2021 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship

Saturday, May 29, 2021

East Hartford, Connecticut, USA

Maryland Terrapins

Jared Bernhardt

Nick Grill

Media Conference

Maryland - 14, Duke - 4

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Maryland student-athletes Jared Bernhardt and Nick Grill.

Q. This is a question for both of you guys. First start with Jared. Just talk about making it in the Final Four and also playing in the championship game against Virginia.

JARED BERNHARDT: Yeah, I think we were just focused on Duke, collective win all across the board. We'll get to that hopefully tonight and then carry on tomorrow.

NICK GRILL: Yeah, I think we haven't really thought about Virginia yet. We have Duke today. That's a pretty big mountain to climb, pretty big challenge we need to take care of. We'll start figuring out Virginia tonight.

Q. Just talk about this whole COVID-19. You guys 15-0, playing a Big Ten schedule. Do you think you guys would have been here at this point if situations like COVID never -- you know, it was a little bit different?

JARED BERNHARDT: Yeah, obviously, COVID was tough and stuff, but I think even without it, I think we would have been here. We have a really good group, good senior leadership, and then a lot of young guys looking to get better each day.

Yeah, COVID's obviously been tough, but definitely would have been here without it too.

NICK GRILL: I think COVID just gave us an extra year to work on things we were really struggling with last year. Who knows what it would have been like without COVID, but I'm happy we're here now.

Q. For both you guys, I'm curious, with this season being a little disjointed or whatever and not getting to play the usual nonconference stuff, is it harder right now to prepare for a team you haven't seen? Or is there no change from your perspective?

JARED BERNHARDT: We played Virginia in the past. We played Duke in the past. Obviously, we're able to go back and look at that film. Yeah, it makes it a little tougher. Some teams maybe you wouldn't have played in years past, but I think it obviously made it better for us that we played those teams and can go look back at the film.

NICK GRILL: I think just playing a Big Ten schedule like we did, there are great teams in that too. There's a little bit of crossover there, obviously different personnel, but some similarities that we could use, and we have a great coaching staff that can help us with any adjustments we need to make and make sure we're prepared for games like today.

Q. Unless I'm misremembering, it feels like forever ago, I think Maryland-Virginia was the game that was going to happen before everything got shut down. Do you guys have any recollection of that and maybe how far you were into getting ready for that game?

JARED BERNHARDT: Yeah, I think it was Thursday or Friday, I remember, and that was kind of the end of our season. I remember it pretty clearly, at least for me. I didn't really know what I was doing with my situation, but I definitely remember that day.

NICK GRILL: I think we were just preparing, making sure we were getting down to the nitty gritty stuff, making sure we were ready to go on Saturday. I don't know exactly the personnel or adjustments we were doing that day, but, yeah, pretty vividly.

Q. This one's for Nick. Defensively, kind of size up the job that you guys were able to do today on that offense and also if you could kind of describe from your perspective the job that Logan did in handling a lot of shots that you guys probably wanted him to see but also maybe a couple he was able to steal as well.

NICK GRILL: I think overall getting ready to play an offense that's as great as Duke, stats back it up. They have unbelievable players across the board. We just wanted to make sure we executed our game plan, do what Coach Bernhardt wanted us to do and just play our game. I think Logan just showed everyone how good he is, how underrated he is.

Yeah, he saw shots that he wanted, but, again, I think to his credit, he was saving some that we probably didn't want. Give him all the credit in the world. We love playing for him. We trust him wholeheartedly behind us. We're just happy he plays for us.

Q. What did it look like Duke's game plan was against you? Looks like they were sending a lot of different slides at you and giving you a lot of time actually to survey the defense back there from behind the goal. What were they doing, and how did you adjust, and what were you seeing from your teammates?

JARED BERNHARDT: Like you said, once they slide, you just move it. We've got a good group, unselfish group, and someone's going to be open. Didn't think it's anything crazy. It's lacrosse. Someone slides to you, just move it. If they don't, it can be your matchup or just move it for somebody else to go.

Q. First of all, congrats on getting to the final. Jared, you go up against Nick Grill, you go up against Makar and all the shorties on Maryland, how much does that prepare you when you face other defenses and vice versa? Same question to Nick. You're guarding Jared, Logan, and we hear all the hype about these other guys, but doesn't that every day in practice just make it happen?

JARED BERNHARDT: Yeah. I think about that every day. Those guys are the best in the country. I get to go against them every single day for however many weeks, and I just look at it like that. I think that helps our offense too, so when we come ready to go, I think it's helped us for sure.

NICK GRILL: Yeah, and I think on the other end, I think me and Brett, Matt, we really relish and cherish the opportunity to go against guys like Jared, Maltzy, Logan -- they all bring something different to the table, but again, our offense, we think, is one of the best in the country. They always get us ready, sharpen our skills, and make sure we're ready to go on weekends.

It's annoying during practice covering them, but it's a great opportunity to make sure that we're getting better during the week.

Q. When you think of Maryland, you think of consistency. What is the single most deciding factor that you guys have that consistent level of play, particularly at such a deep level of the postseason like you guys have done?

JARED BERNHARDT: I just credit it to all the people that came before us, the standard that was set here, and trying to pass that down. It really hasn't changed, and like I said, I cherish everything, all the people that came before me and Nick and what they've done here and try to just pass that down. It's as simple as that.

NICK GRILL: I think it starts with leadership. Our coaches and particularly our captains really set the bar and make sure we're not wavering from it. Like Jared said, the bar was set, the standard was set from the Terps that came before us. That's something we make sure we pride ourselves in is just upholding the standard and make sure that we're playing, not just for ourselves, but for them.

Q. Jared, you guys had a lot of turnovers early on, but the offense really turned on the jets there in the second quarter. Seemed like everyone got involved. What adjustments were made that allowed you guys to go on that run?

JARED BERNHARDT: I think we were just kind of easing into the game, Final Four game, you know. We were just kind of settling down a little bit. We know what we're capable of, get the ball moving and such. We were able to settle down.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108057-1-1182 2021-05-29 22:05:00 GMT

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