2016 LACROSSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – MAY 30 – Maryland Falls North Carolina 14-13 in OT

2016 LACROSSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – MAY 30 – Maryland Falls North Carolina 14-13 in OT
May 31 02:13 2016 Print This Article

PHILADELPHIA – The No. 1-seeded Maryland men’s lacrosse team fell to North Carolina, 14-13, in overtime in the NCAA National Championship.

Junior attackman Matt Rambo finished the day with six points on three goals and three assists, giving him 23 points during the tournament, which set a new program record.

Rambo also finished the campaign with 75 points, putting him third all-time for points in a season.

COACH TILLMAN: I would like to congratulate North Carolina, a very worthy champion, just an amazing run here over the month of May, just played a great game today. Certainly a classic game that, much like Saturday, you hate to see any team lose that game. Certainly we were on the positive side Saturday and unfortunately on the downside today.
Certainly congratulations to them. And that’s obviously a tough locker room right now. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys than I am right now. That’s why it hurts so much. After all, the kids worked so hard and have done such a great job in every aspect in terms of what we could ask and I’m certainly proud of them for that. That was just a back and forth battle. Carolina did a great job of starting off strong and our kids battled back. And it just kind of went back and forth, so certainly had our chances didn’t it get done.

You think about and you love to get and do it the right way. Now it’s just getting the other part.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Can you describe your obvious disappointment at the way the game played out at the end?
ISAIAH DAVIS-ALLEN: You know it’s tough. Our seniors are an awesome group of guys. They helped both of us out my freshman year, (Dylan Maltz’s) sophomore year. So honestly the first thing that crossed my mind is how sad I am for that group of seniors.

DYLAN MALTZ: It’s very sad for the seniors. They led on such an awesome journey throughout the season and it’s very disappointing. It’s sad.

Q. Can you both talk about the range of emotions you went through in this game?
ISAIAH DAVIS-ALLEN: Yeah, well North Carolina started off fast. They came out. They hopped on us early. We bounced back. From that point on it was just a back and forth battle all the way through the third, fourth, and honestly it ended up being we lost in overtime. But I would say we went down early. We battled back strong and we couldn’t like pull it out towards the end.

DYLAN MALTZ: It was a roller coaster ride, but we stayed positive. And that’s what we did throughout the season. Carolina is a really good team, so we have to give them credit. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t come out on top.

University of Maryland Defenseman GREG DANSEGLIO (22) is emotional after University of Maryland falls in overtime during The NCAA Division I NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME to North Carolina 14-13, Monday, May. 30, 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

University of Maryland Defenseman GREG DANSEGLIO (22) is emotional after University of Maryland falls in overtime during The NCAA Division I NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME to North Carolina 14-13, Monday, May. 30, 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

Q. Can you talk about after giving up 13 goals, 14 goals, was there something you can put your finger on on what happened with the defense?
ISAIAH DAVIS-ALLEN: I don’t think it’s one thing. Brown’s offense is high-powered. They have a lot of good weapons. And it was the same thing you saw versus the Tar Heels today. Like (Steve) Pontrello, all those guys are awesome players. So we didn’t play how we wanted to. But I give credit to them. They executed on all fronts.

Q. Is it hard for you as players when you see seniors that have multiple shots at a title and you’re on the field and does it feel like it’s a heavier weight the next time that you’re in that opportunity? Does it feel like it builds the pressure?
DYLAN MALTZ: I think either way it goes down. When you lose it’s a tough one. Those seniors do so much for you throughout the year, and you build such good bonds with them throughout the season and the fall. And just to see us not come out on top, and just we’re all sad and just to see the seniors, especially, it’s the worst feeling you can imagine.

ISAIAH DAVIS-ALLEN: Just to echo what (Dylan) Maltz said, it’s hard, especially as you get older, like being a junior. So you know it’s hard. That’s the only thing I can say about that.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. On the extra-man offense at the end, what were you trying to do on that play? And did you get the look you wanted to get?
COACH TILLMAN: Yeah, Carolina’s done a good job all year. They give you multiple looks. They’ll pressure you. They’ll shut you. Sometimes they’ll fake shut a guy which they did. They kind of looked like they were going to shut Matt (Rambo) and started with that and then they got out of it. We had a couple of different things planned.

What you can’t do is say, all right, we’ll do this if they do that. We’ll do this if they do that. What happens is you end up eating up the whole time. Then you’ve got to reorganize. We picked something that was a little bit more, depending on what they wanted to do, we thought we’d be pretty versatile. So we kept it pretty basic. And I thought we got pretty good looks. Connor Kelly had four goals and we see him shoot that shot all the time in practice.

And I think it was just inches away from putting that ball in the back of the net. And I’d give that guy the ball in overtime anytime. That kid’s a great one.

Q. When you’re in that huddle at the end of the game and North Carolina is celebrating, what did you say to the guys?
COACH TILLMAN: It’s tough. You know, you know it’s the end of the road. I told them I loved them, which I do. That’s probably reflecting back a little bit last night you’re thinking about game plan but you’re also knowing win or lose it’s the end of the journey. And that’s tough. Seeing those faces is tough.

You know, it’s been such a good group on so many levels that I’m so proud of them. I wanted those guys to enjoy the moment and obviously see them smiling, that’s the hardest part as a coach. It’s not — it’s never about us. It’s always about them. And this group’s awesome. Absolutely awesome. The school, the community service, and on the field. So I’m super proud of them and I’m sad to see them go.

Q. You often hear the cliche they left it out on the field. Do you think, though, for both teams that was an apt description of how the way this game was played?
COACH TILLMAN: Absolutely. If we had won, they’d be doing the same thing. I thought that team did a great job. They stared down 3 and 3 and kept battling. I thought those kids showed a lot of toughness and grit and stayed together. Says a lot about Joe Breschi and his group and his coaching staff and the leadership of that group. So certainly they have a lot to be proud of. Weren’t sure they were going to get in and got in and made the most of the opportunities.

So just kind of goes to show, if you get the chance, you get anything can happen. That’s what life is all about, ask for the opportunities and you try to maximize them.

University of Maryland Goalkeeper KYLE BERNLOHR (35) makes a diving save during the final seconds of The NCAA Division I NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME between North Carolina and Maryland, Monday, May. 30, 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. Saquan Stimpson

University of Maryland Goalkeeper KYLE BERNLOHR (35) makes a diving save during the final seconds of The NCAA Division I NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME between North Carolina and Maryland, Monday, May. 30, 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. Saquan Stimpson

Q. As a coach your responsibility is to your team, especially after a loss like this. But how do you bounce back from a game like this?
COACH TILLMAN: I think when you’re a leader, you gotta set the example. And so the biggest thing right now is making sure my guys are okay. That’s one of the things we just talked about in the locker room, is we’ve got to take care of each other right now. There’s a lot of guys that are hurt. And they’re all looking at me and I can’t feel for myself. I gotta make sure that I’m looking out for them making sure they’re okay and trying to pick them up. I can’t make them feel better now. I think you guys that have kids and obviously siblings that you’re tight with, like when things aren’t going well, you want to make it better and that’s the hardest thing. You just can’t — right now we just have to deal with the disappointment and I told them that eventually it gets a little less severe. It dulls a little bit and we have to reflect back on the journey for some of these guys it’s been one, two, three or four years of a journey.

For what these seniors have done, I don’t think we could ask too much more. Certainly the obvious is there. But what they’ve done for our program, you know, for those guys to be in the championship weekend three out of four years for some of those guys, four out of five for Bryan (Cole) and Kyle (Bernlohr), listen, as a young coach I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get here. So I don’t take it for granted. I think for the kids the experience here is just phenomenal.

The closer you get, the harder it is when you lose. But sometimes you have to step back. I have so many friends that coach, they don’t get this far and they felt this, too.

And every team always feels this way. So you have a lot of mixed emotions with that. But, again, it just keeps going back to our players, especially our seniors knowing that this was the last game for them and just wanting to see them smile so badly, see them just happy right now.

I felt like I probably, just reflecting back, probably should have done a couple of things different. That’s the hardest thing about coaching is you can always look back and reflect and say what if I did this, what if I did that, and that’s the way I look at it. I talked about it on Saturday, when the players win, they did it. When you lose, you gotta look back at yourself, maybe I could have done some things better. And I know I should have.

You’ve just got to reflect back, learn and eventually pick yourself up and kickstart it and obviously help these kids through the next couple of days and then keep moving on. There’s a lot of adversity and obstacles in life and you’ve got to be able to deal with it and move on. And I’ve got to show the kids the way.

Q. Like you were saying, you can think about doing a couple of things better. How much of this game do you think did come down to a couple of plays with it being that close versus how much of it was an overall trend that you saw of your team not doing something, or North Carolina doing particularly well?
COACH TILLMAN: I think both teams put a lot of pressure on each other. You look at that first quarter, I thought they did an awesome job. They had us on our heels right from the get-go. They stuck some shots early. It was 4-0. And luckily I thought Dylan made a really good play to get us one and kind of catch our breath.

Then all of a sudden we had the ball a lot. And it just seemed like whoever had the ball, you know, like some good things were going to happen. That’s no disrespect. I think both teams have good athletes and good defensive schemes and coaches. It just seemed like the offenses kind of had the advantage. And when you had the ball just seemed like teams were getting looks.

Obviously they got one more than us. I couldn’t be more proud of Austin Henningsen. After the tough game on Saturday to bounce back and do what he did says a lot about Chris Mattes, but also the guys he works with every day to try to get him ready on the big stage, doing a great job against Stephen Kelly who I think is awesome.

North Carolina players and coaches dabbing in celebration after defeating Maryland 14-13 in overtime of The NCAA Division I NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME between North Carolina and Maryland, Monday, May. 30, 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

North Carolina players and coaches dabbing in celebration after defeating Maryland 14-13 in overtime of The NCAA Division I NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME between North Carolina and Maryland, Monday, May. 30, 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

Q. Besides winning the faceoffs and doing that as well as you did today, the discipline statistics as the game was playing along — the failed clears on their side, and you were tight there. The extra-man execution by you. The no fouls by you. 56 minutes without a penalty. And then two of their last three goals are extra man. What happened to that discipline? Were they just dying in the heat? Did they just get too excited? What do you think?

COACH TILLMAN: I candidly didn’t see — I didn’t have a good look at the other two, the last two penalties. We had a great officiating staff. Like you can’t ask for anything better than that. Those guys are great. They’re pros. They make the calls. They talk to you during the game. They kind of give you explanations. If there’s something on the faceoff you ask them, they get back to you. So they do a great job.

I’m sure – Henry (West)’s was kind of away from the play, so I didn’t see that. And Michael (McCarney)’s, I just didn’t have a great vantage point. I was looking down there. I just didn’t have a great angle of what exactly happened. But those guys they had a better view than me.

So, again, through the course of the game, two penalties, I think most coaches would take two penalties in a game. We’re playing physical. We’re flying around. Certainly we’d love to have none, but two, I think you take that.