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May 24, 2014

Kevin Corrigan

Matt Kavanagh

Conor Kelly


Notre Dame – 11
Maryland – 6

KEVIN CORRIGAN:  Really pretty happy with the way our guys played today.  I mean, for a third time seeing a team, you hope that you play some of their actions and the challenges that they bring to you, you hope that you play those things well, being that you're playing in your ninth and 12th quarters against that same stuff, and for us it's been all in the course of about three weeks.  I thought we did a good job of doing that.  It also helps when Conor is back there making some great saves today.
Offensively really feel like we're getting really close.  We're finding a lot of different ways to score still, but our 6‑on‑6 is getting better, and that's really important, as well.  We did some really good things offensively today.  I think we can show our guys those things and they can recognize how important they are, then maybe we can continue getting better through Monday.

Q.  How did you feel in the net today?  Did you feel a little different today than when you played Maryland the last time?
CONOR KELLY:  Yeah, I felt like I was seeing the ball well.  I thought I saw the ball well against them the last time.  Playing a team three times is tough but you also get to see their shooters three times so I thought I got a good read on their releases, and yeah, seeing the ball well.

Q.  Conor, what have the last five or six weeks been like, having gone from having lost your job a ways back to having this six‑game winning streak now?
CONOR KELLY:  Yeah, it's been great.  Just whatever my team needs me to do.  Today we needed 14.  Last week just like five or so.  Yeah, I mean, it's been exciting.  Yeah.

Q.  Given how the season had gone, how different a season has it been for you just having had not played there for a month and a half or so.
CONOR KELLY:  Yeah, I mean, it's not what I had anticipated going into the year, but you've got to take what you're given and kind of roll the punches and just try to keep my head in it so I can kind of find my stride here at the end.

Q.  Matt, for you, you had seven points today, five goals, two assisted.  You've been on a hot streak for God knows how long, since the season started basically.  What was the key to success today?
MATT KAVANAGH:  I thought we were playing great team offense.  I wasn't really doing anything different from a game‑to‑game standpoint, but the sets that we ran this week in practice, I think we executed them perfectly.  We only had a handful of possessions where they resulted in turnovers.  I was just on the better end of great team offense.

Q.  Defense seems to have played really well in the playoffs, especially five goals in the first round, six today, Albany, pretty good effort.  What have you seen in terms of the overall unit effectiveness so far?
CONOR KELLY:  Yeah, we're really coming together here at the end, and I think our game plans have been great going into‑‑ finding our match‑ups, and yeah, really just kind of been able to lock down here at the end.

Q.  Matt, Coach was talking about working in the 6‑on‑6 sets.  How has that kind of developed here recently for you guys?
MATT KAVANAGH:  I think we've been executing the two‑nine game with the short sticks and the long poles, trying to get some mismatches, but the flow of our offense is just really working right now.  We see it in practice, and just happy it's working out there in the game.

Q.  I know you're feeling pretty chipper right now.  How did this team lose five games this year the way you looked today?
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  Coaching.  (Laughter.)
I mean, every team is different, every season is different.  We wouldn't be who we are right now without all the games that we played.  I mean, we had some great success early with the Virginia win, a Carolina comeback win, but we took a couple on the nose, from a Penn State team that slowed us down, from a Denver team that kept the ball away from us just with good, efficient offense, not as much as trying to stall but just being very efficient and not giving us a lot of possessions.  We had to learn how to play that game.
We worked very hard this year to become a 110‑yard field team, whether it's riding, whether it's transition offense to defense or defense to offense.  I think that hurt us a little bit early in the year being able to play some of those games.  There are a lot of people that would probably laugh at that because five, six years ago that's who we were.  We were that team that was slowing people down and taking the ball away.  But that's what‑‑ you coach to the talent that you have, and it's clear that when you watch us play, we've got some pretty good athletes.  So we wanted to use the field and be better at that, but it hurt us early in the year, no question, and then, I mean, a tough loss at Syracuse.  But I think each one of those games, quite honestly, has been really important for us to learn from.  We learned from the Syracuse game and beat them the second time.  We learned from the Maryland game and beat them the second time.  We learned from that slow‑down game with Penn State to be able to play a six‑five game with Maryland but we also learned from the Virginia game and some of those to be able to play an 18‑17 game with Army and find a way to win that one.  So I think the whole trip kind of makes us who we are today.

Q.  You've done a great job building this program.  You're going to have your second chance at a National Championship.  Just tell me what it would mean for the program to win a National Championship, and then secondly, can you talk a little bit about Kavanagh's performance, creating for himself and others?
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  You'll be lucky if I can hold the second question in my head until I get through the first one.  Let's go one at a time.
It's not a time for me for perspective.  The perspective is this is the 2014 team's only chance to win a National Championship, and I'm not focused on anything else, and I don't even care to be focused on anything else.  It's great for these guys.  It's great for the 49 kids in that locker room, and I'm not going to take my eye off the ball here on Saturday afternoon.  Our deal is to try to finish this on Monday, and that's all about those 49 guys.
As far as Matt Kavanagh, I think somebody said he's had a really good hot streak.  I think it started his sophomore year in high school, okay, and I don't‑‑ I haven't seen it abate since then, so I'm not sure.  He's a terrific player.  You know what, I don't know if he's gotten better at this or maybe we've just gotten a little bit smarter.  He's a hard guy to ever could, but he's a hard guy to cover off ball, he's a hard guy to cover inside, he's a hard guy to cover with the ball on his stick in two‑man game, he's a hard guy to cover in space.  There are a lot of different things you can do with him.  Again, as part of the trip of this year, we've had to learn‑‑ people have schemed against him, and we've had to learn how to keep him relevant in different games, and I think it's helped us to give us some variety to our offense and to allow him to be effective no matter what people are doing, no matter how they're playing him.

Q.  You draw Maryland in Baltimore.  Was there a special message or mentality that you talked with your guys about taking on basically a home team?
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  You know what, we were up at Hofstra last week and I think there were 37 people cheering for us in a sellout crowd of 13,000.  I wanted to come to the press conference afterwards and say I apologize to all those people who wanted to see Albany here right now because it was clear that there weren't a lot of people rooting for us.  We kind of just kept that mentality this week.  We said, hey, quite honestly, it's kind of funny, I read the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun today, and neither one of them, I think they talked more about the Duke‑Maryland match‑up than they did the Maryland‑Notre Dame match‑up, and I said, okay, that's fine with us.  We like being those guys.

Q.  Coach, on defense this was a pretty strong performance, especially compared to a year where you've had some trouble on defense.  What adjustments did you make coming in?
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  I don't know that we've made any huge adjustments as much as we've just gotten better over the course of the year.  Garrett Epple has made a huge difference.  He is a freshman who's come in and gotten better over the course of the year.  Nick Koshansky, is a freshman who is playing as a short‑stick D‑middie, playing a lot for us.  Tyler Brenneman is a kid, as a senior, he's played more as a senior than he played for three years combined before that.  So you have to grow into those roles.  Matt Landis was playing long pole last year and he's playing close this year.  So I think we've evolved defensively and just gotten better, and it's nice to see, yeah, we've played really well.  But listen, two, three weeks ago we played 18‑17 with Army, so let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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