November 16, 2001

Post Game Quotes

Nov. 16, 2001

Recap| Box Score

Santa Clara Head Coach Jerry Smith

On Evansville
"I can tell you Evansville gave us a great game tonight. The first half they really battled us. I think at times, they were the team that looked more inspired out there. It's hard to compare years to years, because in 1999 we played at Santa Clara and tonight was probably more a home game for Evansville, so that's worth a little bit. Evansville was clearly a better team than we saw in 1999. I've known Mick (Lyon) for a while and he always does a great job. I expected his team to be organized and very tough to score on and they were.

"We didn't expect them to play as physically as they did and I thought that it disrupted us a little bit and caught us off guard. I think in the second half, our players responded well and played well."

On Halftime Speech
"I said 'Let's be patient, let's not panic. We are rushing.' I just felt like we were rushing. I reminded them in 1999, we were the No. 1-ranked team in the country and in our semifinal against Notre Dame, it was a very similar type of game as tonight's game, and everyone was panicking. They just needed to relax and settle down then, and I thought that's what they needed to do today. Once we settled a little bit and got in a rhythm, we played better. The goal took a little bit of pressure as well, but what we talked about at half time was settling down, taking more time, and not rushing so much."

On the Bronco Defense
"We really defend as a team, starting with our forwards. We've averaged all season only allowing about five shots a game. Part of that is our defensive effort, part of it is we usually keep the ball in the opponent's half for large periods of the game, so I kind of buy into the theory that our best defense is when we have the ball. We weren't doing a good job of that in the first half. When it does get to our back line, we're very solid. The field is a little tight too, and that makes it easy to defend shots, there's just not as much room out there."

On Facing Syracuse or No. 24 Illinois
"I've never seen either of them play. Tonight will be the first time watching either team."

On tomorrow's preparation
"Tomorrow we're going to take care of injuries on our team. Anything we learn in the game tonight we'll go over in our scouting report tomorrow. I don't want to seem like I'm whining because everybody's banged up this time of year, but it's a shorter list to say who's not injured right now."

On Kristi Candau
"We didn't even know if Kristi was going to play. She didn't train all week after spraining her ankle but she scored two goals. She's a great goal-scorer and has come through for us in a lot of big games. I said and others joined in this week that she was going to score a goal tonight and she got two. She came through in a big way for us.

Santa Clara Junior Midfielder Kristi Candau

"I wasn't feeling any pain after scoring two goals. Ankle? What ankle!"

Santa Clara Senior Defender Danielle Slaton

"Anytime you score a goal you gain confidence, but I definitely think that a 2-0 lead, especially in a playoff game, is not something you can sit comfortably with. They get one goal and they're right back in it. I think we were confident, and I think that second goal helped our confidence, but I wouldn't say we were comfortable or we broke their backs at all because they continued to fight and continued for the entire 90 minutes."

Evansville Head Coach Mick Lyon

"I said to Jerry 'We gave you a better game than we did last time.' And he said, 'Wow, you gave us a great game.' We did some tough things, but maybe we should have fouled more than we should have, but that's what required sometimes to slow them down. But that's why we blew the budget two years ago and went to California to play Santa Clara, is to prepare for this game. The people two years ago who were telling me we were crazy to go out there just to get beat 9-0 in 1999 are not in the NCAA Tournament right now. A big reason we're here today is because we've been preparing for this match since we went out west two years ago. Our program will continue to get better if we keep playing those big-time teams."