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May 26, 2013

James Chayka

Chris Ryan

Brian Scheetz

Andrew Wagner


Le Moyne – 11
Mercyhurst ‑ 10

CHRIS RYAN:  First of all, we'd like to congratulate Coach Dan Sheehan and the Le Moyne Dolphins on the 2013 National Championship.  It was a tremendous game, and both teams put it out on the line, and we couldn't have asked for our student athletes to play and behave any other way than what you saw on the field today.
And I would like to congratulate my team.  It's been a pleasure to coach them, my seniors, who are ending just a tremendous career at Mercyhurst University, just came up a goal short today.  But once you get past the sting of it, there's nothing to hang your head about.

Q.  For James or Brian, first of all, talk about the two stretches, the two long scoring droughts in the first half and then in the third quarter, what was Le Moyne doing or what wasn't the offense doing that kept you guys from putting the ball in the back of the net and then talk about the comeback?
BRIAN SCHEETZ:  We kind of got a little stagnant there.  They were pushing out on the ball, so we had to move our feet more, and we didn't really get the ball and get opportunities like we did down the stretch.  But yeah, when we started moving the ball and getting our feet going, good thing started happening for us.
JAMES CHAYKA:  Yeah, we just didn't really have the ball the two stretches, obviously, and we weren't making smart shots when we did have the ball.  It was causing turnovers for ourselves and it was making it hard and putting a lot of pressure on our defense to hold us.

Q.  Your thoughts on the comeback?  This team has been known for comebacks this year.  When you get from six goals down to one, you had to feel pretty good at that point.
BRIAN SCHEETZ:  I don't think there was any panic with our team.  We knew we had to chip away one goal at a time, and I guess it was just a little too late.
JAMES CHAYKA:  Like he said, we've been in this situation many times before and we're used to coming back in the fourth quarter, and it's just shots, inches off the pipes all over the place, and it's a game of inches, and that's what it came down to in the end.

Q.  For Andrew, Le Moyne certainly got off to a pretty good.  Offensively what were they doing that was keeping you guys obviously from shutting them down?
ANDREW WAGNER:  They were just constantly moving around.  We had a little bit of trouble establishing hot guy, hot slide, and their middies were struggling a little bit, too, getting down the backside, so that's what we were struggling with the whole game.

Q.  For James or Brian, two shots hitting the pipe in the final two minutes that would have tied it up, does that make it even harder to sit up here right now or easier because it was a couple inches away, or what do you think?
BRIAN SCHEETZ:  Could have been two inches, could have been a mile away.  It didn't go in the net.  Yeah, I guess we just have to live with that.
JAMES CHAYKA:  I agree with Brian on that.  They didn't go in the net so either way it hurts, and still didn't come out on top.

Q.  For any or all three of you guys, I know a bunch of you earlier in the week talked about you've accomplished a lot this season, certainly for the seniors in your career, but it still would be a let‑down if you lost the game.  What are your thoughts on that now?  Does it still feel that way?
BRIAN SCHEETZ:  Obviously no one likes to lose, and it's pretty heartbreaking out there.  Me and James, our last game.  It's not how we wanted to finish.  But in a couple days, a couple weeks down the road we can look back on it and smile, but right now it's not good.

Q.  Chris, your thoughts on I know Brian talked about the stagnant play offensively during those two long scoring droughts.  Your thoughts what wasn't working?
CHRIS RYAN:  We just didn't execute what we wanted to do on the field.  We had been practicing all week long, I had been stressing pace of play.  We wanted to keep the ball moving and support the ball and play fast and we just didn't do a great job of that, and when you play a team like Le Moyne College, when you make mistakes in this setting, it's going to come back and haunt you.
You know, in spite of it all, the kids found a way to persevere and get back in it.  They fought back, and we just came up an inch short.

Q.  Can you just talk about the expanded tournament field and I guess looking back on it now at the end of a season what that meant to your team and leading up to this point and for Division II overall?
CHRIS RYAN:  Yeah, I think it was a tremendous experience for student‑athletes, coaches alike.  Mike Cerino said this is really a historic tournament for Division II and you look at the games leading up to it, I know we played in two and played in a one‑goal game, so I think it's just tremendous for the division.  This is a division that's been left behind in some ways and not talked about and ignored, and there's a tremendous amount of great lacrosse being played, great coaches, great lacrosse players, tremendous competition, and I think that this tournament highlighted it.  I'm hoping that the rest of the lacrosse community gives these Division II student‑athletes the recognition that they deserve.  These are great teams that are out here playing.

Q.  Can you talk about the emotion from your team during that comeback?  You've got the ball.  Did it feel like you were inevitably going to tie the game?
CHRIS RYAN:  Yeah, I turned to my assistant coach, I said, well, we've been here before.  It's the script that we've followed all year long.  This has sort of been the cardiac kids.
You always wonder, when was the law of probability going to catch up with you, and I made‑‑ I'm terrible at math, like I hate it and it doesn't like me, and every time we would win a game, I would feel like the world of mathematics was closing in on me at that point.
And when we won the ECAC 2 tournament, I told the kids after the game, we're really going to ask the impossible of you.  You have to go undefeated.  Like to get where you want to go, you have to go undefeated.  And that is an unbelievable expectation to place on a team, because sooner or later you're going to hit the post, and that's what it came down to today.  We finally hit the post on it.
You know, it's familiar territory.  Throughout the season we had been able to pull those games out, and today we just came up a game, a goal short.

Q.  If you were just to look at numbers, you say you don't like mathematics, but if you didn't watch this game and just looked at the stats, it would kind of look like you almost dominated play in stretches, and you did in the fourth quarter for sure.  How do you feel about the prospect of the game being played, like watching the game and the game wasn't really televised so people might just look at a box score for something like this.  How do you feel about that impacting how the score line looks, how your team played and the overall look of the game?
CHRIS RYAN:  Well, first of all, let's get one thing straight:  There's barely any adding or subtracting to be done on this sheet, so I can understand this.  And you're right, it illustrates the game‑‑ you look at the box score and you can see how the emotion of the game and the momentum of the game went back and forth.  You know, it's tough to look at and digest because you know towards the end of that game you were carrying the momentum and you had them on the ropes.  Good teams find a way.  We were finding a way, and Le Moyne was holding on, and it was just going back and forth.  Jeff White got hot when he had to.  He came up with some tremendous saves.  I'd like to tip my hat to Jeff White.  He was tremendous in some key situations out there.
But yeah, if you look at the stat sheet, you would say if you didn't know the score, you'd say, tell me what you think, and you'd say, oh, Mercyhurst won this game.  But you can take a look at all these stats, the only stat that matters is the one at the top of the page, and obviously Le Moyne came out one goal better than we did.

Q.  You said previously that one‑goal wins go to the players and one‑goal losses go to the coach.  You had a one‑goal loss to Le Moyne in the '07 National Championship.  Was that something that entered your mind at all that obviously you thought it might be a close game but then coming down the stretch was there something you were thinking you needed to come up with some sort of edge to push you guys over the top?
CHRIS RYAN:  No, that never came into play at all.  One of the keys of success for our team this year is we looked at this one game at a time.  This team never looked beyond the game that was coming up to them, and I'm not one to hang in the past.  We needed to just concentrate on the game that was going to be played.  So to tell you the truth, no, it never came into play at all.  I was concentrating, the staff was concentrated on what was going on out on the field, could we make changes, what could we do to put our kids in the best situation for success.  That's what a coach does.  And this staff has worked tremendously hard throughout the year.  We did everything that we could.  I am sure when I go back and watch the game tape I will definitely point a thumb at myself in some areas because you're right, one‑goal wins go to the student athletes, one‑goal losses go to the coach, and trust me, I am my greatest‑‑ for all the critics out there, I am the greatest critic to myself.
When you lose a game like this, you're going to go back and the first person you're going to look at is yourself, see if you can learn and see if you can become a better coach, better person, and see if we can help get Mercyhurst University back here next year.

Q.  How long is it going to take to get over this one in your mind?
CHRIS RYAN:  I've got three kids at home that don't care.  They don't care.  So I'd better rebound pretty quick from this one because I have a funny feeling I'm going to be at Waldameer Park going down a water slide at some point this week.  There are greater things than what just happened, and in '07 the way we lost I think I was sitting here in a state of shock.  Today it's just the way it goes.  A byproduct of competition is a win and a loss, and you know what, you'd better be able to digest both properly or else this isn't the profession for you.
So I go home, I've got a lawn to cut, I've got trash to go out, my two dogs have been living in the house for four days, I can't wait to see what that presents me when I get here, but I have life that goes on and I have other responsibility, and I need to let this one loose and get on with things.  I think that's the proper model to show my team and obviously my family.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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