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May 25, 2014

Jim Berkman

Greg Korvin

Josh Martin

Alex Taylor


Tufts – 12
Salisbury – 9

JIM BERKMAN:  First of all, congratulations to Tufts.  They were the better team today, and the outstanding season and run that they had to finish the season.  Congratulations to our team.  We fought to the bitter end, had a couple opportunities even in the fourth quarter right on the crease to close that game down to a one‑goal game which we didn't quite get.  We had an outstanding season, the quality schedule that we played, the number of top‑ranked opponents that we won has been a testament to the great kids and the great leadership that we've had this season.

Q.  Josh and Alex, what did you see from your perspective in terms of what Tufts was doing on offense?
JOSH MARTIN:  You know, we saw what we thought we were going to see in the game plan.  We saw what we thought we were going to.  No surprises, nothing new.  We knew everything that they threw at us.  I just didn't‑‑ we let it get to us a little mentally more than we should have.
ALEX TAYLOR:  Yeah, overall we knew what they were going to do but they played a little bit better than us today.  They stuck their shots when they needed to.  Hats off to them.

Q.  What was the difference, Alex, from your perspective in the third quarter coming out of halftime, just an offensive onslaught against you guys.
ALEX TAYLOR:  Yeah, they had seven goals in the third.  They stuck their shots.  They placed them well.  They ran their offense to a T, like great players.  That's just the way it went today, and well done by them.

Q.  Josh, can you talk about you mentioned that they kind of presented what you thought they would, but guys like Cole Bailey, John Uppgren were still able to be effective, I guess.  What was the challenge of trying to defend guys like that?  What were they able to do well?
JOSH MARTIN:  I'd say the biggest thing today was the crowd noise, something that not everybody is used to.  We weren't able to hear each other as well, weren't communicating during the game.  We knew they were going to throw a lot of picks at us.  We had a little trouble communicating whether we were going to switch or stay there.  And, onset, I thought we did a good job one‑on‑one, it's when they got us rotating that we got a little mixed up.  We've just got to trust ourselves a little more and trust our defense and maybe not rotate as much.

Q.  Greg, it looked like you guys were making a nice little comeback there in the fourth, got within three and had some opportunities.  As Coach Berkman mentioned, did you feel like their goalie made some tough saves?
GREG KORVIN:  Yeah, we had our opportunities, didn't finish them all.  Probably should have started a little earlier on that run than we did, and they beat us today.

Q.  Greg, did you feel like whenever they went on the run, 6‑1 run and 11‑2‑overall, did you think the offense started to press a little bit trying to kind of cut into that?
GREG KORVIN:  Like I said, I think maybe we should have done that a little sooner than later, but they beat us today.  They were the better team.

Q.  Greg, was the plan on Watkins to go high on him?
GREG KORVIN:  We just shoot for open net.

Q.  Coach, can you elaborate what Josh was talking about, just the way they were able to get the defense rotating and make openings?  What was Tufts doing effectively that created a lot of their chances on offense?
JIM BERKMAN:  Well, there was a couple things that we just made mistakes on.  You know, behind the net we were switching on every pick, and twice we didn't switch, and they scored goals.  We were supposed to switch on all picks on the crease.  Twice we had two guys go to the pick, and both times they scored on the back side.  We worked all week on that, and we made four mistakes, and to Tufts' credit, that was four goals on things that was in the game plan on that run.
The other thing that was a big thing in the third quarter was that we had to stop Tufts in the unconventional lacrosse plays that they do.  We knew that their face‑off guy was pretty good, but we thought we were going to battle him.  We did, but we also knew that he could go to the goal.  We didn't respect him one time in the third quarter, he ran by us and nobody was ready to slide.  Knute got anxious in the third quarter, Bailey is a great player, Kempe is a great defenseman.  Bailey comes goal line but he's seven or eight yards going up field, Kempe is playing him unbelievable with a stick up field, Knute leaves his man and slides and gives a dunk.  And then the D‑middie thing coming in, another long stick made a mistake, we had a double right there, he let the kid go, and boom, he ran by our D‑middie where we should have had a double team and they scored a goal.  They beat us in some of those situations, but when it went straight up six on six, we played them good.  We did a good job.
I was really proud, though.  As bad as it looked there for a bit, if we stick those two shots on the crease, it's back to a one‑goal game, and I think as Greg was trying to allude to, all of a sudden we were attacking a lot more.  It seemed like we were playing in the fourth quarter like we should have been playing more throughout the game.  You dodge in to score.  We weren't dodging to score a lot today, we were kind of dodging to feed.  Once we started going hard, then great things started to happen.  19 shots in the fourth quarter, all right.  Kid has eight saves.  He doesn't have eight saves in the fourth quarter. Granted, our shooting was not great and we made some bad shots, but to our kids' credit they never gave up.  Our defense put us in a position to come back.  We stick two in the crease it's 12‑11 and we're right there again, but we didn't get it done.  But proud of the way that we finished.  A lot of teams that have played them this year have laid down when that happened.  We didn't lay down, we fought until the bitter end.

Q.  Can you talk about the legacy of the senior class and also this year as a whole?  I know you had that overtime loss to Christopher Newport.  How did you get past that and move on?
JIM BERKMAN:  Well, there's a lot of great lacrosse players now.  There's a lot of great teams, and they're all over the country.  You know, the days of teams going undefeated, you know, we've got a great program.  I've been fortunate to coach a lot of great players.  Probably won more games than a lacrosse coach probably should have, all right.  But it's no easy task.  Everybody has got good players no matter what team it is.  You're going to see more and more games like that.
We used to have the weakest conference in the country.  Well, three teams from our conference made the tournament this year.  Everybody has enough good players, so on a given day you've got a hot goalie, you've got a face‑off guy that's winning some face‑offs, people can beat each other.  We see each year in Division III there's way more upsets, there's new upstart programs.  I thought we had a great season.  You look at the teams that we beat this year and who they beat, beaten Washington College twice and only took two losses, going to Stevenson which is one of the hardest places to play in the country, going to Gettysburg, beating a Cabrini, every team we were in a streak there with were undefeated when we played them and we were the team that beat them.  I think we had a great season.  We had a little bump in the road, we responded, had a great run in the playoffs.  I don't think we played that well today on offense, to Tufts' credit, but very proud of where we're at.

Q.  These seniors only nine losses over their careers.  What can you say about that?
JIM BERKMAN:  Very proud of our seniors, especially some guys that got a lot better that have made this run possible.  Nobody knew who Luke Phipps was before this year, but to his credit buying into what we do, he became a pretty unbelievable player.  There was a couple other guys in that class that‑‑ Greg Korvin was okay, and all of a sudden he was really good.  Zeke Smith had a great four‑year career, AT.  Those guys all kind of refocused our group after last year and just had a great room.  I can honestly say this was one of my most enjoyable years coaching ever, in terms of the kids, their response, their effort, their commitment.  It's been a great year.

Q.  You've already talked about the seniors a little bit, and you've mentioned Zeke Smith and Alex Taylor.  Alex Taylor had some really good moments today, and he's had some great moments over the course of his career at Salisbury.  What does it mean to you knowing the career he's had, and what does it mean to you knowing that he won't be here next year?
JIM BERKMAN:  Well, obviously he's a great player.  He's a three‑time All‑American.  We obviously will have a hole to fill in the cage.  Believe me, we'll have somebody that will be an able body to get in there next year.  Maybe not quite as good as AT, but there will be a lot of competition there.  Going to miss AT.  He's a great kid.  He's just always around, has got a great smile on his face, and he brought it every day.  There was no bad days with AT, no bad practices.  He brought it every day.  Just loved coaching him for four years.

Q.  Speaking of goalies, can you talk about Pat Watkins and what he was able to do in the net?
JIM BERKMAN:  You know, Pat, 17 today, what did he have, 20 in the semifinals?  You know, the kid got hot.  You know, wasn't real proud of our shot selection today.  If you look what happens, oh, yeah, Salisbury really outshot them today.  They had 49 shots.  We 49 shots isn't my style.  We don't like 49 shots.  We like 37 shots, and I thought today we took some shots as I was telling them throughout the game, Tufts is playing to give you the 15‑yard shot.  Tufts is playing to give you the no‑angle shot down the alley, and right now you're accepting that.  I thought there were several times that we could have hitched and got to 11 yards, which would have been a Salisbury shot.  I thought there was times we went down the alley and shot it and we should have stopped on a dime and rolled back and shot it, which is a Salisbury shot.  Even though we shot it 49 times, I think our shot selection in the end was probably what came back to haunt us today as far as victory.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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