Nov. 18, 2012
UConn Head Coach Ray Reid
“Brian has done a great job with the program there. They were 20 in the RPI which is a great testament to him and his team. The kid up front Don Anding is an MLS player for sure, he was a handful.”
A lot of pressure from the Northeastern forward s today:
“They are a very good team. Very well coached. They only lost two games going into today. Won their conference. They’re a good team. They gave us all we could handle today.”
What did that first substitution do for the team when you brought on Allando Matheson?
“He did a good job. He gave us a big strong target up top.”
When you won you gave a really good fist pump, was that just a little relief that you won today?
“No I don’t want to go to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving (Laughing). I want to practice on Thursday. I care about winning. Of course I’m relieved. We are enjoying these guys. There’s no school this week. We get to train. We get a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a very difficult thing right now if I’m on the losing end. It’s the cruelty of the NCAA Tournament. It’s different than a bowl game in football. There’s a cruelty to it. Cruel to the seniors. We don’t have a 10 month season. We do a lot of stuff to coach from August to December. You don’t want to come up short… so yea, I’m happy.”
How much pride do you take in set pieces?
“Tim O’Donohue (associate head coach) has done a fantastic job with our restarts, a fantastic job. It doesn’t hurt that we have Lebron James in the goal, know what I mean? He’s done a fantastic job. Sergio Campbell was big time today, big time. Flo Liu, Colin Bradley, Max Wasserman they were very good today.”
“Getting a win today is a great feeling. We all know that it’s tournament time and NCAA time. It’s now or never. Every team is going to bring it. We’ve been in this situation last year and we know what it is like. We know it’s always going to be a fight. Today was a fight and we just came out better in the end.”
Were you surprised at how much pressure they brought at you today?
“Like I said before, I’m not surprised because it’s an NCAA Tournament game. Teams are going to bring the best that they have. This is their shot, this is the big one. If they lose, they are done. I was mentally prepared for this because I know they’re going to bring it. I was composed when I got in certain situations.”
They tried to go near post on you a few times, can you take us through the shots by Don Anding?
“I mean, he’s a good player and I learned about him during the scouting meeting we had. He’s a good striker. He got through a few times and I was ready for his shots.”
Can you talk about your set pieces today and getting the goal off a set piece?
“I can’t even remember what happened in the play. I know it was a set piece. I saw that ball was going outside (the box), I know George (Fochive) was only able to put the ball back with his head. It was a lot of traffic in there, I didn’t try to control it. I just one-time finish in there.”
On UConn having an edge in set pieces throughout the year:
“We were scared today, this team (Northeastern) is a set piece team too. You never know. It’s a game. We work on that every day at practice. When we come onto the field, we have to do our job, everyone. That’s what we did today. I know set pieces in the NCAA Tournament are a big thing. Most teams work on that a lot before they get here.
After the game, the Northeastern coach came over to hold your hand up and jumped into your arms, do you know what that was about?
“I don’t know. I think he was just so emotional because it’s tough when you lose a game in the NCAA Tournament. I’m pretty sure he was emotional and he had a dream to come here and beat us. When you come and you don’t do your job, it’s tough for him. I understand that.”
“I told him, ‘it’s a game, it’s over. It’s a game. We win, but you guys (Northeastern) deserve to win. If you lose, you have to be more supportive. You can’t think you have to win every game. Today it’s our chance, we took it.’ I told him, it’s over, don’t worry about it. I wished him good luck. I said good game. He said I was a good player. That’s it.”
Northeastern Head Coach Brian Ainscough
“First of all, congratulations to the UConn players. They were tremendous today. We always know that they are one of the top teams in the country. Fourth seed. I want to wish them the best of luck as they go forward.”
You had a lot of pressure on UConn in the first half, was the plan to keep attacking?
“We’re here to win the game. I think we went about it to win the game. If you look at the game and how my kids handled themselves, I think we could call ourselves unlucky, but that’s the game of soccer. I think we did most of the attacking in the first half. The goal was probably against the run of play. That happens in the game. Give credit to the boy for getting the goal. We kept plodding away and didn’t change our plan. We knew we’d have some chances and unfortunately we didn’t finish them.”
On Don Anding:
"Don has been tremendous all four years for me whether I play him at center forward or at left wing, left fullback. He’s just a tremendous athlete first of all. His work rate is second to none. He worked the whole back line on his own for many good moments out there. I’m sure he’d like to have one or two of those chances inside the box back that he’s been putting away this season. That happens. He was absolutely tremendous and I hope he continues to play in the future. Hopefully some MLS teams show some interest and he carries on in his career."
Did you talk about shooting near post against Andre Blake?
“To me, Blake is probably… there aren’t many better goalkeepers in the college game. I think from standpoint of him and going near post, he’s a big boy and very athletic. Getting low and down after the ball is more of a concern for us shooting. We wanted to keep the ball down on the deck where it would be harder for him to get down after.”