a ton of grit. We go up, they don't blink. They've just got a ton of grit. For them to do what they did without one of their best players today, gets hurt in the first quarter, they're a heck of a team.

Every big tough ground ball in the second half they were coming up with, really into the third quarter they were coming up with. I was proud of our guys for battling back on the wings, Jimmy and Os and Luke on the wings, but the big plays bounced their way today, and I thought their goalie played great.

Q. Evan, what did their defense do to stifle you guys in the second and maybe into the third quarter as they were able to take that lead?
EVAN WOLF: I don't think they did anything special, they just played really tough defense and they came back on the ground balls, especially in the second half. They're a hell of a defense, and in the end it comes down to ground balls, and they beat us late in the game.

Q. How much did your game plan change because you had to take longer distance shots than maybe you guys are used to taking?
MATT SOLBERG: Yeah, when you have to take those deeper shots, we have to change the plane more, and in the end the goalie got hot and made some great saves.

Q. P.J., how do you feel like your confidence has grown over the course of the season and stepping into big roles particularly of late?
PJ CLEMENTI: Sure. I just think it comes down to the guys around me. I'm playing with, I don't know, four or five All-Americans on the offensive end. It's pretty easy to play with these guys. I think as the season progressed, it's just become second nature. They're always open. They make it easy for me.

Q. Evan, I know it's difficult after a loss but reflecting on the season and helping to lead Amherst to it's first national championship game appearance, can you describe the pride you have in this team being able to reach this game for the first time?
EVAN WOLF: Like Coach said, this definitely isn't the result we were looking for, but we're definitely proud of where we got this year. We feel we have one of the very best programs in the country with respect to coaches, player, culture, people behind the scenes. And we feel like this is a place that our team belongs every year. We feel like we compete to get to the championship weekend every year, and it's nice that we finally kind of broke through, and hopefully we will kind of stay at that level, especially with guys like P.J. and Matt really stepping up as leaders of this team for next year. We feel like this is where Amherst lacrosse belongs is competing for a national championship every year.

Q. P.J. and Matt, you have great player in Evan beside you. How has he and the other seniors helped you develop the culture leading up to the first title game today?
MATT SOLBERG: Through their leadership and whenever we are feeling down, we make a mistake, they are always able to bring us up, keep us positive and focus on the next play at hand.

PJ CLEMENTI: I'll second that. They are tremendous players but even better people off the field. I mean, just their leadership and their charisma is very easy to follow.

Q. Coach, what did you tell your guys in the locker room after the game was over?
JON THOMPSON: A little bit of what I just said to you, just I'm not going to take this sting away from the loss, I'm not going to try to take this sting away. There's a lot of life lessons to be learned from failure, but there's also a lot of life lessons to be learned from resilience and bringing other people together.

I'm proud of them for connecting the Amherst community, especially the alumni community, in a way that makes me really, really proud. To be a part of some of the very best Amherst programs -- you know, we weren't there until this year, and Amherst just produces national champions. For us to now be in a conversation of one of the very best programs at Amherst and to be supported by our alums, that hadn't happened, and now our alums got a taste of it, and although we didn't sink our teeth all the way into it, I'm proud of them for bringing people together.

Q. Jon, you mentioned the past couple of weeks the strides you took defensively since that Williams game in the NESCAC. How much of what happened in the second half -- what did Cabrini do in the second half to take the lead and extend it, or what did you guys not do to prevent them from building that momentum?
JON THOMPSON: Couple things. I'm not sure if they were tactically -- I've got a feeling Coach Colfer did a really nice job tactically on them. They opened it off of end lines, so there was not hot slide, no second, no double team available and we didn't do a great job of getting a double ready to come off of dodges off of end lines. They are a super team on an inside roll dodging, so those attack men would inside roll, we wouldn't have a slide ready, because they had just opened it up, and your one-on-one with their goalie, and I think the second thing is a little less tactical and more sort of fundamental. They just shot the lights out.

I mean, the balls were in corners. So you shoot -- they shoot really well in the second half, we don't shoot really well in the first half. That's a pretty tough mountain to surmount.

Q. Coach, theoretically a neutral site game today but you end up drawing a team that's from Philadelphia, do you feel like the sort of away game was a factor in it?
JON THOMPSON: I thought it was awesome. I thought the experience was fantastic. What a great host Philadelphia was. What a great host Lincoln Financial Field was. They had a great crowd. We had a great crowd. The crowd didn't play a role in the outcome. The crowd certainly was loud. It was to the point where we had to have hand signals for our offensive and defensive calls, which was fantastic. I'm looking at it, almost 19,000. What a great experience for both sides in terms of the kids, these 18 to 22 years old will never forget playing in front of 20,000 people again.

I thought it was fantastic. It had no impact on the outcome of the game, as far as I'm concerned, but I'm glad there's guys got to play in front of it.

Q. Coach, I know it's probably hard to think about now but looking back through the season, the big games that you've had, the RIT win, coming back and beating that Williams team after losing twice. Are you able to look back and appreciate these moments and really cherish what this team has built?
JON THOMPSON: Interestingly enough, before this game I had asked our team individually on the bus, I said tell me some of your favorite memories from this year. That helped us look back a little bit. The Wesleyan wins, the Tufts win, the Williams win, the RIT win came up quite a bit.

They were able to reflect and sort of cherish the positive of those wins. I am certainly not at a point to reflect on the entire athletic experience this year. I'm really proud of this group for pushing through the entire challenge of the year, academically. They grinded. It was just an incredibly challenging journey this year, and we all pushed through it right together.

Q. We often hear coaches in your conference talk about the difficulty of the NESCAC and getting to this stage. What have you learned about the difficulties of actually reaching this point? It is the first time, of course, and now you guys are losing, of course, a foundational player in Evan and some other guys, but there is a large core, so what do you take from the experience?
JON THOMPSON: The NESCAC is certainly its own gauntlet. We face top-five teams on the a regular basis. And I hear that, too, the NESCAC is really good, and the NESCAC is really good, but we're not the only really good conference in the country. There are extraordinary teams across the country in Division III, and two lesser known teams played for the national championship. That's one of the beautiful things about our sport right now, is there is so much growth. The fastest-growing sport in America. There is so many growth that no one has crummy players anymore. Very few programs have drill breakers. And that's fun to look at another team and say they've got really good players, and we've got to come to play, but the NESCAC isn't the only conference. There are a lot of great conferences out there.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297