Sept. 23, 2012
Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
On Sunday's win ... "We had a great tactical plan in terms of facing Wisconsin. They are a very skillful, talented attacking team. I felt our ability to counter that kind of an opponent would create a lot of chances, but I didn't know we'd get as many as we got. Our goals were very similar, counter-attacked right down the middle of the field. That was the plan. I have to give credit to our players. Their execution and tactical awareness were great for a young group. It's more like what you see with professionals."
On the bench ... "One of the great things about this team is that the players coming off the bench on Sunday are giving us great energy. Christina (Ordonez) scored a goal. Shelby (Chambers-Garcia) and Tori (McCombs) gave us great minutes and great energy. So many players came on; that rested our legs a little bit and added to the game. It's so different from any team I've ever coached at Michigan. In past Sundays, the wheels were coming off. Now we're taking it to other teams, and I'm really pleased with how they're playing."
On the team's mindset after this weekend's result ... "This team has changed from a team that's trying to stay in games to a team that believes they should win every time they step on the field. I believe in them right now. What they're showing me is that they can win every time they step on the field. I think this team has proven that they can play against anyone in our conference, and do well in the process. Now we have to have the drive to do it every game from here on out. This weekend was really impressive for Michigan soccer. We've never been like this before, and that's a credit to the players."
On how the team approaches the remainder of the Big Ten season ... "It's something we talked about after the game. We had to get to the point where we're believing in ourselves and knowing that we're as good as we are. This isn't a fluke. We're a good team. We have to become hard knowing that every opponent you face could be the team that takes you off your pedestal. The talent is here, the understanding is here, the defending is here, and that defense is for real. We have to take our mindset to a point where we're not satisfied. They just can't wait until the next game. They're hungry. Our determination is to be ready to play every game."
On how different Nkem Ezurike has been playing since coming back from the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup ... "It's hard to say. Nkem reminds me of how she played with us last year once we hit Big Ten play. She started scoring goal after goal, but right now, she's got better players to play with. Meghan (Toohey) played her the perfect ball on the first goal, and she finished it like a pro, but she always does that. Corinne (Harris) played a double give-and-go on the second goal, and really served it up for her on a silver platter. Nkem has never had a player to create that kind of environment for her. As we're improving as a team, Nkem is having better chances. In the past, she had to create a lot of those on her own. Now we can create opportunities for her to score."
U-M Junior Nkem Ezurike
On the offense ... "As a whole, the team played really well. It was a great team effort. We had some awesome goals today. Being up top, the team maybe looks for me a little more, and I'm just happy I was able to finish off some of those chances today."
On her second-half breakaway scoring chance that was saved ... "I made a bit of a mistake on that one, and I knew it immediately. I'll learn from it, and if I get that chance again, I'll be a little more prepared to put the ball in the back of the net."
On finishing scoring chances ... "It's falling for us right now. We're getting some great opportunities to score goals, and it's not just me. As a team, we're really playing well in the offensive third, and when we do get a scoring chance, we're doing a better job at converting them. Today, we knew we had to play hard in order to get goals, and I thought we did a good job of that."
On what the weekend's wins mean for the team going forward ... "I think it gives us a little more momentum, especially coming off two big wins. They don't get any easier from here. We're obviously happy with the results, but we'll learn from these two and get better. We have to bring the momentum and excitement to each game from here on out."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Haley Kopmeyer
On the importance of this weekend ... "This is huge. It doesn't matter who you're playing. It's always hard to get a road win in the Big Ten, much less two, especially against two wins like these teams as good as Minnesota and Wisconsin. It's absolutely amazing. It's something that hasn't been done too much in the past."
On the team's defense ... "The back line has been so strong. Even when substitutions come in, there's no letdown at all. We're playing as a very cohesive unit right now, and it's making my job so easy. They are limiting opposing team's scoring opportunities, and from my perspective, I've had a few matches when I've made very few saves. They are so organized, so competitive, and they're playing at a very high level right now."
On if the team's mentality changes ... You know, it's something Greg (Ryan) told us after the match. This is the first time that people are going to come in to play us and know who we are. We have to be on our guard and defend our home turf. Teams are going to want to beat us and we need to be ready."
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