March 8, 2014
Michigan Head Coach Jennifer Ulehla
On her thoughts on the game ... "It was a classic example of a young team getting caught up in who it was we were playing. We didn't come out with the heart and passion -- we were deer in headlights basically. I called two timeouts and tried to get a spark out of them and it was clear as day that they were really scared and had gone internal. At halftime, I had them talk because they weren't listening to me so I had to get it from them. They talked and I got some passion out of some of them and that was what helped. What I told them was that I'm not worried about the score, I'm worried about the effort and the heart -- that's what we want to see. The second half was much, much better. We're much more talented than we showed today. As a team, what's important is that we were able to put together something in the second half so that when we walk away, we can learn and grow from this."
On the positives from today's game ... "We asked them to switch up the defense a little bit -- start shirting defensively, send a double, and they really did a nice job with that. It was something that we probably should have done from the get-go. When you get them out of their comfort zone, they have to focus a little more. Defensively it was a tough day, but in the long run we were able to accomplish some nice things at the end and I see some promise. And I also saw the heart that I was looking for in the second half.
On the team believing they can compete with anybody ... "That's everything because our goals this season is to build a championship foundation. It's about us, together, getting out and experiencing playing as a team and giving the heart and desire that I know that we have. We have to build, as time goes on, the X's and O's and strategy, and take every opportunity for what it is; an opportunity to learn."
On the confidence that each 'first' brings ... "It helps a tremendous amount to get those out of the way because those firsts also add some nerves. You get that first goal and you say 'alright, I can do this, bring it on again'. A lot of different people got to play together and that was fantastic because they were able to show their true colors. I pulled from the bench because if I wasn't getting the passion and heart and desire from the people that are out there, I'm going to get it from the ones on the bench, and they really sparked us and helped elevate us in the second half. I think those first, although very special, are great to have them done so we can keep moving forward."
On returning to Florida as U-M's head coach... "It was fantastic. It was good for me and invigorating because we went through the same things with Team One at Florida. I told our team before the game, it was only a few years ago I was in the other locker room talking with all freshmen about these same types of things. We are going to get better each and every day and each and every year. We're building a foundation and we'll get to where we want to go, it's just going to take some time and experiences. Unfortunately, these experiences hurt, but you can really learn a tremendous amount from it. It's good for me to know that we went through this before and Florida is very successful now, five years in. I know and believe that this program is going to be very successful. I have to keep them positive and remember what it is that we're building this year and the importance of staying positive and learning and growing."