Oct. 13, 2013
Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
On the win over Penn State ... "It's absolutely amazing. The girls are so proud and happy, and they should be. And I'm so proud of them. We knew coming in that it would take a consummate team effort to get a win against a very talented Penn State team, but our girls focused every second and never gave an inch. We knew Penn State was going to get chances. They missed a few sitters, and so did we. Tori's (McCombs) goal was a great goal. We knew we'd have that all day long. It was just a matter of getting someone on the right end. She buried it."
On what the win means for the seniors ... "We have a fantastic senior class. Obviously, most are starters and key contributors for us. Nkem (Ezurike) assisted on Tori's goal. Those are two seniors, but they have put in so much work for Michigan. Holly (Heim), Shelina (Zadorsky) and Kayla (Mannino) were fantastic on the back line. (Meghan) Toohey in the midfield was outstanding. We couldn't have done it without this class reaching the level of maturity that they have. I'm so proud and happy that they can add this win to their legacy. Hopefully a little bit more is coming before it's all said and done."
On starting Keyana Thompson-Shaw and the defense ... "Keyana is probably the best individual defender on our team. It's hard to practice with her on the second team because she's so dominant in terms of individual defending. We felt we needed to have her out there to help give cover to Maya Hayes. The whole back line did a great job of holding their good attacking players and shutting down chances. They had two or three good chances, and we're fortunate they missed. We gave them a lot of shots from distance today. And Taylor (Bucklin) again, a freshman playing in a game of that stature, to come out and get a shutout says a lot. She's so steady behind that back line. She made it all look easy today."
On the final five matches of Big Ten play ... "We talked about it. We said that if we wanted to really have a chance of staying in the race for a Big Ten championship, we needed a great result here today. This win gives us the opportunity to play our next game. That's how we have to take it, one at a time, and if you do that, at the end of the day, maybe someone stumbles, and you're in there. It gives us a real chance. Five games is a lot of games left, but this group has found themselves. In terms of how you're playing, we have the grit, intensity and those intangibles that make up winning teams. If we didn't have that, we would have gotten crushed today. But this team plays for each other and has great team chemistry. We stayed focused every second, and that effort brought it home."
U-M Senior Tori McCombs
On coming through with her first goal of the season ... "It felt good. I actually had a meeting with Angie (Napoli) on Wednesday. I was really stressed and felt I hadn't been contributing to the team. She basically told me to stop thinking about it, that I was really helping in other aspects of the game like work rate and speed of play. I think I finally stopped caring, and that's what happened. I was in the right spot. I read the ball across and made a play on it. It just so happened to come in one of our biggest matches."
On the win ... "This win means so much more to this program. Players like Haley Kopmeyer, Clare Stachel and Sarah Stanczyk weren't able to do it. This win is for everyone. We know what we're capable of. Greg told us to enjoy it, to not think of the future or the past. We'll focus on the next game on Tuesday. It's an incredible feeling."
U-M Freshman Taylor Bucklin
On the win ... "It's really awesome to come on this field and make history. And to get the shutout. The back line played awesome. I'm just so happy for this team."
On the mentality of the defense down the stretch ... "The last 15-20 minutes or so of a one-goal game are always hectic, but I thought we did a great job clearing the ball out, being safe and holding the ball up top. We worked out butts off today."
U-M Senior Meghan Toohey
On the win ... "It means everything. Year after year, this game has been so hard and so long. Seems that every year, we don't catch that break. Last year, we were up 1-0 both times and got unlucky. To finally win is an unreal feeling. We're showing what our potential can be. We know we can do anything, and winning this game is a big determining factor of just where we can go. I couldn't be happier, senior year, winning on that field after four tries. It's unbelievable."
On if the history of the win has sunk in yet ... "We talked about it before. We knew Michigan had never won in Happy Valley. We've had four ties, and two of those ties came last year. I think we can feel it, but I think over the next few days, it'll really sink in and show that this year can be our year if we hammer away."