Sept. 22, 2010
Chestnut Hill, MA -
Boston College senior defender Hannah Cerrone has played a large role in Eagles strong start. Through the first eight games, the No. 4 Eagles are 7-0-1 and outscored their opponents, 26-3. Cerrone has started every game on defense for the last four years. She looks forward to this week's game at No. 1 North Carolina on Thursday, September 23 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
You are one of only two captains this year. Talk about the youth of the team and how you plan to lead as a captain.
There are six seniors on the team but we have six freshmen as well that continue to get better every day. We have been really encouraging them to step up and they have assumed important roles on the team which I believe is helping us to develop into the team that we want to be.
How important was the early season game against Stanford to the teams' development?
It gave us a jump start. We will be seeing teams like that for the rest of the season in the ACC, so I think it's great to get going right away!
With the ACC schedule just around the corner, what will be the biggest challenges this season in the conference?
The ACC is a great conference. There is no team in it which can be taken lightly. It's one of those conferences where anyone can beat anyone on any day, so it's important to remain focused for every game. In the ACC every game is a BIG GAME.
How will your experience in ACC play help you/the team this season?
Having a large portion of our starting team with experience I think is very helpful. A lot of us have experience which we need to use to our advantage. If you look at all the Final Four teams and teams that have been successful in the ACC, they all have one thing in common, experience. Most of the teams are older.
With North Carolina up next, what has been the emphasis on practice as you prepare to face the No. 1 team in the country?
Is there a different game mentality you take when the ACC regular season starts up?
Today's practice (Tuesday) we will work on UNC. Our team is great in that aspect, no matter what team we are playing, we always go out to practice focused and ready to work. It will be the same approach this week preparing for UNC.
I think in a team that is looking for a successful season like we are, you can't view some games as more important than others. If we want to be a championship team, then a loss in non-conference play, is just as bad as a loss in the ACC. Our team focus is to take one game at a time, every game is a big game, and that attitude started for us with our first scrimmage against UCONN and will continue straight through the ACC into post season.
The team has had a great start again, what do you attribute the early success to?
I think we are a good team, and have been playing like it. Every girl on the team has stepped up and no matter who is on the field or subbed in, we always have a great 11 players on the field. We have a lot of depth and everyone works hard.
Does the team pay attention to the polls as you move up in the rankings?
They are fun to look at, but you can't pay too much attention to them or get caught up in the polls. The only real polls that matter are the rankings after the season.
Talk about your three other defenders and the chemistry you have developed.
I wouldn't trade our defensive line for anything. We rely on each other so much, it's a weird dynamic, even when they are under so much pressure or being chased down by a forward the amount of confidence everyone has in them is awesome. Those three (Chelsea Regan, Alaina Beyar and Alyssa Pember) make the difficult look easy, it's fun to be able to play with such talented backs.
What about Jill Mastroianni and what she means to the defense and the team in general?
Jill is our backbone. She comes up with some amazing saves. All I can do is turn around and laugh, more in shock sometimes. When you have confidence in your teammates it makes it so much easier to play, and Alaina, Pember, Chelsea, and Jill are four of the most reliable people on the team.
What about your role as a defender on offense and defense? And does it change depending on who the team is playing?
Alaina and I want to get forward in the games. It gives our offense a different dynamic with players coming out of the back. Every game is different and you have to assess each situation and chose appropriate times to go forward. Our first role is to play defense.
Since most of the team experienced the Elite Eight last season, is it a goal to reach the Final Four.