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May 24, 2014

Jeremy Noble

Bill Tierney


Duke – 15
Denver – 12

BILL TIERNEY:  First, as I always do in these because they're such amazing, amazing opportunities, I'd like to thank our Lord and his Blessed Mother for this opportunity and for giving us the gift of being able to be at a wonderful event like this, the Ravens, NCAA, we're so thankful for these wonderful, wonderful opportunities, the fans, it was just a great, great day.  Unfortunately you lose a game, and as I told my players, you might think that we get tired of making end‑of‑the‑year speeches after a semifinal loss, but I'll never get tired of those because they are‑‑ all they mean is that you've lost a lacrosse game at the end of a wonderful journey, and I'm so, so proud of these guys, especially this guy to my right, and it was a tough, tough game.
Duke is a fabulous team.  They did a great job.  They beat us on the field, and I thought we showed our courage and our heart.  We made that run to get it back to 12‑11, and to their credit they went on another run.
Sorry so lose, but we're thrilled to have been in this and thrilled to lose, if we have to lose, to a champion team like Duke.

Q.  Jeremy, just the offense probably didn't seem like you got enough opportunities there early on.  Would you kind of agree with that, that it was tough to get things going after they started getting things going themselves?
JEREMY NOBLE:  Early on, yes, early on for sure but I thought we had our chances throughout the game to win the game.  All the credit goes to Duke.  Their defense played great.  Face‑offs they played great.  They had a phenomenal game plan and they executed it well.  But I thought we had our chances and I thought offensively we had a chance to win the game, hit a few pipes, dropped a couple passes and that was the difference in the game in my opinion.  It was a tough one.

Q.  Jeremy, when you guys did get on a run and tighten the score, what was maybe happening on the field that suddenly generated more looks or was it more of an energy thing?
JEREMY NOBLE:  Just playing our game.  That's Denver lacrosse right there in the second half.  Every game you can play a full 60 minutes, it's pretty tough to string together a full 60 minutes, but I think that second half you saw us play pretty good lacrosse.  It's too bad we couldn't do that in the first half, but that's the way lacrosse games go, and it happens sometimes.

Q.  After being in that hole, to get it to 11‑10 and 12‑11, how were you feeling out there at that point?  Seemed like you were in pretty good shape at that stage.
JEREMY NOBLE:  We were feeling great.  I think we had an opportunity on the back side to tie it there, to make it 11‑11 and sometimes you drop a pass.  So we had with our chances.  There's no regrets, but we definitely had our chances and I'm proud of this team, and I wouldn't want to be on any other team in this world or any other university I would be at.

Q.  Jeremy, defensively there are so many threats on their offense:  Myles Jones, Deemer Class, Kyle Keenan steps up, Jordan Wolf, Case Matheis.  What were you doing to combat all the weapons out there?  Were you trying to slide early to a specific guy, get the ball out of their sticks, anything like that?
JEREMY NOBLE:  I think we had a couple different looks, but they're a phenomenal offense.  They have so many good players on offense that if you try to shut down Jordan Wolf, then someone else is going to go off for four or five.  In fact, same thing with as our offense.  I can relate to them, because we have so many weapons on our offense, as well so I sort of look at them as us offensively.  There's just so many weapons on the field and anyone on any given day can have a great day and they all had a great day offensively, so credit goes to them.  They all played well.

Q.  After the quarterfinals you were kind of reflecting on the first time you made the Final Four and that experience and now kind of coming back again, it might be kind of hard after the game, but that thought of making the trip again, summing up what's been a really great four years for you.
JEREMY NOBLE:  Yeah, it's been such a great four years here as I just got done telling the team after Coach T was speaking in there, that I made so many great relationships at this school, from all the staff to especially the coaches, the friendships and the life lessons that I've learned from them and everyone I've just learned so much by being part of the University of Denver Pioneers.  I wouldn't trade this for a National Championship, the experience that I've experienced at the University of Denver, the friendships that I've made.  I'm so proud to be a Denver Pioneer and get these friendships and life lessons and just have so much fun in my four years here.  It's been such a good time, and I'm so blessed to be a part of this school.  It's going to be tough leaving, but I'm going to be a proud fan in the crowd next year.

Q.  Talk about the play of Wesley Berg, five goals in the contest.  What did you see today?
BILL TIERNEY:  It's pretty amazing especially since he was playing with a broken thumb that nobody knew about.  Wes is a leader, and he gets in these situations and he cherishes them.  There might be other games where I'm sure other coaches said I'm sure he can be shut down.  What everybody forgets about Wes is he was a marked man coming into this season, and he's been willing to buy into Matt Brown's system, been willing to be unselfish, been willing to get a lot of hockey assists on the year, but today he knew we needed him, and he stepped up and I couldn't be more proud of him.  Wes is a leader.  He's going to have to take over Jeremy's role next year as our leader, and I'm sure he'll do a great job.

Q.  Can you address the same question that was asked about the diversity of their offense and the number of weapons?
BILL TIERNEY:  Yeah, I mean, look, you get to the semifinals, the other team is going to have good players.  That's just the way it is.  I'm sure if the roles were reversed you'd be talking about Noble, Adamson, Miller, Berg, the whole bit.  These teams have good players, and they had some good players.  You know, we tried our best.  They took advantage.  Honestly, we knew they were going to get their goals.  I thought the ones that hurt us were the ones in the middle of the field that we kind of in a short week probably didn't do as good a job as we should have to prepare for that full‑field action, but when you get back home at 3:00 on Monday morning and have to fly back out on Wednesday evening, there's going to be some things you have to overlook in practice, and one of them is some full‑field things.  To their credit, you know, Will Haus causes you problems in the middle of the field, and they just do a great job.  Everybody has got great players.  It's just a matter of trying to limit their looks, make some saves and move on.  To their credit, they created more looks and took some great shots.

Q.  Bill, can you address, Jeremy was talking about a dropped pass here or there, those mistakes that happen.  Against a team like Duke, how much are they magnified when you just lose a good possession, when you know this team is a heartbeat away from getting close to 15, 16, 18, whatever they're going to put up that day?  How much are they magnified?
BILL TIERNEY:  Yeah, I think in our game you see those things.  I was just looking at the stats and you look at two teams playing a big time game like that with a total of six turnovers each, that's unheard of.  It makes those couple really, really look huge.  You're going to have turnovers in the middle of the field and all that stuff, but each goal when we got back to 12‑11, it was either going to be one thing:  Our momentum was going to carry us through and get by them, or our effort to get there was going to be far too much for us to sustain and be able to get through.  And again, you give them credit.  They scored two goals in I think nine seconds or something there to kind of put us back on our heels.  8:44 and 8:49 and then 7:09.  That's three goals quick.  All those other things kind of get forgotten, even the dropped pass at the end of the it would have been 15‑13 and we'd still be sitting here commiserating.
Look, you've got young men.  They're 18 to 22, 23 years old.  They're trying very hard.  This is our 10th trip across the country this year.  Everybody else worries about what happens when you play Denver, oh, the air is thin, oh, you've got to travel.  Well, that stuff is all nothing.  All it is, it's a lacrosse game that's got to be played between two teams.  We take great pride in our young men not making excuses.  We're not going to make any for losing a game today.  We lost to a great team who has a great coaching staff and we're proud of who we are and where we are.

Q.  In the third quarter you had a chance to score the tying goal right on the doorstep.  It hit the back of the net.  Did you sense that once making that comeback that was kind of your last gasp effort?
BILL TIERNEY:  No, not at all.  Not even close.  We didn't have a sense it was our last gasp until I looked up at the clock and saw seven seconds left and down three goals and they had the ball.  That probably wrapped it up.
But this group will fight and claw and scratch.  You saw last week we scored 10 goals in a row against a very good Drexel team.  The week before we hold one of the best teams in the country to five goals and score four and a bunch.  No one moment is going to dictate that or define that, no referee call, no missed shot, no missed save.  It all comes together, and at the end of the day, Duke was better than us today.

Q.  You guys got basically split on face‑offs, they didn't score an extra‑man goal and I think you got nine of your 12 shots on goal to go in the first three quarters.  Did you feel pretty good heading into the last 15 minutes that you guys had done what you needed to do to stick around in this?
BILL TIERNEY:  Well, it was‑‑ what was it, 11‑9 at the end of three?  Yeah, feeling pretty good there.  We had a man up going into the fourth, and so that was a great opportunity.  I thought we had that run there.  They kind of got on their heels.  You can usually tell when a defense is on their heels when they foul, just like we were when we fouled a couple of times.  You feel good, you kind of‑‑ we were looking uphill at 8‑4 at halftime, and we knew it was going to be tough, but these guys just chipped away, and we never felt out of it.  We felt like we had made that run, and as I said, you get to one, you're either going to win if you score the next goal or it might be too much having done that.
That's what happened today.  I just want everybody to understand that this group of people, this group of young men that comes from 20 different states and two provinces of Canada, let's face it, there aren't many fifth graders playing lacrosse on the East Coast that say I can't wait to go to the University of Denver.  There will be.  And I'm really excited about those possibilities.  We've got an amazing group coming in next year.  We're going to lose the heart and soul of our team in Jeremy Noble, but there will be other hearts and other souls.  As I said last year, we'll be back, and you guys are going to get tired of us until you see us celebrate for this thing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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