Nov. 21, 2010
South Carolina Quotes
Head Coach Mark Berson
I’m very proud of our guys today. This was an outstanding NCAA second round game, which you would expect from a great team like Duke and our team. The game went back and forth and somebody makes a play. Jimmy Maurer made some great plays on the defensive end and Bradlee (Baladez) stuck the goal in. I’m proud of our players (and) our staff. Everybody has worked extremely hard this year and it’s great to come out with a win and advance to the next round.
On how the tough schedule this season prepared you for this game.
Our guys have battled all year. We’ve played an extremely difficult schedule, and our performance with that schedule allowed us to have the number seven seed. We’re a battle-hardened and battle-tested group. It didn’t bother us to go into overtime; this group can do that. I didn’t really have any hesitations or concerns about that. Obviously the concern is that you’re playing a really good team and the game could have gone either way. Our guys made the play in the end and that was the difference.
How the team started the overtime period.
I told them that the whole season boils down to what happens now in the next few minutes and how the next shot can win the game in sudden death. That’s the type of pressure that they respond to and they did respond. The reaction was all that. I just reminded them of the circumstances and the reaction was all them. It’s what you want a championship team to do. These guys are a championship team and now they are a team that is moving on in the NCAA Tournament. That’s the kind of characteristics and response you need from a team to do that.
On playing Michigan in the next round.
I know Michigan plays in the Big Ten and that’s a league that was very, very strong this year. They had a tremendous performance in the league. They’re in the Great Lakes Region, so we don’t really get to see them on TV that often. I did see them once, and that was way earlier in the year. We don’t know very much about Michigan and I imagine they’re in the same boat about us. At this point in the season you really don’t change much; you just do what you do. We’re going to focus on getting the University of South Carolina better, more efficient and better in our execution.
On goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer’s play.
Jimmy has been an outstanding player for us for four years, so his outstanding play didn’t surprise me. He’s come up with big saves time and time again. We don’t like him to be in that situation, but when he is we don’t worry about it. We have confidence that Jimmy can balance things out for us in the back if we need him too. He made some incredible saves today, and we thought the Duke goalkeeper did as well. Duke is a well-organized and good defensive team. Jimmy Maurer once again showed why he’s our captain and our leader in the back.
On the big plays in the match.
Big players make big plays in big games. Good teams play each other to a standstill and somebody makes a play. These two guys (Jimmy Maurer and Bradlee Baladez) were the ones that made big plays today. They can’t do it without the other guys around them. J.P. Rafferty came in as a freshman. He keeps seeing more duty and he’s giving us a lift. Great job swinging that ball in. The determination and the fighting power that lead into that ball going in was critical to the end result of the goal. Bradlee has done a wonderful job. He’s come in as a freshman and it’s been a bit of a learning process. He’s been able to come in and stick some goals in during the clutch. We’re very proud of what he’s been able to do this year.
South Carolina Senior Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer
On the two back-to-back saves early in the first half.
They came down their right side and their winger beat our outside back and whipped a good ball in. They got a shot (and) I was able to get a reaction save. It spilled in the middle and they had a guy crashing in. I just sprawled out and was lucky enough to make the save.
South Carolina Freshman Midfielder Bradlee Baladez
On the first missed chance and the winning goal.
I was nervous after the first miss. I though the game was going to be over after that. I just had to keep going and after a couple minutes went by I saw J.P. take a run down the line. He told me before the overtime to make those runs to the first post and to slide through it.
On the style and physicality of play.
It was really physical; Duke is a great team. We were fighting back and forth. Will Traynor got a blow to the head and had to get some stitches. They’re a good physical team, give them credit.
Head Coach John Kerr
Congratulations to Coach Berson and the University of South Carolina soccer team. They played a fantastic and very competitive game. The other statement that I want to make is that we are very proud of our senior class and our team. We played a tough game. Unfortunately we game out on the wrong side of the result.”
On the physicality of the game
Well, you are playing for all of the marbles here. It’s the playoffs and it was physical on both sides. We were trying to win the game and we knew that the first goal was crucial. Everyone was getting after it. It was a tough game. It was hot out there. I thought both teams did their best.
Sophomore Goalkeeper James Belshaw
On the South Carolina goal
It is easy to look back and point fingers but I think it was just lapses in concentration. Give the credit to South Carolina. They made a hard run and put the ball in the back of the net. Good luck to them in the next round.”
Senior Midfielder Cole Grossman
On the physicality of the game
They are a big, strong, physical team. I thought we battled really hard. There were a lot of yellow cards. Some of them may not have been deserved or yellow cards, but it was a pretty evenly physical game. I didn’t think anything was too dirty. Both teams were just playing hard.