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Towson vs. Virginia
NCAA Tournament First Round
May 16, 2010

Virginia Head Coach Julie Myers
Opening Statement:

“This was obviously much more than just a game today. It was an NCAA Tournament game with the obvious consequence of not being able to move forward if you aren’t lucky enough to win. It was a huge hurdle for our team to clear through. Obviously, the past couple of weeks have been unfamiliar territory. But our players, our coaches, everybody surrounding our program and even people who aren’t attached directly to our program, have been so strong. They have helped to keep us hopeful and helped to keep us together. They’ve kept us focused on the right and privilege of being able to still play lacrosse and stay together as a team as we try to sort through the upcoming events.

“I thought our team did a great job today. I think emotionally, we went out really strong, scoring three goals pretty quickly. Towson did a great job of coming right back at us. We knew Towson wasn’t going to have it be easy for us and I thought they did a phenomenal job.

“What I loved seeing is that my team went fast, they broke a little bit, then they came right back. When we were up by three, and then instantly tied, our team did a nice job of staying a step ahead. I give them a lot of credit. I’ve very proud of how they were able to play, especially under the circumstances that we have been in.”

On playing another week:
“It’s huge. I know I wasn’t ready to be done and I don’t think the girls were even close to being ready either. Probably because we are really competitive; we love playing lacrosse. We feel like we are a good enough team to still be alive. But we also feel we still need to be together as we take these next steps. Emotionally, we have been through an awful lot. The girls were phenomenally inspiring this week. They played really hard with lots of attention and positive emotion. I wasn’t surprised that we got a little bit tired today. I feel like we have been spending our reserve at practice, for the most part, but again they did a great job today.”

On the fan support:
“The fan support really helped us as well. When we were running on empty and getting a little flat, that’s when I noticed the Virginia chants and support. We were able to feed off a pretty exciting Klöckner Stadium crowd. It was a special feeling out there.”

On playing the game:
“You hear that you always want to try to find some kind of normal. To be able to be back on a game field is something that is normal at this point in the season. We played our 19th game. Game situations, game days – it’s part of a routine that we have been going through for years and years. I think the game presented a great focus, a great attention of just going through your pregame routine from the locker room and getting back up to the field. It felt as normal as it could have with obviously all kinds of anxiety associated with it. The girls did a great job.”

On having the Love family at the game:
“They came down to the field when we were tied. When I saw them walking up behind our team, I felt like we were suddenly going to be okay. I felt like they were going to kind of be our extra emotion on the side. Of course, we go and we end up winning by two. Their presence was definitely felt. I definitely noticed it. I get a lot of strength from my team and I get a lot of strength in terms of figuring out the next step from the Love family. Seeing them here was huge. I saw them on the big screen at one point during the game. I saw them cheering and enjoying it and that gave me a sense of peace and hopefulness as well.”

On Towson’s offense:
“They love the one-on-one and they should. They are really, really good at it. Our defense did much better just playing team defense in the second half and trying to absorb some of those challenges. And then Lauren Benner I thought made some huge saves there in the second half as well. Our entire defensive end really stepped up down the stretch. It’s a new lineup that we hadn’t really played with before. Kelly Austin is a first year kid; she’s never been in a pressure situation. It was a new situation to be in but the kids did a great job. “

On the No. 1 signs the team held up after the game:
“I would say it was [assistant coach] Colleen Shearer’s idea. I share an office with her and I had no idea she had done that. She likes signs – she runs our offense. She did that, and I think Kendall McBrearty, our volunteer coach, helped make that happen as well. It was great to be able to pass those out – I think we were all surprised and excited by it. It was emotional – we were happy, we were exhausted, we were proud and we were sad. It was all kinds of everything. And then to see the Loves, and be able to show the No. 1s to the stands and the hill – I don’t think we have ever had Klöckner that full. It was extra special that Colleen had taken the step to think of that.”

On the defensive strategy without Bailey Fogarty and Yeardley Love:
“We put in Annie Thomas who is a first year middie for us. I think Annie move into the starting lineup when Josie Owen went out. So before her injury, Josie Owen was an attacker. But to absorb Josie, Julie Gardner moved from the mid to attack and Annie Thomas went from being a sub to a middie. Today, Annie went from being a middie to defense, and we put Julie Gardner back to the mid. We had Whitaker Hagerman as a starter and then Kelly Austin went in pretty much for the last 45 minutes of the game. So, Kelly Austin was the attacker we ended up going with.

“So, we shuffled some people around, but the good news is we have a really talented team. Everybody has a lot of chances to play.”

On the Cher song “Believe” [Do you believe in life after love?] that played today:
“At the ACC Tournament, we had a bus driver who had the Cher DVD of her last tour. He was randomly was listening to it when we got on the bus, and just that one song ended up being our favorite video for the entire weekend. The girls – Caity and Kaitlin – came up with the new CD for us today, which included that song.”

Senior Caity Whiteley
On having a good game in memory of Yeardley:

“I wanted to have a good game no matter what, to help my team. But I think that I wanted to play especially well to honor her, and her family was there. It means a lot just to keep playing.”

On playing:
“For me, it’s been really hard but I don’t know where I would be without my team and all my close friends. Playing today meant a lot and it’s obviously not normal, but I feel like every day we are together, we are getting stronger and we are figuring out what we need from each other. Today was good.”

On the support from the Virginia men’s lacrosse team and supporting each other:
“We always support each other, on and off the field, but now we need to come together more than ever. I know a lot of us were there last night supporting them, so it did mean a lot, and it was nice to see their faces on the sideline. Being together, it helps us. I feel like we are stronger with them.”

On having a strong senior season:
“There are ups and downs; I feel happy at times and sad at others. Having my team behind me, and supporting my team makes it a little bit easier to enjoy what we have, and the success that we each have.”

Senior Kaitlin Duff
On playing today:

“Definitely being with our team and everything is a good distraction, knowing we are all going through the process together. Obviously we are playing in honor of Yeardley and her family. Playing well, playing together and winning today was good for our team.”

On what support from everyone means to them:
“Obviously, this is a really hard time, but so many people have reached out to us; so many different teams and different people. Seeing everyone being so positive and so nice just really helps our team. It helps us get stronger as a team.”

Senior Brittany Kalkstein
On Towson’s orange “YL” armbands:

“I think the support from all of the teams in the NCAA has been unreal and it has really given us strength. It is very encouraging to come out and play together and take the next step forward. Seeing those bands, it really meant something. And also at the end of the game, Towson gave us these little pins. They are little angels with lacrosse sticks. It just shows again how supportive everyone has been. Obviously they are our opponent, but they are here supporting us as well.”

On the past two weeks:
“This has obviously been a pretty unbelievable situation. Our team is going through it together. I can’t compare this to anything – it was just a crazy last two weeks. Being together and staying focused and coming out to practice is the strength that we needed to be with each other and get through it. I am glad we have the next week to prepare for UNC and keep each other together.”

On channeling emotion in a productive way today:
“The first half was pretty emotional. We had a lot of jitters going into it. I think once the second half came around, we started to calm down a little bit and get more into our game plan and what we wanted to do. We knew Towson wasn’t going to come and give us the game. We knew it was going to be a strong match. We haven’t played them before, but we knew they were a good team. Coming into the game, it was a very emotional beginning. Once the team got going, we settled into what we wanted to do.”

On whether the team will ever get over what has happened:
“It’s an experience that is never going to leave us. Obviously, we are never going to forget Yeardley. I feel her presence on the field when we play and when we are together. It is something we are never, ever going to forget. Staying together and getting through each day, going out to practice, that gives us the strength to move on. I am so proud of our team to come out everyday to practice and give it their all and to come out with that win today allows more time with each other this week.”

Towson Head Coach Missy Doherty
Opening statement:
“It was a great game. Both teams played hard, and it was great to see – for the entire length of the game – overall great performances by both teams. We knew coming in this was going to be a hard matchup against a great team, but I thought our team played well but unfortunately didn’t pull through in the end. I thought it was a great day for the game of lacrosse.”

On 2010 season as a whole:
“I think we had a great year. Our program has grown from year-to-year, and every year, we’ve gotten better at a certain aspect. This year, ending the season with a high ranking and coming into NCAAs full-force in the first round has been a huge step for our program. Every year, we look to get better, and this year was no different. Facing the challenges we faced all season, and then in the first round of NCAAs, you’re going to face a tough opponent. I thought the girls did a great job of stepping up and playing a great game today.”

On team’s effort in the loss:
“It’s always a tough loss; I don’t think there’s anything that’s not a tough loss. What makes it a great day for our program is the way we played. We took it to a top-10 team, and we didn’t give up the entire game. They stayed focus, and overall, it was a great game. All year long, people have been telling us that we’re an exciting team to watch. I think that’s because the games are always close – I wouldn’t mind sometimes winning by more than what we’ve won by before – but it’s always been an exciting game because the girls compete for 60 minutes and you can kind of see that in how, after going down 3-0 against an emotional team and an emotional game, the girls were ready to stay focused and come back. There’s never a good loss, but I was proud of the girls’ efforts.”

Senior Jacie Kendall
On thoughts before the game:
“It was hard coming in here knowing that everyone was kind of rooting against us, and I think in respect to the Virginia team, it was our duty to play as hard as we could against them. That’s what everyone would have wanted, and on the field, that’s where all that drama goes away. I think it was our job to give them a really good game, and we definitely did that.”

On wearing orange armbands to remember Yeardley Love:
“We just wanted to support UVa as much as possible, and I think that by wearing the armbands, we sympathize with what they’re going through. We want to show our support as much as we can.”

Senior Nikki Marcinik
On Virginia goalkeeper Lauren Benner’s play:
“We were doing a pretty good job of getting the ball around her, but then it just ended up that our shots weren’t falling the way we wanted them to. We were trying to work it around and try some different things, but it just wasn’t working out.”

Redshirt Senior Hillary Fratzke
On the game:
“We really wish Virginia the best continuing on into the tournament. They played a great game despite everything today, and that’s what we wanted from them. We gave them our best game, we did what we could, but good luck to them.”

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