2021 NCAA DIII Men's Lacrosse Championship

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Towson , Maryland, USA

Salisbury Sea Gulls

Jim Berkman

Griffin Moroney

Media Conference

RIT - 15, Salisbury - 14

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by head coach Jim Berkman and Griffin Moroney from Salisbury.

COACH BERKMAN: Congratulations to our team, a perfect season and in the first national championship. Just a battle. Hats off to my guys for battling, having a hell of a second half and getting a bad break to lose the game.

But just really honored to have been able to coach this team. The seniors that came back for their fifth year I'm deeply indebted to.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for our student-athlete, Griffin Moroney.

Q. What was working right for the offense getting to 14 and what did they do to slow you down there a little bit in the last seven minutes of regulation and overtime?

GRIFFIN MORONEY: I think as a whole we moved the ball really well. And we played very unselfish. Not that we did at the end. I think it just -- we had been spinning the ball pretty well all game. And we got a couple of looks at the end goalie hats off to him he made a few saves at the end maybe if we had put one or two more in it wouldn't have been an overtime game.

Q. Did you feel like their goalie got hot at the end and kind of improved as the game went on?

GRIFFIN MORONEY: Yeah, he's a great goalie. He's a first team all-American I believe. We got to him early. We stuck some early shots. But throughout the game I think there's a couple that some of us at the end would like to have back. Like I said, he's a great goalie. Hats off to him. I just think we missed a couple opportunities there.

Q. Playing against a team like that in Rochester, what do you guys have to learn from your team to get better for next year -- maybe you get to another double overtime?

GRIFFIN MORONEY: I think it's just one of those things, younger guys, you just remember the feeling. And you use it as motivation every day to get better. We've been on personally on both ends of the spectrum now and much rather be on the other side of it. RIT is a great team. I think we did all of the preparation that we were supposed to. And we did everything we could. They just they got a good bounce at the end there.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. If you could maybe describe that final sequence at the end of regulation there; there was kind of a call that seemed a little mysterious from the broadcast.

COACH BERKMAN: Well, there was two things: We got the turnover. We got the ball. Brad Greik did a great job running the ball around. He had drawn a double team. He was in the box, was thinking about calling a timeout. But then he released the pass to Pierre. And Pierre was wide open. I was, like, we don't want a timeout when the kid's wide open; he can go the other way. And I'm not quite sure what happened at midfield. I think they called interference on the attackman. They gave them the ball at the end of the game when Pierre was running across the midfield. They called interference from a kid on the other side of the field. I don't know how quite that happened or what justified that call.

In retrospect, had to do it again, I probably should have called a timeout before Brad released the pressure with the pass to Pierre.

Q. How would you size up the opportunities you got in overtime? Seemed like both teams had their chances to finish it off in both of those periods.

COACH BERKMAN: Brown had a couple of good looks. Cross had a couple of good goes at people. We had some nice opportunities in overtime. We had our chances. Our guys left it on the field today. We didn't leave any stones unturned. They can hold their heads high. I'm just proud of how hard they played and they never gave up. They responded at halftime to what some of the adjustments that we made. And we just were fortunate -- we were unfortunate at the end. We had a couple of bad breaks. We had the ball, they deflected a couple of passes that caused a couple of turnovers that were key to them getting a few more opportunities especially in overtime.

Q. Just talk about you as a coach this year with this whole COVID situation. A lot of teams didn't play this. A lot of teams did this. What did you learn as a coach this whole pandemic?

COACH BERKMAN: I don't know if I learned anything. I took a lot of directives every day because we had new directives every day and I learned how to respond to orders probably than I ever had. It seemed like every day we got an order to do something and then within 24 hours we were doing something else and we had to adjust.

So if I learned anything, to be a little more flexible and learn how to adjust and move on, because believe me, I don't know how many times I was told something then within 24 hours it was a totally different thing that we had to do. But hats off again to our guys. They made the adjustments. They didn't make mistakes.

We didn't have COVID outbreaks. They stayed in. They played by the rules to get this opportunity to get back here. And they listened top me about doing things that were right and put yourself in the shoes being 18 to 22 years old being told that you've got to be basically living in your apartment or room 24/7 and go to practice and go home.

It's a very difficult situation. But they did it. And they worked through it. And they got us back here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108133-2-1001 2021-05-30 23:43:00 GMT

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