November 10, 2006

SCU's 2006 Season Ends WIth 1-0 NCAA Tournament Loss

Nov. 10, 2006

Recap |  Final Stats

Santa Clara Head Coach Jerry Smith

Opening Statement: "I'm very proud of my team, I think they played well today. We have to take our hats off to USC and congratulate them on their victory. They were a very tough defensive team. I think the lesson for us today was that you can't control everything. We did a lot of things right today, but like all sports, soccer is a game of inches, and we hit the post once, had some close misses."

"I'm disappointed that this team is not going on because it is a very talented team, one that earned a top seed, that was one of the top three or four teams in every poll in the country, and I'm disappointed they won't go on and get the chance to go to the Final Four."

On the second half adjustments: "The team was tentative in the first half, USC is a physical team, and we haven't played them in awhile, but at halftime we asked our forwards to be more aggressive and take their players on, and try to initiate contact and take advantage of free kicks."

On the missed penalty kick: "Marian is one of the best at penalty kicks in the country, and after the match I reminded Marian of Brandi Chastain. Brandi's last touch in a Santa Clara uniform was in the 1990 semifinal when she missed her penalty kick in almost the exact same spot. In Marian and Brandi I don't think you can find two better people at making penalty kicks. I think today it just proved that Marian is human, and I know she'd like to have that back."

On drawing USC in the first round as a No. 1 seed: "We're never concerned with who we have to play in the first round, we've had some tough first-round opponents before. Our geography here isn't like it is say in the East Coast or in the Northeast where there is a large density of teams, so you end up playing an automatic qualifier 20 minutes down the road out there, while here we end up with Pac-10 teams, usually a Cal or Stanford, and this year USC."

"We would be concerned with a first-round opponent if our goal was to make the second round, but our goal is to win the national championship. You've just got to be able to beat a team like USC on your home field to win the national title."

Forward Meagan Snell

On the match: "It was a very upsetting result today, like Jerry said, USC was very good defensively. I just can't believe it, we're such a good team and we worked so hard to get that No. 1 seed, but when it comes down to it, seeding doesn't matter. Soccer is a funny game, I thought we played very well, and I'm disappointed for our seniors."

On the USC defense: "They were solid defensively, I felt that in the first half it took awhile for things to settle down but after 20 minutes we settled down and got a couple of chances."

Defender Marian Dalmy

On the match: "It was a back-and-forth battle, but they were able to hold us and then got one in at the end."

On the missed penalty kick: "Jerry and I talked about it the day before, we thought they might know my tendencies. I still went to my usual side, I just wanted to hit it a little harder, but I think I hit it too hard and got a little too pretty with the post."

USC Head Coach Jim Millander

On the match: "Our team played a complete game for 90 minutes, we dodged a few bullets but got the `W.'" It is unfortunate for Santa Clara as a No. 1 seed that they had to match up against us, but again, demographically we get matched up with them. We're pleased to advance, our kids did an awesome job tonight, weathered some storms and showed great character and heart and persevered. It's a great win for the program."

On the gameplan: "Santa Clara is such a great team, and I think we frustrated them by not giving them the space to play, especially around the box, and Meagan [Holmes] did a great job of denying balls. We didn't give them a chance to get into their rhythm and in goal Veronica has been big-time for us all year long, so it's a real credit to everybody."

Forward Amy Rodriguez

On the win: "The team came out with a lot of fire today. Coming in as the underdog, not expected to win, I think we all put it out there on the field and brought our A-game. We worked hard and that enabled us to stay tied at halftime and then go ahead in the second half."

On her goal: "We crossed it in, and the defender deflected it right to my foot. I looked up and saw [SCU keeper] Julie Ryder coming at me, saw the near post open and slotted it in."

Defender Meagan Holmes

On the win: "Every single on of us knew whatwas on the line, either you win and go on, or you go home. Every player on this team didn't want this to be their last game, and in the end I think it just came down to heart and we ended up having more of it."

On the defensive effort: "Our defense has been solid all season, we didn't really do anything differently, we just stuck to our gameplan and we did everything we were supposed to do."

Goalkeeper Veronica Simonton

On the win: "We knew what we were up against and we fought through it. This is a big win for us, it was an emotional game and we just didn't want it to end for our seniors."

On the defensive effort: "Our defense never allowed them to get completely free or let them have an open shot."