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May 17, 2014

Recap | Final Stats | Photo Gallery media_icon_photogallery.gif

Opening Statement:
Head Coach Julie Myers “Obviously I am really proud of our entire performance but in particular the second half. We made big plays all over the field, whether it’s a draw, or in transition, or a goal. Carolina is a fantastic team. They made us work really hard for it, and I feel like we got the momentum at just the right time in the game. I couldn’t be more proud of how hard the girls have worked, how we played today, with us coming off with the win and taking us to the final four. You couldn’t script it any better for Virginia so we’re super excited.”

On Virginia losing three times to Carolina in the past four NCAA tournaments:
Head Coach Julie Myers– “The road to the final four seems to always go through Carolina. Obviously they’ve been in (the semifinals) the last few years, which means they have been at the better half of it. But I just think this was a determined group of fourth year players that led the charge and a talented third year right behind them. They kept their focus right and blocked out any extra noise. They really started to bond together and believe and earned the right to play next weekend.”

On 12 minute stretch with control of the ball:
Head Coach Julie Myers– “That was great. It was not scripted by any means. I knew we wanted to take our time to get the goal, but one of Carolina’s strengths is how good they are at defense. It took (12 minutes) to get in and get a good shot off. Their strength ended up hurting them a little bit because it was so hard for us to get a shot off. We ended up having the ball longer than we thought we were going to have it. It resulted in them not having it, then us winning the next series of draws. So I think one of their strengths is their defense, and they’re incredibly hard to beat and get around. It worked in our favor today because we shot and scored just enough to win in the end.”

On Goal Keeper Liz Colgan’s saves:
Goalkeeper Liz Colgan- “I think our defense as a whole studied them pretty heavily, but for me I try not to get too reliant on film. I just like to focus and see the ball. You can’t guess where it’s going.”
Head Coach Julie Myers– “She’s super competitive. A pivotal moment was on an eight-meter by Carly Reed when (the score) was 8-4, when she already had three great shots and goals. After the game, Liz told me `I said to myself she’s not scoring again’. I think that was a pivotal moment. It was a big save and we went down and scored. We took off from there. But give credit to Liz’s competitiveness.”

On possessing the ball in the final minutes:
Head Coach Julie Myers– “When you have good hands on the attack side and midfielders who can run all day, it lends to being able to do that a little bit. It is an incredibly tough skill to be able to possess a ball. I’ll tell you that in the second half, we weren’t trying to possess the ball or take time off the clock. We were playing catch up and trying to get a goal as quickly as we could knowing that we would rely on our stick work and some gritty performances and determination.”

On Virginia’s comeback:
Attacker Casey Bocklet- “We just believed in ourselves and we thought `we have to do this. We can win this game’ and that’s what we went out and did. We fought hard and it showed.”

On beating Carolina:
Attacker Liza Blue- “This is the biggest win I’ve been a part of in four years. Carolina is always a very tough opponent. They’re very athletic, and they fought really hard today. Some balls bounced our way in the second half and we grinded away. This win means everything to us and it propels us into the final four.”

On playing Syracuse in the next round:
Head Coach Julie Myers– “Our thoughts are on graduation tomorrow and enjoying the bus ride home (Sunday). We will start thinking about Syracuse on Monday. I think we just need to enjoy the moment and how much work has gone into this point, not just from the starters, but our entire time has really stuck with it. It was not an easy season in the beginning, but they just grinded it out and pounded away. So at least for right now, I would like to breath and enjoy a pretty fun bus ride home with maybe some dancing. Syracuse will come on Monday.”

On strategy in the second half:
Head Coach Julie Myers– “Going into half-time, we had the ball with about a minute and 30 seconds left and we called a timeout. We had the ball and we said `we’re going to go down and take our time and look for the last shot’. At that point, it was a close game. We ended up getting chased into a double team and turning the ball over before we could hold it. They went down and scored, and then they went down and scored again. The next time, we again tried to force it. At halftime, we just emphasized trusting the structure right now. Colleen Shearer (attack coach) said, `trust it, go with it’, then our defensive coach said, `please, go with the structure because our defense does not want you to fast break and score too quickly right now. We need you guys to take some time and be deliberate’. I think hearing those two messages and knowing the first half did not end very well for us because we went off of our game plan. I think it made everyone reinvest in the structure and trust it would bring success.”

On playing “keep away”:
Head Coach Julie Myers– “We definitely wanted to limit them. We say `keep away’, but we were trying to manipulate the defense. We were trying to get a good look, and trying to get our hands free. Again, (Carolina’s) defenders make that really hard to do. It may look like “keep away” but really it’s super hard work getting banged around and pounded and checked. So I would not call it `keep away’.”

On defensive mindset in the second half:
Goalkeeper Liz Colgan- “With about 15 minutes left in the second half, we came together as a defense. Initially the draws weren’t going our way, and we decided as a defense this was going to be the type of game where we have to make a stop before we get possession. I think we just kept coming together as a defense and calming each other down. Sometimes at the end of games things just get crazy because you want to have a big turnover or takeaway, but then usually that’s when a mistake happens. So we just kept coming together and saying we need to stick together and play our game. It felt calm when Carolina came back down, which is kind of chilling, but I think that we all believed. Every time we scored or they scored, we just all looked at each other on the defense and said, `We believe. We’re going to win this game’.”

On an open net situation in the final moments:
Goalkeeper Liz Colgan- “Our defender got a great check off. Then Morgan Stephens and Daniela Eppler ran really hard after that ball and things just kind of fell our way towards the end of that second half.”

On beating Carolina to advance to the final four:
Head Coach Julie Myers– “At this point, there were eight great teams playing today. I don’t take any more pride in that it was Carolina. I take pride in the fact that we beat the defending national champion and a great team and an opponent that we hadn’t beaten. I couldn’t have more respect for a team than for Carolina. I think they do a great job on and off the field. They’re tough. So we’re just proud.”

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