April 19, 2014
Michigan Head Coach Jennifer Ulehla
On the difference between the first and second half ... "They relaxed. I think there were a lot of good distractions today with the band being there and the cheerleaders, it was a beautiful day and it was an ALC conference game. Again, we are young and we have grown a lot this season. I think our first few opportunities we had good looks. Then they changed their defense, pressured us a little more, and got us a little uncomfortable and we started to lose a little confidence. The rest of the first half went in that direction until I was able to get a hold of them at halftime."
On struggling in the first half ... "They put that high pressure on us and you have to react a different way when that occurs. What we need to understand is that we can still play lacrosse and beat that defense, it's just you have to go about it a little bit differently. Because we are young, the pressure comes on us and we tend to go a little more inward and lose our confidence. In the future, when we are able to put that type of pressure on our team in practice, it will definitely get us a lot more prepared for opportunities like this. When it really comes down to it, it's experience. We have experienced a lot, they haven't experienced that pressure since Brown, and so it was a little bit of a reminder. In the end, I think that nerves got the best of them, but I was able to calm them at halftime and they came out and played in the second."
On how far this team has come this season ... "I am incredibly proud with their work ethic and how far they have come. I'm looking at the stats now, and we are competing in ground balls and draw controls, and saves. Vanderbilt is a great team and a mature team. What we wanted out of this year was to get better each and every day and our main goal is to build a championship culture. We are trying to figure out through a difficult schedule what it takes to be a champion and I think we are getting there. From a coaching standpoint, I am proud of this young group and how they have taken the hits that have come their way. We have played a very difficult schedule and they have come back each and every day and have said, 'bring it on', like we did this second half. This team was down and out and they pulled it back together and came out fighting. That says a lot about our heart and our passion and our desire, and that's what we are going to build on in the future."
U-M Freshman Anna Schueler
On the difference between the first and second half ... "We talked about it in the locker room afterwards and I think we came out jumpy and anxious. We got out of our rhythm really quickly. We have done that in games before and unfortunately haven't learned from it quite yet, but coming into the second half we played together much more as a team. It showed that we can compete with a team like Vanderbilt and what we are capable of."
On what they did well in the second half ... "Offensively, we moved a lot more. We didn't just rely on one pass and go. We were clearing the ball up the field, we spread out wide, everyone touched the ball. It wasn't just one person running around, which I think is important. Defensively, we played with a lot more intensity. We weren't afraid to move our body or our sticks. I think overall, as a team game, we just really improved."
On the key to getting a full 60 minutes ... "I think it is definitely mentality with us. We have great athletes on the team and we can compete with any team. It's just when we come out, we are playing as freshmen, and sometimes we think of it as an excuse. I think we need to come out with a mentality of 'we can play with anyone if we play our hardest'. Coming out like that, I think we will see a solid full 60 minutes against Fresno."