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May 26, 2023

Acacia Walker-Weinstein

Shea Dolce

Jenn Medjid

Cary, North Carolina, USA

WakeMed Soccer Park

Boston College Eagles

Media Conference

Boston College 8, Syracuse 7

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: It was a great game. Syracuse, a very close opponent we know a lot about, very well-coached. We knew that it was going to be a very difficult day today and it was. But I think there's something very special about my team. I haven't quite put my finger on it yet but there's something very special.

It wasn't our best offensive performance but there was something very magical about how they pulled it off towards the end. The leadership on the defensive end, starting with Shea, is incredible and I'm so proud of her as a freshman. It's remarkable what she's doing as a leader, and I'm really proud of the girls who got one more, and I'm really excited. I'm proud.

Q. Of the eight goals that you guys scored, you got five of them, a great offensive performance from you. What was working out there to really help you get those back in the net?

JENN MEDJID: Yeah, I thought I think I need to step up as a player and a leader for my team when we needed it. So I think that's just what happened. And Kayla had an awesome game -- (inaudible) -- our offense had not our best day but we came together in the end

Q. Two of those goals game in 21 seconds to tie it. Do you feel in that moment especially after that second goal, that now you had the game?

JENN MEDJID: Definitely, I had so much confidence in our whole team, and our defense and Shea, they were playing amazing all day. I just knew once we were going to tie, we were going to win the whole thing and we were going to make the stops we needed to make and we were going to score game-winning goal, and I knew that we were going to win it.

Q. Shea, outstanding game. Syracuse comes out and they were firing and you scored two goals right off. What was going through your mind that you had were able to reset and do everything from there?

SHEA DOLCE: Yeah, we've been in these situations before this season. Last year, the game wasn't our best, or my best. I knew those first two goals, they couldn't rattle me because that was going to set tone for the rest of the game. So we reset as a defense, and I just kept my head in the game and focused on the next goal.

Q. Going to the sixth straight game -- inaudible -- you have such self-belief and know you guys are going to come back?

JENN MEDJID: I just think that that's what this program is built on, Acacia, Jen, all the other coaches have done such a great job preparing and rebuilding year after year. There's so much belief in this program and so much love, and I know that every single day because we are just -- yeah, we pulled it out and prepared to beat anyone.

Q. What is it about the fourth quarter that you're able to make adjustments?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: I think the group of players that we have are really smart players. They are IQ-driven and I think as the game goes on, there's more to evaluate and there's more to analyze, which means there's more to take in, more process, and then they can do a lot with that. They are very smart people and very smart players.

So late in the game, late in the season, these guys do their job. They use their brains. They are very smart and they allow -- it allows them to analyze the game and then know exactly what needs to happen.

I also think that they are very composed and humble. So they don't think they are ever out of the game, but also smart enough to know that the game is not over until it's over. So I think they process information well and they that I composed so they can take it to the very end.

Q. An extension of the last question, but you said the word "magical," and you can kind of cherry-pick any stats, but Syracuse had the edge in a lot of key stats. Does it come down to something like timeliness or execution? How do you decipher when you look at the stat sheet and then look at the result?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: You know, as cliché as it is, defense wins championships, and our defensive performance today was out of this world, I would say.

You know in terms of the stats, it doesn't always reflect what happens in the end of the game because there is a component that our girls have that's not measured on the stat sheet and it's composure and belief in themselves. That's why they are always really dialed in in the fourth quarter. They are never out of it. The moment is never too big, ever. It's something this team has been very good at all year, moment's never been too big.

Q. What did it mean to have Kayla on the other bench on such a big stage?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: I'm so proud of her. She's amazing. Kayla is an incredible human being. She's an incredible coach. You know, we want to beat the best and she is without question one of the best, and she is going to keep growing as a coach. She'll be back here. She'll win herself. I have so much confidence in her. It's not fun going against her but I'm also very proud of her and Kenzi. They are doing a great job at Syracuse.

Q. You guys held Syracuse to the fewest number of goals they had all season. What did you adjust from the last game to make sure you were so sound against their offense?

SHEA DOLCE: Last game, we had to reflect on the last game because it definitely wasn't our best game defensively and we were not playing BC defense. We just knew what we had to do today. We know that Syracuse's offense is extremely talented. They have seven amazing threats out there.

So we kind of just had a great game plan and we stuck to the game plan, and we executed and did exactly what we had to do.

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: I think our eight defensive players needed to put a lot of pressure on the ball to slow down their skillset. They are so dynamic moving the ball; they are so connected as players that we needed to use all eight people to stop their seven, and we did a great job today.

Q. Maybe talk about the fan base today. They found the way all the way from Boston down to North Carolina and seemed like in the fourth quarter it helped you guys?

JENN MEDJID: It definitely did. Our fan base is unbelievable, always. The baseball team, the BC baseball team showed up, which just helped so much. They were so loud, and there's just so much love there and so much support, and it's truly amazing and pushes us and carries us through the game.

Q. Just wanted to ask about Belle Smith's big block in the final seconds. What was it like to see that from the sidelines?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: You know, I was excited about that. And Jenn Kent, our defensive coordinator, she's the mastermind about it all. She's been saying all year long to "finish your 1v1s." Meaning, it doesn't matter if you get beat, but you're still in it. You're still in it, and it was exactly what happened. You don't understand; she says it every day. She is relentless about it. She's incredibly smart. I think about how often I've heard that.

But in a moment like this when you get beat fair and square on a 1v1 to stay in it and go for the back check, it's a remarkable display of focus. Again, moments aren't too big. She didn't give up or get down on herself, and did what her coaches told her to do and that is what makes her a great player.

Q. Shea, you mentioned after the first couple goals there was a rallying point with the defense. What in particular was said in was it an observation or just a pick-me-up conversation? And after that, when did you know, okay, it's starting to get going?

SHEA DOLCE: Yeah, I mean it, was just kind of a pick-me-up. My defenders, they have my back and they are talking to me the whole game. They can tell when I'm upset before I am. So they are just always there with me throughout the whole first start of the game.

And then I knew it was really getting going from those first shots. They scored an amazing goal right off the bat. So I knew it was going to be a high-scoring game, and it ended up being lower scoring than I expected but I knew it was going to get going from the first whistle.

Q. From the first game of the season, you said that the ultimate goal had been the National Championship. You guys have obviously picked up a lot of accolades along the way with the ACC tournament, as well. What's the mindset heading into this last game now that it's finally here, your ultimate goal?

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: We have to find a way to be better in one day. We can't be the same. We have to improve in some way, whether that's mentally, physically. I trust the preparation. I trust that these guys will do everything they need to do to be ready to go for Sunday, and the preparation starts now.

But ultimately, the goal is to win a National Championship and we have a lot of work to do in about a day and a half, and I know the girls. I know they will do what it takes and we'll be ready to go.

Q. Going back to Belle's play, there was a lot of other plays, as well, very small details, that ended up being the difference in the game. You had Ryan Smith with the trail check late in the game. You had Shea Baker diving for possession. Just speak to how important those really small plays were.

ACACIA WALKER-WEINSTEIN: Yeah, it's always those small plays that you remember forever. It's always the small plays that wind up being the biggest ones in games like this.

I would say, also, Andrea Reynolds draw control flying out of the care and catching the ball one-handed; Ryan Smith with her back check; Hunter Roman with her charge or Hunter Roman with her inline diving, not out.

There were just a series of plays that really can change the game. We call those our passion plays. That's what we ask our girls to look for throughout the game. But there were so many really great plays throughout the game. There's always those little ones you always remember.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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