Nov. 24, 2013
Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
Opening statement ... "This is the best day I've had since I came to Michigan six years ago. I'm the luckiest guy in the world to coach this group of players, especially this senior class. I thought they played brilliantly today. We created enough chances to get several more goals, but we were happy to get the one. Meghan [Toohey] put away the penalty. It was a fabulous game from the whole team."
On Notre Dame goalkeeper Kaela Little and Nkem Ezurike's missed opportunities ... "I thought [Little] played great. She cut the angles really well. Nkem was in behind a few times and she was able to get a hand to it and deflect it wide. Not only was she getting to it, but she was putting it out of the scoring area. She's a very, very good goalkeeper. Nkem was just a little unlucky today. She hit the post. Normally that's in the net. I talked to her a little bit ago and told her that if she kept getting chances, keep firing because they're going to fall."
On the team's building confidence ... "They're playing so well and that's where they're gaining confidence. My first year, we played Notre Dame and lost 7-0 and they were being generous. At breakfast today, they said they were going to beat this team. This team exudes confidence right now. It's something we haven't ever had. You have to play at this level to believe in yourself. Once you see you're this good, the confidence comes."
On if reaching the quarterfinals was a team goal before the season ... "They wanted to set realistic goals. I'm not saying the quarterfinals was unrealistic, but they wanted to make it to the NCAA Tournament, take it one game at a time and go as far as we can. It wasn't a specific goal to get here, but it's an ongoing goal and one that we welcome."
On the gameplan at halftime ... "I felt strongly that we were going to have a good second half. We were getting good chances in the penalty area and they weren't getting too much. I think our subs really picked us up. Corinne Harris, when she came in, I thought did extremely well. Cassie Collins, Nicky Waldeck... I felt that we were going to be a little fresher. I thought we were a little quicker and put them under pressure more. We kept them on their heels most of the day."
U-M Senior Meghan Toohey
On advancing to the Elite Eight ... "Oh man, it feels great. Our team made goals before the season and we had confidence going into it. What matters is how you play in the game. Last year, we lost in PKs in the Sweet 16. Sometimes you get unlucky and that's what happened last year. We know how hard it is to win. This feels unbelievable."
On the playing conditions ... "The field was really hard. It felt like you were playing on top of it. Cleats really didn't sink in too much. We talked about it before. Both teams have to play on it. It's about having a positive attitude going in and controlling the things you can control. I think that we went in knowing the best thing you can do is give 100 percent effort, suck it up and go after it. I think we did that."
On the team's effort ... "It was a team win. Every time there was a first, second or third ball, we were all on it. It has to be a whole team collective to want to win the game. I think you can see in the play and determination of play that we wanted it more than they did."
U-M Senior Shelina Zadorsky
On advancing to the Elite Eight ... "It feels pretty surreal right now. Knowing this could have been our last game as seniors on this field -- depending on the result of the Virginia/Wake Forest game -- I couldn't have asked more for every single player on or off the field. This team is a family and I think we showed that today."
On how the team rebounded following the Big Ten Tournament loss to Iowa ... "I think even before that loss, we've just been committed. Every single player has been committed. We've set goals and we've stuck to them. Our motto has been one game at a time. After we lost that game, we picked our heads back up and took it one game at a time."
On Notre Dame's attack in the first half ... "I think the beginning was a little hectic. Granted, they are a great team. They had some chances in the beginning, but I'm glad how we stuck together, because the beginning of the game can be like that. Our communication together in the back was good and Taylor was making some great saves off crosses. That was important for us. Our attackers did the work and in the second half, I think we had the better chances."
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