Oct. 25, 2013
Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
On the match ... "I thought we played great. We had a few huge mistakes in the first 15 minutes that could have put them up, kind of like at Penn State. We had to make some substitutions to correct that. On the offensive side, just two fantastic goals. Holly's (Hein) header goal was one of the best I've ever seen. It was a long free kick; Holly rises above everyone and just plants one at the far post. The goalkeeper might have gotten a hand on it, but it makes it that much more amazing."
On limiting Illinois forward Janelle Flaws, who came into the contest tied for first in the nation in goals ... "She had a few chances and should have finished a couple early when we just gave the ball to her. We kept her in front of us and didn't let her get in behind us, save for those few chances early in the match. Holly and Shelina (Zadorsky) did a great job controlling the back line, dropping it down low and not allowing her to get any space in behind. Taylor (Bucklin) did a great job reading the defense and made some big saves. We've done a great job all year long of shutting down the opposing team's scoring players, and that's a credit to our whole team, but really a huge credit to the back line and to Taylor."
On halftime adjustments ... "At 2-0 at halftime, we went into a very defensive formation. We still got some chances, but we didn't want to let them put anything on the board. To me, this was a professional win. It's rare to see college teams exhibit that level of organization and discipline, but this team has done it all year long. With a two-goal lead, we knew we didn't need another one as long as we could keep them from scoring. We didn't need a third. We just needed to shut them down."
On the team's counter-attack ... "That's the story right now. It's how well this team defends and how quickly we can counter. That first goal came out of nowhere. They're coming at us, we win the ball, get it to Nkem Ezurike, and she slips a perfect ball to Madi Lewis. Up 1-0. It was more their game than ours at that point, but this team just defends in a way to keep others from scoring."
On what his message to the team was for Sunday's match at Northwestern ... "We talked about focus. We may have overlooked Northwestern in the past and taken them for granted, and it's come back to haunt us. This is a team that wants to do something special. We won't take them for granted. This team is going to give them the best game we have in us and stay in our mantra of 'one game at a time.' We respect Northwestern. Most of their games are very tight. They are a competitive bunch, and we know they will be hungry to beat us. The focus of our team will be there. The determination and will is going to be there. Even in stretches where we've played poorly this year, we've been persistent and relentless with our effort. We will bring that. We'll be excited to play."