Thursday, June 27, 2013

Transcript: Stagnitta Week 9 MLL Conference Call Quotes


Head Coach Jim Stagnitta

On last Saturday’s 19-5 win over the Ohio Machine and the team’s upcoming game against the Charlotte Hounds
“I know it looks easy – at least it felt like that during the game – but it never is. Everybody is talented in this league. We played in spurts last week. We did some things that I really was pleased with. We ran the field, we probably had six or seven pure fast-break goals. That’s something that we strive to do and it’s part of our makeup. But again, we had some stretches where we turned the ball over and we were inconsistent. We still have some work to do. We’re pleased with the progress, but for us – and the approaches we take – it’s week by week. I don’t think our guys look at it that we haven’t lost a game yet. I think they look at it as being part of the season and that we haven’t reached our first goal yet, which is to qualify for that Final Four weekend. That’s the way we go about it every week. I do think that, again, we’ve tried some different pieces over the last couple of weeks. We’ve put a couple of different guys in. Sam Snow played for us last week, as did Landon Carr – two guys that hadn’t been in the lineup all year. That gave us an opportunity to rest Terry Kimener and to take a look at those guys. We’re still experimenting a little bit in trying to find out what our best combination is. At the same time, we’re trying to give our guys the opportunity to kind of be healthy and play our best lacrosse down the stretch. I still think there are some improvements that we can make in our consistency throughout the ballgame.”

On the opportunity to tie the 2005 Bayhawks’ record of a 9-0 start to the season
“No, there hasn’t been a word about it. I haven’t even heard anyone mention the fact that we haven’t lost yet, honestly. What’s important is that you make it to Final Four weekend and that you win the last game you play in. 9-0, someone else’s record – tying it or beating it – that’s all great, but that’s not what these guys are focused on every day. They’re just focused on the next game and reaching that first goal, which is to qualify for that Final Four. When I tell you that the staff hasn’t mentioned it or the players haven’t mentioned it, I’m not even sure that they’re aware of it. Honestly, it hasn’t really even crossed my mind except for the fact that I thought it was a little bit crazy – early on – that some of the press was saying that it’s too early to compare us to that team. That’s not what this team is about. Certainly comparisons and all that stuff – at this point, how we would like to compare ourselves to them at the end is that we would like to be able to walk away with the championship.”

On concerns about peaking too early
“I don’t think that we’re close to peaking. I said this last week. It’s hard to peak when you don’t practice every day, you play once a week, and someone different has played and stepped up well for us each and every game. One of these days, if we all click on the same page and everybody has their best game, then I’d say, ‘Hey, that’s about as good as it gets.’ We haven’t done that. We’ve been inconsistent within games. Maybe it’s because we’ve had leads and haven’t been challenged down the stretch of those last few games. But there’s been some complacency and lack of attention to detail at points in our games. We’re going to get better, we can get better, and we can play better. We’re young. I’ve said this over and over again and for some reason people don’t seem to grasp it. We certainly have some veterans that are very key in leadership roles and they are great players.

We have a bevy of players who are in their first and second years who are making huge contributions. I mean I can go down the list between (Chris) Bocklet and (Jeremy) Sieverts – Jeremy is really only in his second full season of MLL play – and (Eric) Law and Will Mangan. (Zack) Greer hasn’t played in two years and then you throw (Brian) Megill into the mix. I can go down the line, there’s a bunch of guys on our team that are really new to this and I think each and every week they get more comfortable and they get better at it. You know, is Jesse Schwartzman going to improve a whole lot? I think he’s had a hell of a year. Is Lee Zink going to improve a whole lot? I don’t know that he can but I think there’s a lot of guys around them that are improving on a weekly basis and that’s where we’re judging where we’re going and whether or not we’ve reached our potential. And we haven’t done that yet.”

On what aspect needs the most improvement
“I just in overall consistency; putting together a full game, four quarters, staying focused when we have a lead, not relaxing at any point when we’re in the lead, being able to take advantage of opportunities and really play consistently. And then on the other side, that goes along with people showing up and playing at the same level every game. And we’ve got some guys that have some great games and then they have some OK games. We haven’t had a day yet where everybody has come together and really played at the top of their game and that’s for a lot of different reasons – travel, jobs, focus, bumps and bruises and things like that. I would just like to see us be consistently more composed and stay to our system through all four quarters.”

On Sam Snow and Landon Carr
“Well we wanted to get Snow in the lineup. We wanted to give him a look, we had had him around early in the year in practice. He did a nice job. He stepped in and handled the ball well, he didn’t make any mistakes. He was very solid and honestly he gave us a chance to rest Terry Kimener – who we felt needed a weekend off and was a little banged up – and he held his own.

Landon on the other hand, that’s a position that we wanted to shore up and we felt like we needed to improve and be better at the defensive midfield position. Threw him out there and we didn’t want to do it earlier against a team like Hamilton, just because of the way they played – he had him in town then but the way they set their picks and having to respond to what they do we just felt like this was a better situation to put him in to give him an opportunity to see what he can do. We felt like he performed really well and made some first game mistakes but stepped up. And he really is an athlete and a good defender. I think he fits in with what we do well and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be seeing more of him.”

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