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May 27, 2012

Jim Berkman

Sam Bradman

Lantz Carter

Andrew Sellers


Salisbury – 14
SUNY Cortland – 10

THE MODERATOR:  We have Salisbury with us.  To my right, head coach Jim Berkman.  Andrew Sellers, Lantz Carter and Sam Bradman, tournament Most Outstanding First Player Division III.  Coach, an opening statement.
COACH BERKMAN:  Hat's off to Coach Beville and Cortland for an outstanding season.  They had tremendous success today.  We were fortunate to play better in the second half than they did.  They just had a great season.
We just had a great senior class.  Eighteen kids who contributed a great deal over a four‑year period.  Had the second, and I think fifth all‑time scorer in the history of Lacrosse.  That seldom happens, and I'm very fortunate to be able to coach those 18 seniors.

Q.  Coach Berkman and Sam, talk about the pick‑and‑roll game.  I know that was a huge part.  It seemed all your goals, Sam, came in that pick and roll game and that was a huge part of the win because they couldn't defend it well.  Talk about how much you guys practice that and why you're so good there.
SAM BRADMAN:  Their defense was playing solid, and once they saw they shut me off and we opened it up, they were a little slow to slide off the picks.  I mean, we've just been practicing that in close.
In shooting drills we've been practicing the picks and rolling off the shot if it's there.  When it's open, we've been taking advantage of that too.
COACH BERKMAN:  Yeah, we put a lot more of that into our game this year.  Sam's a great player, but a lot of people don't realize he's played hundreds of box games in Canada there are no player better to initiate whether it's with the ball or off the ball with that.  He's helped some of our other guys and more field players to learn how to do some of those and make that nice touch three‑yard pass.
He was the benefactor today of setting a pick, a quick slip, and setting his hands.  When he comes out of it it's a half a second that he gets rid of the shot.  That's been practiced in a lot of the drills that we do this year.

Q.  Sam, can you talk about what it is that the big stage brings out the best in you two years in a row.  Talk about your performance today?
SAM BRADMAN:  Yeah, the first year I came here as a sophomore, I was star struck by it.  I was overwhelmed.  Ever since, I've been sort of relaxed.  I love big competition and big games ever since high school.  Just getting into the big games my intensity goes up.  Just like to get it all.

Q.  Andrew and Lantz, what's it mean to go undefeated?
ANDREW SELLERS:  It's incredible.  That's the goal every year.  Last year we lost the game and still won National Championship, but nothing is as sweet as perfection.
LANTZ CARTER:  Yeah, Coach always said we have a chance to be great and competitive and great teams at Salisbury.  And all those teams are undefeated.  So the thing coming back, that was one of our goals to be perfect and one of those teams.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH BERKMAN:  Well, we've had some pretty special teams at Salisbury, but in the same sentence I can honestly say that this team is right there with a couple of those other teams, the '94, '95 team, and the 2007 teams were pretty special.  The number one defenses and number one offenses, and goal differential.  In the same sentence, when we're talking about the best teams, this is there in the same breath.

Q.  Lantz, fourth quarter, Cortland had come back to make it 11‑10.  You set up Ryan Clarke for a goal and kind of finished it off.  Can you talk about that fourth quarter stretch where you were finally able to get some extension?
LANTZ CARTER:  Yeah, well Cortland didn't go away.  We knew they weren't just going to give us the game.  We knew Sammy came off in the fourth and told him when you get the ball, be aggressive and take what they give you.
So one time I came off the pick, driving down the side, saw Ryan Clarke open, passed it to him, and he stuck the shot.  The next time I came off the pick again, they didn't slide off sammy, so I had the whole middle to work with.  So I took my opportunity and stuck the shot.  That's pretty much it.

Q.  Lantz and Sam, can you talk about the chemistry of the first line?  I know Ryan Clarke's had a huge year, and some teams pick their poison.  What's it say about Lantz that a guy like you can come up and have a huge game?  I guess overall talk about the chemistry of that.
SAM BRADMAN:  Having guys like Lantz and Ryan Clarke, we call him shark, having those guys with such a potent stick gets the pressure off me.  And then I get shut off, and they start sticking their goals and take some pressure off me, and it opens up the game a little bit.  Actually, a lot more.
Those teams can't just focus on me whatsoever, and they'll stick their shots when they get the opportunity.
LANTZ CARTER:  We kind of try to take the pressure off him so he doesn't feel like he has to do everything.  It kind of opens it up for us because we're pretty dangerous at beating those guys too.  So it makes the game feel easier.

Q.  What did it mean to you guys as players for what he went through with his heart attack and to come back so soon?
STUDENT‑ATHLETE:  First of all, we're thankful that Coach Berkman is in good health.  He talked about it for the first time openly today to our team and about what it meant to him.  Taking things into perspective.  He didn't take much time off.  He pushed through the injury.  That just shows the Salisbury determination.  He was in the hospital and sending out texts telling us to get it done.
I remember texting him and saying I hope everything's great.  He text me back and said make sure to watch some film or something.  So we pick up from Berkman's intensity.  It was really good to see Coach Berkman come back from that and in full health.
LANTZ CARTER:  Yeah, Coach is our leader.  It was different not having him there, but we have assistant coaches that picked up where he left off.  Our seniors led the way too.  We knew the way practice was supposed to be run.  Even without him, it still ran the same way.
Coach was always watching us.  We just gave 110% because we knew he wasn't there.
SAM BRADMAN:  The coaches said we should have unit and be reliable when he was gone.  Like Lantz said, we never missed a beat.  We were running practice with the same intensity.  We had in the back of our mind that we knew he'd be back and in full spirit in the next few weeks.

Q.  What was he talking about when he said you talked to the team openly about that for the first time today?
COACH BERKMAN:  Well, today we were talking about seizing the moment a little bit and perspective in life and enjoying everything.  They knew that I had a heart attack, but they didn't know exactly what transpired when it happened and at the gym and what I went through.  Kind of shared that a little bit.
The message was you live your life in the moment, because you're not going to get this moment back today.  Make sure you leave it all on the field.  You take your shower at the end of the day, and whether we win or lose, you can say there are no regrets and I gave my very best effort.
Life presents a lot of opportunities, and just make sure you seize those moments.

Q.  Along the same lines, it's got to be pretty interesting for you personally to in the same year have a heart attack, live, and go undefeated and win a National Championship in the course of a couple of months.
COACH BERKMAN:  Well, let's put it this way, it's been a pretty interesting two months.  You hope those never happen, but they did.  I was fortunate to probably because of the lifestyle I lived being extremely healthy and extremely fit that allowed me to overcome it with 100% blockage.  Not too many people survive that.
But the years of working out six and seven days a week, and all the things I've done, that my auxiliary arteries were strong enough to pull me through.  I was eating well and led by example.
Guys on the team know don't come by Coach Berkman's office between quarter to 12:00 and 1:00 o'clock because he's working out and getting after it like I expect they are on a daily basis too.
It was definitely an interesting year.  As much as you say you're trying to take a step back, take a deep breath and not let everything bother you.  I probably overreacted a little more than I should have today.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH BERKMAN:  Remember, when I first started in 1984, I was pretty strong till about 2000 doing several years.  That was kind of a passion of mine.

Q.  It seemed like every time you guys looked to extend the lead Cortland would come fighting back.  Until that fourth quarter stretch where you strung three together.  You talked about how you kept your kids up every time Cortland came back and how you talked about it and got it back again?
COACH BERKMAN:  I just think Cortland had a great year because they're opportunistic.  Lot of kids with great IQs.  Every time we made a mistake today, they made us pay.  We didn't get back after a shot, they made us pay.  We split up the field too early on a break, and boom, next thing you know, the ball was in the back of the goal.
We got backdoored on a shutoff on a ride when a kid was ball watching, and boom, they scored a goal.
But when we settled in and took the pressure away, got away from the hard right and dropped into a silver soft ride, it kind of took some of those opportunities away in the end.  Then the key for us in the second half was when we moved Sellers up to number 12, because 12 was giving us a little bit of a fit because he's a great player.  But he negated him a little bit.  And they were looking to him a little bit more.
Then somebody else had to step up, and I think we had better match‑ups on the other players than we did on number 12 with our long stick midfield.  Then Sellers up there, I think he was able to negate him a little bit.
Plus, AT got a few saves in the fourth quarter.  He wasn't seeing the ball great.  It was a tremendous season.  But he had a few key ones in the fourth quarter to create a little cushion there at the end.

Q.  Can you talk about Bradman?
COACH BERKMAN:  Sam's a great player.  I'm fortunate to be able to coach him for four years.  In recruiting we think we're scientists and we do all these secret things to get these guys, but Sam fell in my hand.  But why did he fall in my hands?  Because I knew his dad for a number of years when I played at St. Lawrence, and he was the coach at Canton High School.
He knew I was a PE major because I did my internship at that school when I was doing my student teaching.  One thing led to another.  I saw him for camps over the years.  My nephew Ricky is a coach at Potsdam State, he's a player.  Decided to go to Hobart College, committed early, and he hadn't even visited Salisbury, but we had some contact with him.
About the last week in December, first week in January of his senior year, I get a call from his dad saying Sam wants to be a coach and teacher like me.  And there is no way we're going to Hobart College and be a social science major and pay whatever amount of money for two more years to do what he does.  So we think we'll come down to Salisbury.  He came down, and saw practice, and thought man, this is fun, And kind of fell into my hands a little bit.
But it was a relationship that started for numerous years, it wasn't just recruiting him for two or three years.  He's a special player.  One of the greatest players to ever play at Salisbury.  Lantz got some opportunities today and capitalized.  A great player gives a couple extra steps to everybody else on the field, and Sam Bradman is that kind of player.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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