May 2, 2013
Villanova head coach Mike Corrado...
Opening statement: We are really excited about coming out on top tonight. It was an interesting game, very up-and-down and it was out of control at times. We made enough plays to win and that gives us an opportunity to play on Saturday, which was the goal coming in. We didn't play great the whole game but the guys did enough to give us a chance to play Syracuse in the championship game.
On Georgetown: They face off great. Tyler Knarr is a real tough matchup. Thomas Croonquist got the better of him early and then Tyler got on some runs that made it hard for us to pull away. You kind of get into a mode against them where you don't want to shoot because if you score they might get the ball back and then they will score. Tyler had a big game and he is one of the best in the country.
On Georgetown's transition scoring: We did not do a great job of managing the last seven minutes of the game. I thought that Georgetown could score in transition. In the first quarter we weren't good at stopping that but we settled down. Then it was helter skelter for a while and we didn't go a good job of stopping their transition. Georgetown made some big plays in the fourth quarter so I give a lot of credit to them for that.
On Eric Gartner: He had three goals tonight and they were exciting goals. The focus went to him a little mid and that opened things up for our other middies. That slowed the game down a little bit and we went on a pretty good roll. The emergence of Eric over the second half of the season has been huge. He is another middie that can break you down. He doesn't have a typical dodge. When he goes into his dodge I think even he doesn't know what he is doing but he just reacts to what is going on. He is a sophomore and has a ton of confidence. That has really helped our offense.
On the five-goal run by Villanova: In the first five or six minutes of the second quarter we played great offense and started to hit our shots. We went up 7-3 and it's about runs. Georgetown went to the zone and it slowed the game down. We got good opportunities against the zone but we didn't shoot well and went into a bit of a funk. We were hoping to get it going again but it is tough to get runs against Georgetown because Tyler is so good facing off for them.
On the difference in Villanova over the second half of the season: I think defensively, tonight might not be the best example, but our defense has grown up. We have a lot of sophomores and juniors getting their first chance for extended playing time. They have gotten used to the speed of the game. It is a long game out there and as you can tell we are not very patient offensively. That means we have to play a lot of defense. Because of the emergence of guys like Eric Gartner and John Kluh, you have to defend those guys now. That opens Jack up and things like that, little by little, can change your season.
On John LoCascio: He is the best defenseman in the country. He had four ground balls, four caused turnovers and an assist tonight. He does that every game and that is coming against our schedule, which is as good as anyone in the country has played.
On playing Syracuse: Our kids are confident. The last few years we have played some great ballgames against them. These guys have played them before and matched up well with them. Syracuse is playing great right now in all facets of the game. We will have to play better than we did tonight in order to beat them.
Senior attack Jack Rice...
On scoring five goals: It was a really tough game tonight. It was more of a transition game and I was getting shut off but everyone else on the team had their heads up and they were able to find me.
On the goal he scored on a pass from Remington Pope: I was worried about that one. The defender started sliding up on me and I thought there was no way he could get the pass off to me, but he did.
Senior defenseman John LoCascio...
On his assist on a goal scored by Jack Rice: Georgetown got a little too tight in the crease area and I stripped their player. I threw the ball to Jack and usually when I get him the ball it's going in the net. That was a big play in the game.
On getting possession in the game: It is tough to get ground balls when Georgetown has a faceoff guy like Tyler Knarr. Tom [Croonquist] did a great job of getting 50-50 ground balls. Me and Jimmy Wyatt didn't do a great job on the wings but hopefully we can do a better job of that on Saturday.
Georgetown head coach Kevin Warne...
Opening statement: I am proud of our guys today for the way they fought back in the second half. One of our issues at the beginning of the game was picking up 50-50 ground balls and Villanova was able to do what they wanted to do. It is tough covering them when we weren't sliding as fast as maybe we were supposed to and Villanova got some good looks on Jake Haley. One of our keys to the game was to take away their strength when they dodged. We didn't do that early in the game and it got us into a hole.
On Villanova: They feed off emotion and once they got up 7-3 they amped up the pressure defensively to try and get their transition game going. That is what you saw happen in the second half.
On the turning point in the game after the score was tied 3-3: Some of our guys in the defensive midfield got tired. This is unfamiliar territory for us. Some of our guys, I could see it in practice that they enjoyed this moment. That is great but I don't know if they started the game on time. We fought in the second half. We settled down at halftime and started over. I am proud of that. In the second half, statistically speaking we did a great job. We got more ground balls [20-10] and out shot them. Tyler did a great job of winning face-offs but when you get into the territory of 18 turnovers that gets you in trouble.
On Villanova's Jack Rice: He is good. We tried to do some different things and limit his looks but he doesn't need a lot of room to do the things that he does. He did a good job of getting his hands free and did a great job finishing inside.
On Reilly O'Connor and Travis Comeau: They do what they did best and that is finish in the goal. Our other guys enable them to shoot within their range. Reilly and Travis can the shots they need to can. When we get six goals from them we should be in a good spot. We scored 12 goals so we did our job offensively but I am not sure we did the job defensively.