Post-Game Quotes Following Sunday's NCAA Tournament Women's Soccer Game

Nov. 19, 2000

NCAA Women's Soccer Championships
Third Round
Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.
Portland 1, Washington 0

General Remarks: 'We expected today to be a very tight match. It's always your hope that you come out on the better end of that. We are very proud of how our team played today and Portland is a tremendous team that we have a lot of respect for. I thought that, overall, the game was fairly even, especially the first half. I felt that, in the second half, we had quite a few opportunities that we didn't take advantage of and kept Portland in the game. (Portland forward) Vanessa Talbott is a player that we have seen for four years, she has tremendous talent and we made a little bit of a defensive error and gave her an opening to get past us. She hit one and there was nothing that Hope (Solo) could have done about it, it was absolutely in the upper corner. Games like this wouldn't be any fun if they weren't heartbreaking for the loser. Certainly, we are disappointed not to be moving on in the tournament, but with that said, nobody can take away from us what kind of season our kids have had. Winning a Pac-10 Championship, getting the number two seed in the tournament and playing as well as they have all year has been just an honor for me to a part of. Everyone thinks that coaching and being coach of the year is the end all, be all. I had very little to do with this, these guys pour their hearts and souls out every day in training and for our games. I really feel blessed to have coached this group of kids and I know that they, particularly our seniors, are going to go on and do great things. We have nothing to hold our heads about. A 1-0 loss to a very good Portland team is disappointing, but we felt it was a good match on our part. No one can take away what we did this year, it was a huge accomplishment. The sadness for me is to say goodbye to our seniors, but I get to come back again next year and do it all over again and that is what we plan to do. I've said it all along that Portland was probably going to be our biggest hurdle in the tournament, psychologically and emotionally because we're so familiar with them. One of us came out on the good end earlier in the season and one of us came out on the good end today. What you saw today was a chess match.'

On Washington's offense: 'I thought that we created opportunities, but didn't take it to the next level. They defend well. I thought we held the ball up there okay at times and had chances. I thought we rushed it a little bit and didn't work to get a good shot or shot too early when we had time. Struggle offensively? We maybe did a little bit. You have to give them credit, they defended well. We defended well, had one little lapse and they capitalized, I think that the difference in the game.'

On Portland's defense: 'They played tough, tight defense, which is what our team has been made of all year too. I don't think they did anything they normally don't do. We knew this was going to be a low-shot battle, you weren't going to see any team getting 20 shots off in this game. We don't think we played poorly, we think they played well enough to beat us.'

On taking Hope Solo out of goal and back in at forward: 'Hope is tremendous forward and they are tough defensively. I thought with 10 minutes left in our season, it couldn't hurt. We've seen her score some tremendous goals, not just in practice, but in games. We were hopefully going to get forward more, get a corner kick, she's awesome in the air. It wasn't meant to be any kind of novelty act, she's legitimate and we thought it might generate something.'

On the Washington Seniors: 'Aside from the fact that they are talented, they are a tremendous group of people. What you see on the field is only scratching the surface as far as what they bring to me and what they bring to their teammates. They are selfless, they are built-in leaders, and they are people that know what needs to be done. They always take the high road no matter what it is they are asked to do. They are so coachable, it is not even funny. I just have a tremendous amount of respect for them and they have no idea what they've left behind because it is something that is going to be seen year-in and year-our from now on. They have set the standards and the example for our team. The freshmen don't know any other way of playing than like this.'

On the Portland forwards:
'She's (Vanessa Talbott) is a great player, all three of their forwards are very strong players. We just did our best to try and contain them and push them wide, they just capitalized on one of their chances. I thought we matched pretty well with their three forwards the entire game. We had that one lapse and they capitalized on it.'

WASHINGTON GOALKEEPER HOPE SOLOOn the game-winning goal: 'I just reacted I usually do, I tried to read it a bit, but it was out of my range and I give her (Vanessa Talbott) all credit for hitting it in the upper-seven, far post. There was nothing I really could have done about it.'

On going in to play forward: 'I am willing to do whatever it takes to help my team out and if they think that what can help, then I will gladly come out of goal and go up front. I love to play in the field.'

On the end to the season:
'Obviously, we're very disappointed, this is our last game. I guess we gave it all, we feel bad, but we can't feel bad for the effort we gave today. I'm just happy we had a great year, 18-3.'

On the match-up: 'Their midfield is good, they kind of matched up with us with three in the middle. I think it was a pretty even game and we got at them. We could have put a couple of chances away, but they got lucky and they scored today.'

General comments:
'It was a very good game, a tough game - a typical playoff game. This was two very evenly-matched teams, and we knew that one goal would probably win it either way. Vanessa scored a fabulous goal. Once we got our noses in front, we just tried to keep the ball away from them the rest of the way. It was a very, very competitive game.'

On familiarity with Washington: 'Well, we're a new team as well. It's not like we have a veteran team. We're still finding out a little bit about ourselves. It changes every year. We have a lot of younger players - sophomore and freshmen - who haven't yet figured out the rivalry. It wasn't until we actually lost that game [UW's 1-0 win on Sept. 23 in Portland] that these guys started to figure it out, that UW-University of Portland is a huge game. Now, our whole team knows that, whereas I think when we played before, half the team knew it, but the rest of the team thought it was just another game. They didn't know that we hadn't lost to them in 12 years, or whatever. It wasn't until after the game that we reminded everybody what a big game we just lost. We've been looking forward to this game for a few months.'

On seeing Washington in their tournament bracket: 'After last season, we were just happy to make the playoffs. I told them earlier this week that they have already exceeded everybody's expectations, that it's all candy now, so let's go and enjoy it.'

On defensive strategy against Tami Bennett:'We don't man-to-man mark, we zone. We like to get numbers around the ball defensively, and we managed to smother a lot of things because of that. Everybody defends on our team. Everybody works hard to get back, and we put pressure on both sides. We like to try and smother teams a little bit, and I think the girls did a very good job of that today.'

On Talbott's goal: 'Vanessa scored in the quarterfinals two years ago at Notre Dame, so she has a habit of scoring big goals.'

On defensive confidence:
'We're confident with our defensive ability now. Everyone's learning. We all know that we have to do everything as a team - we all have to defend as a team, and we have to work our hardest to support each other. Any game in the playoffs is going to be a battle, and every time we've played UW they've given us a good fight, so we knew it would be a tough game.'

On her game-winning goal:
'Kylee [Barton] and another defender got into a tackle, and the ball popped out a little bit. I was able to pick it up and could tell a defender was coming onto me, so I shot it far-post and it went in.'

On UW's Hope Solo: 'She's an outstanding goalkeeper. She has a reach like none other, and she can get up, so if you are going to put it up in the air, you'd better send it as far-post as possible, because she can get a hand on it. She's a great athlete. I had another breakaway opportunity that Hope was able to ... tip it up.'

On offensive strategy: 'We pride ourselves on defense. Defense is always going to lead to offense. We were just hoping to clip the ball over the top for us forwards to run onto it, since we couldn't really work through the midfield.'

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