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May 28, 2021

Acacia Walker-Weinstein

Towson , Maryland, USA

Boston College Eagles

Media Conference

Boston College 11, North Carolina 10

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: I'm really proud of our team. I think it's a really tall task to beat North Carolina in the semifinals. Some of their players are just incredible, Jamie Ortega, all of them, Trenchard, she's incredible. The coaching staff is incredible. I'm really extra proud of my team for figuring out a way to win.

Q. Two years ago when you guys beat UNC in that double-OT thriller to earn your third straight National Championship, you said that you had gotten tired of losing to UNC. Did that hunger to win and prove yourselves come up again today?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it's always -- it's become a big rivalry, I think, between our two teams, which is something that I think we'll always cherish because Carolina has such a rich tradition. But I think every year we're building on the tradition that we have, and today was an incredible thing to be able to beat them with the team that they have. I'm really proud of them. We have one more game to go, though, so we've got a lot to focus on. We've got to buckle down.

Q. I asked you in the preview about stopping UNC's offense, and you all did just that and Rachel Hall was amazing today, defense was amazing. Talk about the defense and mainly Rachel Hall, just about their performance.

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: Yes, Rachel has been working so hard all year. We brought on Billy Bitter to come help us and really focus in on the goalies. We know we have four girls that are competing every day for a spot, and we've got a great coach who has an incredible perspective on goaltending, being one of the best shooters ever.

But there's been so much work ethic with these guys. They're putting in hours and hours extra and studying shooters and studying stats and tendencies and patterns. I give all the credit to Billy and the four goalies that he works with every day. It all kind of came together today.

Q. Obviously you won't know your next opponent for another two hours or so, but do you have one you'd like over the other?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: Oh, God, no. No. They're both amazing. We'll be ready for whoever. We just have to get better today and get better tomorrow and be ready for whoever it is.

Q. How does it feel to finally be the one to put that blemish in UNC's record and send them home?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: It feels good. It feels good. It's not an easy thing to do. I'm really proud of our middies. Our midfield has been really deep this year, and they've all had each other's back. Our two-way middies have really worked hard, and the defense really came to play today.

It feels really good because of the amount of talent they have on their team.

We really didn't even play a great game, a complete game, so we're going to look to make some adjustments and fix some of those things heading into the Sunday game.

Q. Seeing you on this platform before, both the thrill of that semifinal win but also seeing you after three of those championship games really kind of heartbroken, how tempered are you in your enthusiasm right now, and how maybe hardened are you and your team by those experiences even though it's a new roster and whatnot?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: Definitely hardened. That's a great way to put it. I think we just are trying to focus on the things that we wanted to be better at in this moment, and there are a lot of things that the staff wanted to do differently and do better. We have the opportunity to do those things better.

It starts with right now what we're doing in terms of recovery, what we're doing tonight, the preparation, scouting, film, meetings, everything. There's little things that we need to do, and I'm just grateful to have a chance to error correct.

Q. How much has your defense evolved since even the beginning of this season, a team that gave up 21 goals to Carolina in March holds them to 10 here in May?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: We knew we had to hold them to 10 to win. We knew we needed to get over 11 goals in terms of our offense.

There were a lot of numbers -- there were a lot of number games we were playing with things that they have been showing all year in terms of how many goals they've allowed, how many goals they're scoring. I think the numbers allowed us to create certain targets and goals for each end of the field, but defensively I just can't say enough about them.

They're very young. It's a very young group. Rachel has never been in this moment, Hollie has never been in this moment, Sydney has never been in this moment, Hunter. They're really young girls. There are a lot of freshmen and sophomores, and they've just been so coachable. Our defensive coordinator is unquestionably one of the greatest defensive minds. She has so many deep game plans and strategies ready to go. It's like the kitchen sink. We've got everything ready.

But she is an incredible coordinator and she gets those girls to play hard and smart.

Q. The specific metrics, you guys actually looked at that going into this game, keeping Carolina to 10 and us get to 11, so the final score basically reflecting that?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: Yeah, well, I give a lot of credit to Jen Kent's husband, who pointed out some tendencies that he had been picking out. So all the spouses are in, everybody is in. Everyone is helping, everyone in contributing. But yeah, that was something that we were thinking about. And our goalie play was a big one.

Q. Talk about the girls from Maryland you have on your roster. What do you expect from them? They're basically on their home turf and they love being at home.

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: Yeah, it's so special for them playing in their backyard. Those girls had a good game, and there was a little extra special for them. It's been fun, and I'm glad that they can feel proud and that they have this win, but we've got one more to go.

Q. Playing against somebody between Northwestern and Syracuse, I know you played Syracuse this year because you're in the ACC. Are they going to be giving you some problems, or do you think Northwestern, if you played tomorrow?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: I'm sorry, what's the question?

Q. Between Northwestern and Syracuse, you played Syracuse a lot but Northwestern has been there so many years. What is the difference between both teams?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: I mean, both of -- you can't underestimate either of them. Gary is definitely one of the greatest minds in the game, and so is Kelly. Whoever you have to play, you're going to have to be your best and we're going to have to figure out a way to win. But both of those guys, it's an incredible, incredible group of coaches that are here, and it'll be fun to see Gary face off against Kelly, see what they can do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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