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May 26, 2014

Kevin Corrigan

Matt Kavanagh

Conor Kelly

Sergio Perkovic


Duke – 11
Notre Dame – 9

KEVIN CORRIGAN:  Just obviously a very, very disappointing day.  Just played 30 minutes of poor lacrosse to start the game, and I really‑‑ I don't know what to attribute that to, but it's my responsibility, and we didn't come out prepared to play our best lacrosse.
We thought all along that the last 20 minutes of the game were going to be where the game was decided.  We knew we were deeper, we knew we would be stronger in the last 20 minutes, and we were, we just came up a play or two short.

Q.  Sergio, can you talk a little bit about the day you had, five goals, you kind of helped lead that offensive charge as you guys were coming back into it and maybe even beyond that just kind of your growth as an offensive player this year?  You really became a weapon through the playoffs.
SERGIO PERKOVIC:  Yeah, Duke played a great job in the first half disrupting our offense, and they weren't really sliding.  They were pressing out, and in the second I just really wanted to beat my guys since they weren't sliding and try to take advantage of them not sliding, just going hard, being aggressive and dodging hard.  That's what I like to do.  I like to dodge one‑on‑one and as the season has progressed I've gotten more comfortable doing that.

Q.  With the 11 turnovers in the first half, you guys looked really discombobulated.  What do you think was causing that for you guys?
MATT KAVANAGH:  I mean, they like to press out and be aggressive.  They weren't caused turnovers, they were turnovers where we were just trying to make plays.

Q.  Did you guys feel that fatigue may have played a part in this, having played in the second game on Saturday?
MATT KAVANAGH:  For us?  No.

Q.  Matt, can you talk about kind of how this offense has come together and gotten more productive as the year went on?  You guys scored a lot at the end of this game, and generally it was a really productive offense through the playoffs.
MATT KAVANAGH:  Yeah, I mean, we really found our stride around the ACC Tournament time.  We just continued to work hard in practice every day, not taking any days off, knowing that it could be our last week.  We just had trust in everyone that was on the field.  Couldn't be more proud of my teammates.

Q.  Did that give you extra confidence and help you make a run back today?
MATT KAVANAGH:  Yeah, we've done it before the past couple weeks, so there's no quit in our locker room.

Q.  Conor, talk about Jordan Wolf.  How quick was he on his shots?
CONOR KELLY:  Yeah, he's a special player, played him a bunch growing up in the Philly area.  He's one of the best.

Q.  Obviously it hurts now, but for all three of you coming back next year, how kind of exciting is it to know that you're going to have this group coming back with this much talent?
SERGIO PERKOVIC:  Yeah, I'm really excited.  We have a lot of guys coming back, especially like on offense and obviously Conor Kelly at our goalie.  It's real exciting just to know that, and obviously we can just start working this summer and try to get back here with a different result next year.  Excited.
CONOR KELLY:  Yeah, this team has been one play away the past couple years, and we know that.  We've got a bunch of guys coming back in our locker room, but we're going to miss the seniors and their leadership and the example that they set.  They've been great all year, and yeah, we've just been one play away.  It sucks right now, but we've got a lot coming back.
MATT KAVANAGH:  Coach was saying after the game the culture in our locker room and on our team is like no other.  From where we were at the beginning of the year up until now, I can't believe how far we've come.  The seniors just have done a great job introducing the freshmen, making them feel like a family, and there's no reason why Conor and the rising seniors aren't going to do the same next year.  We're obviously going to think about what just happened, but come September and fall ball, we'll remember.

Q.  Matt, can you tell us about the match‑up with Lobb and just the challenge of playing a guy much bigger than you and the kind of adjustments you may make in those scenarios?
MATT KAVANAGH:  Yeah, I don't know.  I was kind of getting shut off a little bit throughout the game.  Wasn't really getting any touches, getting into the flow of our offense.  It's a credit to them and their defensive scheme.  But we battled back.  I wasn't going to be the one to change the game.  It took everyone on our team to do it.

Q.  Can any of you talk about the feeling on the field as you came back in the game, cut the lead down, kept chipping away and eventually cut that lead down to one heading into the last minutes thinking what you might be able to pull off?
MATT KAVANAGH:  Yeah, we've been in that situation before.  That's why we had so much confidence.  We were just one play away.  We had the ball down one, so we thought we had an opportunity to tie it.  But it just didn't go our way.

Q.  You're playing a team that's been to the Final Four eight straight years.  Any form‑‑ does the word dynasty come there, and is that the team to beat next year for you guys?
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  Duke got to play four years with five classes.  That's a pretty good jump start on doing that.  I think you almost have to look at it as two separate things.  The last four years they've done a terrific job.  Their coach does a great job of nurturing a team and getting them to play their best at the end of the year.  Yeah, they're very talented, very well coached, and they're doing a terrific job.

Q.  Coach, you were pretty fired up after that face‑off you guys were down by a goal there with like 30 seconds left or so.  Did you think Fowler jumped on it?
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  I didn't think there was any question, but I wasn't the guy with the whistle.

Q.  You look at the end of the third quarter, they have eight and you guys‑‑ Conor is playing well.  Defensively how happy were you just with what you guys were able to do even when the offense wasn't working the way you‑‑
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  Yeah, we were so bad in the first half.  Honestly, I look at the turnovers that we had, and I don't know, what does it say, we had 11 turnovers in the first half.  That's a game's worth of turnovers, and I'm going to say two of them were forced and a bunch of them just throwing the ball out of bounds.  We come down on a 4 & 3 and miss the point guy and throw it out of bounds.  Just kind of inexplicable turnovers for us, not the kind of thing we've been doing.  So we were happy with holding them down.  We felt like we'd be stronger in the last 20 minutes of the game, but we let it get away from us a little bit too far.  But I'll tell you, too, even with 11 turnovers, we had some really good opportunities in the first half.  I think their goalie made some really good saves and we just missed a couple that we should put away.  If we do that and we're only down a couple, then it's a little bit different story maybe.

Q.  Along the lines of kind of wearing them down and whatnot, I know you guys were able to catch Jones and Class on defense a lot.  Did you do that as much as you wanted to?
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  Yeah, I think if you watch the last 10 minutes of that game, those guys weren't out there very much, and when they were out there they were dragging around the field.  We did what we wanted to do in that part of the game and felt like it was right.  Again, we just didn't get enough points on the board before that, you know.  I thought the last 20 minutes of the game went just like‑‑ kind of just like we hoped it would go for the most part.  Obviously not the last couple goals, but we just dug ourselves too big a hole.

Q.  During your six‑game winning streak you guys have kind of made it a habit for the most part in winning really, really tight games coming back from pretty big deficits.  When you guys were making that comeback today, did you and did you maybe notice from the team that, hey, we might be able to get over the hump here?
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  You know, I don't ever think of anything else but the next play.  We're making the next play.  That's what‑‑ if you start wondering about last game and the next game or how this game is going to end in five minutes or anything else, then you're not doing your job right now.  So no, none of that goes through my head, other than we're not going to quit until they blow the last horn.  We're just focused on what is the play right now that has to be made, and I think that's what our guys did so well, and I think that's why we were able to win close games.

Q.  Can you just talk about the maturation of your offense through the year and how that firepower helped through the ACC Tournament to here, particularly Sergio's growth through that stretch?
KEVIN CORRIGAN:  Well, as a team we started the year scoring 19 goals in our first game.  It's not like our offense came out of nowhere.  We scored 18 against Virginia early in the year.  We were capable of scoring goals all along.  What we weren't capable of doing was playing kind of efficiently in any kind of game all along.  We got some games where we got limited possessions and some games where we maybe didn't make great decisions given with the pace and tempo of the game was and all of that, and we certainly got much better as the year went on with that.
As far as Sergio, it was about the second practice of the year when I turned to our coaches and said, he may be the best player we've ever had, so he's no surprise to me because I've been watching him since September, and I think he's going to be one of the absolute stars in college lacrosse for the next three years because he's terrifically talented.  Again, as a freshman he's playing both ends of the field.  We've got him playing attack on the face‑offs.  He's riding, clearing, playing defense.  He's coachable, and he's very, very skilled and athletic.  It's a pretty nice combination.  He's going to be a terrific player.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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