Oct. 3, 2013
Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
On if there was a sense of urgency in this match ... "Absolutely. We had a meeting with our captains and really emphasized finishing our chances. Our seniors met with the whole team last night, and everyone realized this could be another turning point one way or another, up or down. I think you saw us come out from the very start aggressive in the attack and creating good chances. Fortunately, the two goals stood up. I'm proud of how we came out and how hard we played from the start."
On the importance of getting an early two-goal lead ... "It was huge because when you aren't hitting the net, and you go through a half without scoring, you go, 'Oh no, not again.' The ball we had that was dead-center on the six; if we hadn't already scored, we would have thought it was another day. Hopefully this gives us more confidence. Again, it was two players other than Nkem (Ezurike) who scored. Nkem will get on track, and she will score. Our main theme has been to making sure the rest of our players are determined to score goals. We continued to press for that third goal. We didn't just sit back and defend. We didn't find that one, but I'm proud of the way we continued to look forward."
On the disappointment of giving up a set-piece goal ... "For us to give up that set-piece goal and bring them back to within one goal on a day like today when we dominated the game? There were some mental mistakes by our players who weren't paying attention to assignments that we reviewed and went over in practice. This team wants to do big things, and you can't make those mistakes happen and expect to do big things. Maybe it didn't beat you today, but it's going to beat you. We should have never given up that goal at the end. To let No. 7, who has the best header on the team by far, go right by us and freely head it into the back of the net is unacceptable. We left a player wide open in the flanks. That's what they're good at. They had one chance in the box today, and they scored. That's unacceptable."
On the defense ... "I think our game plan today was shutting down their key players. The shots they took were from so far out. There weren't any good shots from inside the box other than the header on the set piece. I thought our back line was outstanding again. I'm disappointed for them that we gave up that goal because they deserved the shutout today and didn't get it, but it's something to learn from. If we're going to give other teams free headers, we aren't going to win many more games."