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May 25, 2013

John Danowski

Brendan Fowler

Kyle Turri


Duke – 16
Cornell – 14

JOHN DANOWSKI:  First we want to congratulate the Cornell Big Red, Coach DeLuca and his staff.  I said to our guys after the game that if we were in that situation, down by seven goals, would we have given up?  And everybody strongly agreed that we would not have and certainly they did not.  They played brilliantly at the end and played fiercely, so we congratulate them.
For us once again it was a team victory.  A lot of guys making plays.  I think it was nine different people scored goals, eight different people had assists.  Greg DeLuca scored a goal.  It was a short stick d‑middie, Billy Connors hits a pole.  You know, a lot of people that really had a lot to do with today's victory and that has been certainly our MO all year is that it's a total team concept, and we were delighted with the effort of our guys for 60 minutes.
Playing with a 14‑7 lead is not easy.  It sounds like it might be, but it's not, and certainly the Cornell kids really played hard, really revved it up, and our guys withstood the hits and made some plays at the end, and so we're grateful that we could spend another two days together, which is really what this team is about.

Q.  Kyle, I know it's been an up‑and‑down time for you even in the postseason.  What was going for you today and did you feel like that was one of the best games you've pieced together all season?
KYLE TURRI:  Yeah, early on it took me a while to get settled in, but I felt like I was seeing the ball well today.  They were giving a lot of low‑angle shots.  Our defense was on their hands early, and I was pretty happy about getting my saves up.

Q.  Brendan, can you talk about what was going through your mind during the final face‑off with about 53 seconds left in the game?
BRENDAN FOWLER:  I just kind of tried to go out there just like it was any other face‑off, not to freak out, not to get all nervous.  I went out there, I've taken a bunch of face‑offs this year, tried to treat it just like any other one.  Just tried to look at it like it was a normal face‑off.

Q.  Can you also talk about breaking the face‑off record for a single season?
BRENDAN FOWLER:  I don't know, that's cool.  I'll enjoy that after Monday.  Right now the focus is really just winning on Monday.

Q.  What was it like when Cornell was inching back?  Was it difficult to stay calm?  How did you guys handle that?
KYLE TURRI:  We just kind of had to hold them off for the last few minutes.  We knew they weren't going to sit back.  They were going to make a run.  They're a very explosive offensive team, and we knew their seniors on offense weren't just going to sit back and finish the game like that.  We just had to hold them off and keep our composure for the last five minutes.
BRENDAN FOWLER:  Yeah, to piggy back off Kyle there, I think just try to stay composed, be in there and not freak out when they were coming back.  We've made runs this year, too, when teams were up big on us.  You know they're going to you their best shot when teams are down because you have nothing to lose.  We just needed to get one goal, get one thing going and Dave Lawson came up huge with that last goal he scored, so that helped us relax and finish it out.

Q.  Kyle, a player of Rob's caliber, you know he's going to get his share of points, you just try to limit the damage?
KYLE TURRI:  Yeah, we knew we weren't going to shut him off.  He's a great player and we knew he was going to just go to the cage like crazy.  But just had to stay calm and even if they score just shake it off and move to the next play.

Q.  2‑4 start to the season and now you guys are 12‑1 down the stretch.  What's the difference from the beginning of the year to the end of the year?
KYLE TURRI:  I definitely think it's just confidence in the system.  It takes a little for everyone to buy in to what the coaches are preaching, but once we do, we start to see the success we can have from it.
BRENDAN FOWLER:  Yeah, I think just hard work.  Even when the season started out slow that's when we were working real hard, practicing real hard.  I think we thought it was going to follow through.  It's just a testament to all the guys on our team and our coaches staying with it, whether things are going good or bad, practicing hard every day.

Q.  Kyle, can you touch on the overall quality of their shots at times today?  Sometimes when a goalie is going good it looks easy, but how did that balance out, the really tough ones as opposed to the ones where you had your stick and thinking that wasn't easy?
KYLE TURRI:  A lot of their shots, our defense was giving them low‑angle shots so I was able to see them, but at points they were just sticking them.  I thought they shot the ball really well at times, and they got me near side a couple times where I thought it was just a great shot.

Q.  Just go over your defensive plan going into the game and especially where they were making that run late in the fourth quarter?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  Well, if we were going to try to limit his shots, we held him to 20.  I thought our kids have played really terrific attack men over the years.  Chris Hipps played against Ryan Young from Maryland when he was a freshman and Henry Lobb played against Peter Bowman's Phil Stanwick, and they played against Joey Sankey and Holman and Bitter.  So we played really talented attack men over the years.
The plan was just to be physical, not to really let them get the ball.  Kids kind of don't want to do that.  They want to let their man get the ball so they can play them, and then we were going to‑‑ the plan was really to shut really six and not let those two guys connect, three and six, and make those plays, and Billy Connors was not really involved in the slide package.  I thought we struggled.  We could have slid a little bit more.  We were going to come with Jason slide and rotate into the dodger.  I thought a couple times we didn't do that, but I think when it was 14‑7 at that one point and they only scored one goal in the third quarter, you feel like what you're doing is okay.
I thought in the box in general, I thought we defended them well, but they scored off the break.  They scored one man up, they scored a couple on what we call early offense in transition.  Give them credit, they were explosive and scored in a lot of different ways, which we thought they could.

Q.  You guys were down by one at halftime.  What did you tell your team them and when they came out in the second half it seemed like a whole new team out there.  What adjustments did you make?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  You know, I thought that for us the kind of mantra that we've been using all year is just keep playing, keep playing the right way, regardless of your opponent, regardless of the score, figure out what they're trying to do on defense, run through all ground balls.  That was an important stat for us this week.  I don't think Cornell had been beaten in the ground‑ball battle all year, and so we pride ourselves when the ball is on the ground.
So just keep chasing ground balls, keep getting possession but keep playing the right way was really what we were saying.

Q.  Can you go back to Connors?  What are the things that he just nailed down cold today from start to finish?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  I think Michael only scored one goal, and I think that was on a‑‑ kind of in a transition situation where we kind of froze their pole, came down the middle of the field and threw it to him and he finished the ball.  That was one thing that we certainly wanted to do well.  We wanted to clear the ball well, and I think we did a great job of clearing the ball until the beginning of the fourth quarter, and then we turned the ball over three times in the first four and a half minutes, which I thought gave Cornell a lot of energy.
They didn't convert on I think the first one or two, but then they did, and at the end, we dropped the ball at the end, Jake Tripucka after the time‑out, and it made the game exciting once again.  But his inability to clear the ball at the end there really hurt us, and probably if we look at the film tonight it's going to be more than three or four times, I think it's going to end up being‑‑ the way we grade the film it's going to be five or six times that we failed to clear.

Q.  16 saves for Kyle.  Did you have a sense a game like that was coming for him at some point, especially after his struggles?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  Absolutely not.  This is, what, our 20th game, I think, so you start to get a feel for somebody.  While Kyle didn't start the beginning of the year and then when Danny got hurt, the Loyola game was his first game.  You know, Kyle has been solid, but there's never been a time where he's been spectacular.  Now, that could be a function of the way you play defense in front of him, and he can't really help that, but his record is now 13‑1.  So he's getting the job done.  And we only see tremendous upside for him as he gains experience week after week.
But we certainly hope that you're always going to make 16 saves, especially in a game like this, especially on this stage.  But I think it's tough playing goalie in this environment, especially the way the stadiums are and the backgrounds, and goalies aren't used to that.

Q.  What will you take from this game as you prepare for Monday's title game?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  Every Division I game, week after week, is 60 minutes long, and you've got to keep playing, whether you're down by seven goals like we were against Carolina, or whether you're up by seven goals, and you just got to keep playing, and that's part of the fun.  It's part of the fun is that you're competing, and I think we've all watched enough athletic contests to know we've witnessed great comebacks and teams that fall short, and you've just got to keep playing and stay true to what you do and who you are.

Q.  Jordan Wolf, hometown hero, had three of his patented goals.  Were you able to isolate him a little during that stretch where he really took over?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  Well, I think that Jordan is evolving still as a player.  He possesses great natural speed and great skills, but his game is evolving where he's becoming a smarter player.  I think our coaches did a terrific job of getting the ball above the goal line, throwing it back to Jordan, and then Jordan was reading the situations.  I thought he was extremely patient, much more patient than I've seen him, and taking the opportunities when they were there but not forcing the issue.
He had a couple looks early left‑handed where he didn't throw the ball.  He released it high to high instead of shooting it high to low, and I thought if he had released the ball that way, he might have scored a couple more early.  But again, he's a work in progress like all of us.

Q.  Speaking of Jordan Wolf, can you talk about why you chose to call a time‑out as opposed to running the clock out in the fourth quarter?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  I was scared.  You try to save both your time‑outs to either‑‑ if you're behind, to try to tie the game and then maybe win the game.  We had used a time‑out earlier to settle the team with about 10 plus which is normally something we don't like to do, but then at the end we wanted to be able to get organized, get all our people on the field and then get a defender‑‑ we put a long pole on offense.  If you noticed they put their goalie on attack so they could put more defenders, four defenders and then three short sticks on that half of the field, and then we put a long pole just in case.  We still had a one‑goal lead, so in case we did turn it over at least we weren't going to give up transition or give up a break, and then Jordan was able to get top side.

Q.  With Jordan's elite speed and quickness, when he's isolated at the end like that, is that a match‑up you feel pretty favorable with, I guess?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  Absolutely.  It's something, that's who he is.  That's his wheelhouse.  When he has the ball back there.  We're still trying to get him to dodge more lefty to make himself a little more dangerous, but he's become stronger as he's gotten older.  He can take a beating when he gets to the goal line and still continue to move with speed and get above the goal line.  Again, he just continues to evolve as a player.

Q.  18 turnovers today, is that something you're concerned about at all heading into Monday?  What adjustments can you make with that?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  Well, there were nine in the fourth quarter, so going into‑‑ probably no.  There's really nothing we can do about it at this time of year.  A week of practice would be helpful, but with only one day, this is who we are.  We like to play fast, we like to play up and down, we trust our players to make decisions.  Sometimes they don't, but the hope is that they don't linger, that they don't hang their heads if you drop the ball.  We have a saying:  What do you do if you drop the ball?  Go pick it up.  We try to keep it that simple and try to build confidence in that it's not the end of the world.

Q.  Going into Monday is there any team you feel you match up better against?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  No, we're just extremely thankful, grateful to participate again, and we would be delighted‑‑ Syracuse has a tremendous history.  Coach Tierney has done a phenomenal job out west.  So we would be honored to play either.

Q.  The time out sequence again, calling the first one at 14:09 and then click, click, click, they're within two all of a sudden, are you on the edge of burning that one last early or are you determined to just hang on to it until a situation presents itself at the end there?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  We spend all winter watching Coach K work his magic at Cameron, and they have five time‑outs, and they're always using time‑outs, and they can manipulate the TV time‑outs, and they're happening every four minutes, and we don't have that luxury.  We have two.
You do what you think is best for your team at that time.  Like I said, traditionally we would have loved to save them, but you do what you think this particular team needs, and so today it just happened to work out.

Q.  Giving up 20 shots to Pannell, you can't take everything away on defense but did you decide he was more dangerous passing than shooting?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  Absolutely, that was the‑‑ we were just going to try to be‑‑ we were going to try to make it hard for him to get the ball.  We were then going to try to be physical behind the cage and then drive him up field a little bit.  I thought a couple shots, the one which kind of dribbled in, you know, you say to yourself as a coach, Kyle is having a pretty good day, and he missed that one.  So what do we do?  Are we going to change everything?  We had a slide package prepared.
It was also a tough week for our guys.  In a very short week we played Sunday, so Monday the guys were shot; Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to practice; Thursday you have an eight‑hour bus ride, and we practiced indoors on Thursday night because we had to be here for the banquet and it's pouring rain so we were indoors; and yesterday you get one hour.  So you have to kind of decide how much new stuff do you want to put in at this time of year that your kids can handle, and we just thought that let's just not make it too different from what we've been doing.

Q.  During that 15‑minute scoreless stretch did you feel you were doing a good job of being physical with Rob?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  No, it was winning face‑offs and controlling the ball and scoring goals.  In essence he didn't have the ball and they didn't possess the ball.  That's always the best defense is having the ball on offense.

Q.  On third quarter when Duke was on its offensive tear, you guys went three out of four when you guys were a man up.  Can you talk about that?
JOHN DANOWSKI:  That's something that we've been really concerned about.  We were 2 for 10 two weeks ago against Loyola.  Did not play a man up last week against Notre Dame, so that was an area that we knew we were going to have to be better at, and I thought we were.  We put in a couple of things that we thought were specific for Cornell, how they played man down.

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