Nov. 28, 2010
South Carolina Quotes:
Head Coach Mark Berson
“First, I want to credit Michigan with an outstanding performance today. They played very well, and I wish them good luck in the next round. For our team, I am very proud of the effort that these guys put forth all year. I am flanked by two of our seniors (goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and forward Blake Brettschneider) and they have been outstanding. They have shown us the way and it is up to the young guys now to help us push forward in the future. They are the champions of Conference USA. They earned a number seven RPI and a number seven seed in the NCAA tournament. I am very proud of the things that this team has accomplished this year. I think they have set a great milestone for us going forward and it is something for us to shoot for and point toward.”
Senior Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer
On the tempo of the game
“They started off controlling the tempo. I felt like we battled back and got a little bit of control towards the end of the half. Going into halftime I thought we had the momentum. Then, in the second half, I thought we played well. They got a chance and they finished it. We went down a man and got stretched and it was tough to play.”
Senior Forward Blake Brettschneider
On the execution of the offense
“We got a couple of quality chances in the first half. Unfortunately in the second half we were a bit off. For all of the days of the year to be a bit off, it is not the easiest one to take. But, hats off to Michigan. They played a great game and they finished their chances. We wish the best of luck to them in the next round.”
Head Coach Steve Burns
Carolina was a tough team to play against. They have really honed their direct play nicely, and they get their midfielders forward. But I thought overall our defense did a great job dealing with a lot of that, and once we could get the ball down and play through the pressure they were putting on us, we had a decent amount of success creating chances. Certainly want to take our hats off for South Carolina and the kind of season they put together.
We talked to our guys in the locker room at the half. This was a tough environment to play in. The crowd was into it, and you could sense we were starting to get a little anxious as well. We really needed to assure these guys the chances were going to come if we could keep the ball on the ground and play one and two touches and look to work the holes the way we did. I thought they showed a lot of composure doing that. Justin (Meram) eventually found that goal, and that was off a corner kick where we played the short, it came out, went over from the right side to the left side then came back to the right side to Justin for the shot. So I guess we’ll call that a set piece goal, even though it wasn’t totally scripted like that.
Senior forward Justin Meram
At halftime, we just talked about how we’re a second-half team. We’ve been like that all season. We knew our chances were going to come. Their goalie is outstanding and was great in the air, so I thought if I would hit it far post on the ground, maybe I’d get lucky. And we got the first goal.
On his first goal…
Soony (Saad) played a great ball over the top of their guy, and I just knew if I got a little opening, just hit it as hard as I could, and that’s what I did. So, my hat’s off to Soony for being aware and being a great teammate, playing it off.
Junior goalkeeper Chris Blais
Justin (Meram), Soony (Saad), they’ve been doing all kinds of stuff for us. We’ve been getting great goal support. Big Ten final, we won 4-1. Against UCF, we won 2-1, and today, 3-1. When you’re scoring like that, it gives the defense a little bit more confidence, and I think that really showed today. I knew, and the back four knew, we were going to score, it was just going to take time. Obviously, South Carolina’s keeper played very well, made a lot of saves in the first half. But I knew the goals were going to come. That definitely gives me, and the back line a lot of confidence, because we do know we’re going to score goals.