Oct. 6, 2013
Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
On the team's attitude following Sunday's win ... "I think they feel great about how disciplined and organized we played. It's good that we are winning these tight games because as you go along, that's how a lot of them will be, but we could have put Nebraska away very easily today. We could have scored up to three more goals, but we just didn't take those chances very well. It's something we'll keep working on. We're also a very tired team, playing in back-to-back weekends with two games. This next week is going to really help us recover mentally, physically and emotionally. We dug deep today. Nebraska is very good, but I think what we did tactically really threw them off. They didn't have the chances we did. Tactically, our players handled our style exceptionally well, especially considering how little time we had to prepare."
On if players get experience by playing in so many one-goal matches ... "It's huge. They scored a goal late, and we can look and see how to defend that better, but it gives the whole team a lot of confidence, winning matches like this. If we are up, our players know how to maintain the lead."
On Taylor Bucklin ... "She's the player that can probably take the most out of today's game. She played very well behind the back four, coming out and dealing with a ton of balls knocked in behind the defense. She went from being a freshman to being an upperclassmen today. She didn't have to make a ton of saves, but she continually dealt with a crowded penalty box and some very aggressive Nebraska players. She really matured today."
On what the emphasis will be this week in practice ... "We always look at our next opponent, and that is Penn State. A lot of what we do this week will be geared towards shutting down Penn State's potent attack and look at some of the ways we can get at them in terms of our attacking. Nebraska plays a very difficult style to cope with. They put you under pressure and play a lot of people forward. It took a lot of patience to know how to play them, and Penn State will be similar. In terms of our practice, we'll continue to work on finishing chances. I didn't think we'd have as many chances as we got."
U-M Senior Nkem Ezurike
On her goal ... "It felt good to get another goal against them. We just wanted to put their defense under pressure all day. Madi (Lewis) got the ball down the line and beat her player and maybe another one, actually. She crossed the ball in, and I was there at the right time."
On missed scoring opportunities ... "I think it's just having more focus in front of the goal when I'm taking my chances. We'll continue to work on that in practice."
On the importance of rest in preparing for next week's match with Penn State ... "I think we're going to get a little rest this week. This week was tough for us. I'd imagine our practices will be pretty intense, so we can be sharp and ready."
U-M Junior Chloe Sosenko
On how important this win was ... "We talked about this game being a turning point in our season. Nebraska was 4-0-0 in the Big Ten and we were 2-1-1, so it obviously meant a lot for us. We had a good mindset in training, and I thought we did a good job of preparing on short notice. Everyone was fighting. It was a team effort by everyone on the field. We were winning every second ball, and I think we showed that little extra effort today that maybe was missing the last few games."
On the match's physical play ... "It was definitely a physical match, especially towards the end. They literally had 11 players on our side of half, including their goalkeeper, dropping balls in behind our back line. At that point, it's a mental game. You have to be ready to anticipate that ball in the box and get your body in a position physically to clear it out. They were scrappy, but we dealt with it well."
On defending Nebraska's attacks late in the match ... "We felt confident after that second goal. We had chances and probably could have put a few more away. I think our back line and as a whole team were prepared for what Nebraska was going to throw at us. We knew they had a tendency to push people forward. Our communication was better today, and I think it helped us win this game."