December 1, 2001

Post-Match Quotes

Dec. 1, 2001

Recap| Box Score

Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith
"We'd like to congratulate Virginia. They gave us a great game today and they showed a lot of heart and character and toughness to come back in the game. A lot of teams down 3-0 on the road will cave in and maybe our team expected them to cave in and let off the accelerator a little bit, but Virginia just jumped on us. They deserve a lot of credit for a great season and a great effort today.

"I'm proud of our team. Like Virginia, we have a lot of young players on the field for us and they showed some good toughness at the very end of the game. It's experiences like this that make you a stronger team. I think we'll learn from this today and we'll be a better team next weekend for having gone through what we did today."

On outshooting Virginia 14-3
"Any sport that has a goalkeeper, you never know. That team hits great shots. (Virginia's) Lori Lindsey couldn't have hit her shot any better. Big-time players step up in big-time games and Lori is a Player of the Year candidate. I thought she did great today and carried her team and was a real inspiration for them. But the game's a strange game. We outshot Notre Dame last year in the quarterfinals 18-4 and lost 2-1 in overtime... you have to be ready for that. It's not about shots, it's not about corner kicks, it's about the score at the end of the game. There are a lot of soccer games like this, where the shots are lopsided, but I think our players are mature enough to know that just because you outshoot a team doesn't mean it will reflect on the scoreboard."

On the lessons learned from today's match
"I thought one of the lessons one of the players would say was not to panic. I thought we panicked in the second half. We started kicking the ball into the other team. Maybe the players started thinking about going to the final four or maybe they thought we were going to lose, both are mistakes, but I thought they panicked a bit. Hopefully, that will be one of the lessons we learned from the game today.

"We try to live by the adage, 'Our best defense is when we have the ball.' That's a quote from the Brazilian coach for the 1994 team. The other team's not going to shoot when we have it. I think we panicked and gave the ball to the other team a bit too much. Again, hopefully it's something we can improve upon for Friday."

On SCU not having advanced past the semifinals in seven previous appearances
"I think I would just echo what Danielle (Slaton) said. One of the problems players have when they go into a semifinal game is they try to treat it differently. It's just another soccer game. The more we all agree it's all another soccer game, the better we'll be. It's a pressure game, but today was a pressure game, all our games are pressure games. That's why we put UCLA, Portland, Stanford on schedule, they're all pressure games, so hopefully we can deal with it. I don't we'll look too much at the history. It doesn't really have anything to do what we're going to go through this Friday. I've said all season long that this year's team is less likely to win by three, four, five goals like some of our past teams have, but we are more likely to win the tight games. We've won a lot of tight games this year, and the game on Friday will be another one. This is the best team in dealing with a tight-game situation. We didn't deal with it as well as we could have in the second half, but this team has done it all year long. I'm very confident going into the game this Friday."

Santa Clara senior defender Anna Kraus
On the lessons learned from today's match
"Obviously never let down. It's hard when you're playing such a great team. I don't think (Virginia's) Lori Lindsey could have hit a better shot after their first goal. Always be prepared and never let down."

On dominating Virginia in the first 60 minutes of the contest
"I don't think they were letting up at all, I just think we were doing really well. We were keeping with our momentum. I think it is hard psychologically for the other team, but I don't think they let up."

Santa Clara senior defender Danielle Slaton
On the lessons learned from today's match
"It also just reinforced the fact that this was a playoff game and this is what playoff games are about, whether it's the first round or the fourth round or the final four."

On SCU not having advanced past the semifinals in seven previous appearances
"This is going to be my third time going to the final four, but it's just another soccer game. We've had 23 other soccer games this season and I have a lot more in my collegiate career. I'm looking forward to the chance and our whole team is looking forward to this opportunity. We've been working for it all year. What happened last year in the quarterfinals and the other two final fours doesn't matter. We're looking forward to the opportunity to show the world we can make it to the next step and advance to the championship match and beyond."

Santa Clara junior midfielder Aly Wagner
On the lessons learned from today's match
"We were playing really well, up to the point that we were up 3-0. As soon as they put two goals on us, it was almost as if we started doubting ourselves and we were hanging on with 25 minutes left. 25 minutes is a lot of time to keep playing and keep stringing passes together. We could have gained the momentum back, but I don't really think we did because we panicked. But I do think we did a really good job in the last five minutes keeping the ball in the corners and using a little time off the clock there. It's good for us to have a situation like this and come out on top. It's something we can all learn from and take with us to the College Cup."

Virginia head coach Steve Swanson
"Obviously, we are extremely disappointed to lose. I thought the first half we didn't play as well as they did given the conditions and I think that made a big difference. It's hard to chase a game against a team like Santa Clara away from home. I felt good at 2-0, it's hard coming back from three nothing, but we almost did it there, that's for sure. We made it exciting, it certainly was an exciting game. Remarks to Santa Clara, I thought they pressured the ball really well, especially the first half. I thought as they have been all year they've been very dangerous on set pieces. That certainly was a difference in the game as well. It kind of reminded me of a game we played five years ago when we came here, kind of similar day, when I was with Stanford we lost 3-2 as well. It was a tough pitch to play and I was disappointed, but I was also disappointed for the fans because I think both teams like to play, I think the conditions just didn't work today.

"Like I said, they were doing a better job of driving balls in to our back line and when they got it there, held it there. I think it is one thing if you're dominating in terms of ball possession, they played the conditions a little bit smarter, a little better than we did at that stage. I think the wind was definitely a factor in that half. I expected that a little bit. This is one of those games where the coin toss is important, because that sets the tone right away. Like I said, give them credit. They finished a couple, got themselves going, I think got a little momentum and I think they rode that momentum the first half. What's obviously great for us is just (Jessica) Trainor's goal, just having that first shot and having it be a goal it got us back in the goal and Lori Lindsey just hit a bomb for the second one. It was two good finishes that made the game exciting.

"I think when we came out in the second half we didn't want to give up another one because that's just a tough road to come back from a team like Santa Clara. I think you have to give credit to them to keep the pressure on and get the third one, but I think our kids have fought all season and to come back into those circumstances in these conditions and make that a game again, I think it says a lot about the team and the character.

On the field
"I think it is important that you give Santa Clara credit. I think they played well in the first half. They handled the conditions much better than we did. We haven't played too much this year in those kind of conditions, with that kind of pitch. I think we lost a lot of balls in the air and obviously when you start winning balls in the air, like they were, it makes a big difference for them, it pinned us in our tail. I think the big thing we were just trying to do was limit the number of goals we gave them. If we could have come out of there 1-0 would have been great for us going into the second half with that wind. I think the field was a factor, but Santa Clara had the same conditions and I don't want to discredit Santa Clara, I think they are a great team, they fought hard and the better team won today."

Virginia senior midfielder Lori Lindsey
"I think, like Steve said, the wind had a lot to do with it, we were just trying to clear it out. We were having a hard time keeping control of the ball for a little while and they have three in the middle so Jessica Trainor and I just had to keep moving quickly. For the most part, I think once we got that first goal in the second half and we opened things up a little bit we switched our formation. That opened things up for us and moved the ball around a little bit more and after the first goal I think that spread it out too. We kind of got ourselves in a bind after we were down 3-0."

On her goal
"I was just doing anything I could to get some goals and I was just like 'Alleluia.'"

Virginia freshman forward Lindsay Gusick
About a cross that came in that looked like it missed her
"I actually should have finished that. I think I might have had the time to take it down, but I really wasn't sure where I was at and I got part of my head on it and it went wide, but that was disappointing for me. I thought the defender was closer to me, but actually she wasn't, and I should have taken it down."

On the first half
"They have four great defenders and it was pretty clogged up because they have sitting midfielder in there as well, and we were outnumbered in the midfield. Obviously, like Steve said, the wind and the field had a lot to do with it."