Senior captain Amber Brooks lifts the trophy after Carolina won its 22nd national championship.
Senior captain Amber Brooks lifts the trophy after Carolina won its 22nd national championship.
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UNC Press Conference Quotes
Release: 12/02/2012
UNC POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
December 2, 2012
 
Head Coach Anson Dorrance
 
Opening statement ...

"Obviously I'm absolutely ecstatic. The classic question you get is does it ever get old? Honestly, it gets better. That was really a lot of fun for me. I've really enjoyed the fall. These kids are not just quality players, they're great human beings. The part of the fall that I enjoyed the most was just going to practice. It was clear to me how much fun they were having with the game, with each other. Absolutely no issues, it was one of those years where it was just a chemistry miracle. All the kids really enjoyed each other's company. It was just an absolutely joyful fall. To have this kind of finish is just extraordinary. I think we overachieved, I thought our NCAA seeding was too high, we should've been a third seed, so when we were a two, I thought that was a great break.
 
'A lot of other teams could've been here in our place. Baylor could've easily could have eliminated us in that match. BYU in their match could easily have eliminated us. They had chances there with the golden goal to take us out. So obviously we consider this a big fortune as well, but I certainly felt my kids played hard all year, and they did again today."
 
On the differences of succeeding from past years...
"It is harder. The opponents are better, the coaches are continuing to evolve and become more sophisticated. It's a longer tournament. Back in the real old days I think you played a game and then you're in the final four, then you had to win two games. Now, it's a trek. It's a six game marathon. It's not easy. A single game elimination series is terrifying. The NBA plays a best of seven and that pretty much spins out the better team, but a single game, anyone can lose, we certainly could've. I consider our championship obviously marvelous, but we certainly got some breaks along the way.
 
On the differences of this team from previous championship winning teams ...
"Certainly the personalities are different. The route to the championship is different. This year was particularly challenging for us in light of the fact that we lost so many kids for so many different reasons. We lost US U-20 National Youth Team players to the event. We lost a New Zealand National Youth Team player to the event. We lost a U-17 National Team Player to their event. We had a season ending injury to a senior starter in the back. We had another injury to another defender, so the lineup was always changing each game. Even when we got our studs back, it was hard too reintegrate them quickly, because they were certainly exhausted from their world championship run. You've got to reintegrate them into the team and develop a playing style with them. Looking back the aspects of that, that helped us tremendously were some of the things we saw into todays game. When we put the reserves in, we still had some energy and we also still had a really high level of play. I think we scored at least half of our goals with the reserve unit on the field, that's a credit to them. If  you think about it, those reserves were my starters when (Crystal Dunn), (Kealia Ohai), (Katie Bowen), etc. were gone representing their countries. There was sort of a mixed advantage in taking some hits early with these kids on the field, because, in this event, when they came on as reserves, they weren't really reserves, they were starting caliber players that were pushed into a reserve role because of the return of some superstars. I think we indirectly benefited from some of the challenge and adversity."
 
On keeping four defenders in the back for the first half...
"Penn State was making our defense look like Swiss cheese. (Maya Hayes) is a significant striker, she's not just one of the better strikers in the country, that kid has everything. She's got juice, she's tactical, she's skillful, and she's an incredible finisher in a myriad of ways. She was making my young defense look like we were standing still. Of course, (Christine Nairn) might have the best final pass in the collegiate game. When you mix tactical slashing, a bolt of lightning that's getting through our back line consistently with a girl that can see them, but also get to the ball, that's a very dangerous mix for us. We were looking at what was happening, and interestingly enough we were having the discussion to switch to the 4-2-3-1, while they were scoring. It was like we were two minutes too late to shift the system. That system for us is our bunker, we feel very secure in it. We don't attack as well, but we're certainly more secure defensively. Penn State and their quality forced us to make that choice.
 
On Katie Bowen's role on the team...
"I think a lot of people underestimate her contribution to our team. What's really interesting and this should be a lesson to all the young girls in this country, her father played professional soccer in England. I think her played for maybe Sunderland or something. She's one of the few young girls that actually watched the game growing up. What she has is a tremendous sophistication and polish and her decision-making is extraordinary. The reason it is, is that she watched that game. What's really challenging for me. Even more in my collegiate program is that these are some of the best players in the country, but they don't watch the game. What Katie came in with was this real polish and she helped us in so many different ways. The primary way is that she reads the game unbelievably well. There's a cliché that the elite players that read the game well have. They say the first five yards is in your head. That's a great statement about Katie Bowen. She is moving so much earlier than anyone else, anticipating where the ball's gonna go, what's gonna happen. She really had a serious impact on this year's team. If she had been unable to play today, I think the result would've been different, that's how good I think she is. It's interesting, the injury that we all watched in horror, because obviously you're afraid with a neck injury that this is something beyond keeping her from out of the game, with all the different spinal injuries we can suffer from. So I was afraid for her beyond her not being able to play today. The thing she struggled with most actually throughout the course of the weekend was an ankle injury that she sustained in the first half. The issue that she had through the weekend was to get this swelled ankle to a size where she could actually run. She favored it a bit, but if she was there for us today, I think the result could've been entirely different."
 
On shutting down Penn State in the second half...
"When we went in at halftime, I could sense that a lot of the stars for Penn State had played most of the half. I think the left (Christine Nairn) in for the whole first 45. With a game on Friday, for her to play the first 45 was gonna be tough for her to have the same amount of juice in the second 45. The decision we had to make was to try to stick with the plan of rotating the players in and out. We also decided to stay with the 4-2-3-1 in the second half. Actually our plan at the half, and this didn't work out, was to win the game in the second overtime period. Our strategy didn't seem to work out for us, but the idea was, is this was gonna be an ordeal and we were gonna try to win the game by playing our depth, and I think there were a couple of factors that helped us. One was we were deeper, we were playing a lot more players, the other thing is what I mentioned earlier. A lot of the kids that were coming off the bench for us were starting for us most of the year because we were missing our stars. When we took a kid that was a starter and put them back on the field as a reserve player, the other team is thinking they're gonna get a bit of a break and you know what, they didn't, because I thought the reserves played exceptionally well for us."
 
On how many players he was planning on using...
"This is my dream, my dream for my collegiate team is to try to play 19 players per game. I talk about that in the preseason. I tell them how they can play. If you will defend for me, you will play. There's nothing complex about the demand. All you have to defend for me is five minutes. You can defend for me for five minutes, you're gonna play. Now defending for me is you have to head, you have to tacke, you can't go around whacking everyone, and when you win it you have to keep it. So there's some demands beyond just defending, but if you will do that and work hard when you're out there, you will play. Very rarely do we play 19. I think I had one team that was that deep, but honestly, next to that team, this might be the deepest roster that I've every had as a collegiate coach. We played this roster deeper than any other than that one year. A part of it was getting back to what I was saying earlier, these kids we're veterans from the demands made on them because of the injuries, the personalities that we lost who we're playing from their countries. I think that benefitted us against Penn State today."
 
On playing college soccer versus international soccer...
"I was the chairman of the rules committee. Back when I was chairman of the rules committee, I was also the U.S. National Coach. What I tried to do was to force feed my population, the college coaches, to go to FIFA rules under this misguided impression that if we trained all of our collegiate players with FIFA rules we would be better prepared to compete internationally, I was fought mostly by the Division III and Division II leadership, there was a guy I really respected that was a Division III Athletic Director and he kept objecting to what I was trying to do. Honestly, this wonderful man convinced me that my obligation for collegiate athletes was more than just helping my country win internationally. Keep in mind; I'm wearing this National Team hat, so my agenda going into the rules committee was that. What this guy did, was he convinced me that at the collegiate level, I've got a different obligation. That obligation is to basically soccer educate, but also educate for life, as many athletes as I could. A part of their experience collegiately was a chance for them to play. You know, I'm very pleased this very wise man, I was a young and brash national team coach, basically convinced me of that. Now, I'm totally convinced of that. We have a different mission in college; our mission is to give these kids an incredible experience athletically, while we educating them not just academically, but also in every conceivable way. I genuinely want to play a deep roster, not out of service to the game, but out of service to a collection of young women that came to my university, partially to play on a soccer team, but also to get on the field, and that's where I live now.

NORTH CAROLINA POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
December 2, 2012
 
Student-Crystal Dunn, forward, junior
 
On coming into the game as the underdog team ...

"Ya not necessarily as underdogs but there are just so many great teams out there and I think for us our job is to just focus on what we have to do and not so much focus on the other team. Ya, we were the only second seed team that was here representing and I think that for us in a sense it was motivation seeing all these first seeded teams and I think for us we just have to focus on us and you can't really focus on what the other team had for their advantage. We just came out strong for every game and I think that we knew that every team that we played here in the final 4 was going to be a great team and regardless what they had to offer we just had to focus on what we had to do."
 
On the strategy after taking the lead in the second half- switching to defense, running the clock?...
"Not so much , our back line is solid and I think the team has so much faith in our back line and that's pretty much what builds strong teams. I don't doubt and player on my team for a minute and I don't think I was going to get pulled back because we have Caitlin Ball who is a solid anchor in the back and Satara is as fast as I don't know what and Hanna Gardner has really molded well with the team. I have so much faith in our back line that I really didn't have any doubts this whole tournament."
 
On her decision to come to UNC...
"I didn't think I would end up at UNC I heard of the school obviously and all of the greats that have come through and obviously I didn't think I was good enough to go there and when I got a call from Anson I was like oh! Hello! I mean like these two girls have been saying he really does care about the players and you can't ask for more than that from a coach. In college soccer it's so easy to fall into the aspect fo winning and doing what you can to win but I remember the greatest moments are actually when we lose he is always like we can get better, that wasn't a bad game but we can always get better and I think coming from a coach that kind of throws you off because we're like we just lost be mad, yell at us, but there is never actually a moment where Anson gets mad at us for losing. If we played well then that's all we can ask for and I think any college coach that does that is always well respected."
 
Student-Satara Murray, defender, sophomore
 
On her decision to come to UNC ...

"I actually wasn't coming to UNC and was thinking well let's see what it's about and I was mind blown not only just with the soccer program but with the school itself and of course Anson Dorrance is just amazing. Anson Dorrance is my guy on and off the field and he is like the father figure for all of us. He cares about us so deeply and not only with the statistic that he gave me about the program because he's been through Mia Hamm and Cidny Carullo and all these greats but he was just genuine and just by meeting him on my official visit I knew I wanted to come here because of him and how he speaks and how he just persuaded me and it wasn't anything sly it was just that he knew exactly what he wanted and he didn't really beat around the bush. I think I am the person I am today because of him, he leads me on and off the field."
 
 
Student- Kaelia Ohai, forward, junior
 
On what had changed in her game plan during the tournament...

"I don't think anything really changed I just think that I was given a couple of really good opportunities in these last two games and I think that this team is really unique because we have so many girls that can score and you saw that today we had four different players scoring and earlier in the tournament you saw the same ting and Crystal has just carried us so well throughout this tournament so I think just at the end I just got a couple of opportunities and I'm just really thankful that that I was able to finish."
 
On the margin of shooting...
"Anson always says scoring is the hardest thing to do on the field so I think both goals were really close but they went in."
 
On her decision to come to UNC...
"For me I was not thinking of going to UNC and I made a trip out kind of last minute and as soon as I met Anson and was basically on campus I knew I wanted to go there and I committed on my visit so I think this coach right here-I mean his record speaks for himself and personally he truly cares about his players and we truly care about him...I'm going to cry... I'm just so thankful to be able to have played for him."
"One more thing, Anson always takes responsibility so if we lose he puts it on himself and that's more than you can ask any coach."

UNC North Carolina Women's Soccer


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