Nov. 11, 2012
Maryland Head Coach Missy Meharg
We didn't really step on the field to play in the first half. I'm not sure if it was whether just being away and trying to feel out a new team or what. It's been an interesting regional for us. We've hosted for 10 straight years in the first and second round. Coming up here against a tremendously coached team, they're really technically in terms of their individual players. I thought we sat back in the first half and tried to see what they would be like, feel them out a little bit. Statistically, we were fortunate for it to be 1-1 at the half. I think the quality of the match for us really lit it up in the second half, it was really even. I think we had a bit of an advantage.
Meghan Frazier is just a winner. She's done this for us before. She's done it since her freshman year. She was the Honda Award winner last year. I'm just so proud of the Maryland women for being on the road and finding a way to get back to the Final Four.
Did you make any adjustments at halftime?
We really did. We decided to play with a bowl out of the backfield. The coaching staff from UConn was just yelling and yelling it. It was very obvious we did it, but it gave us much more structure and more discipline and the control that we needed.
Was it weird for you guys to go on the road at this point?
This group hasn't been too fogged by it. It's been a little weird for our people (Administration). I will say that administratively it's a heck of a lot easier to go to somebody else's place and just let them do it. UConn did a fabulous job. Great host and hostesses. The field is great. We've been very happy here.
How do you feel about going back to the Final Four?
Great. We have an opportunity to play Princeton. That's a game that we were up at the half and were not able to keep the lead and we lost that game back in late September. We certainly know Carolina well. It will be a great Final Four at a great facility.
UConn Head Coach Nancy Stevens
Great game. We're playing the defending national champions who returned eight starters from the national championship team. This year we were replacing seven starters from our Final Four team so I think they had at the very end a bit more experience on the field and were able to find a way to win.
You guys did have a lot of chances though:
Absolutely. I'm very proud of the girls. We created scoring opportunities and sometimes you give a little credit to the defense. They have two good German defenders and a junior national team center back. They have a pretty stout defense. You have to give them credit too.
The Maryland coach said they were back on their heels and made some adjustments in the second half that really helped them:
Yeah, we didn't have to make many adjustments because we were playing well. If we could change anything, it would be to just do better on our corner execution. We had some excellent opportunities and just missed by a couple of inches. You wish you had a couple of those opportunities back.
On the season as a whole:
I'm really proud of our team to replace seven starters and win the BIG EAST Championship and get a home seed as the No. 3 team in the country. We're just so proud of the season they've had. 19 wins. You really have to look at the broad picture and say it was a tremendous season and really be proud of their efforts.
On the senior class:
We have five seniors and they all started which is great. Alicia Angelini and Erin Koonz were our senior captains and they did a great job leading the team.
UConn Senior Alicia Angelini
What happened in the second half, you seemed more aggressive in the first half?
I thought we played well start to finish. Like Nancy (Stevens) said, we had a tremendous full game. One of our best games of the season. We outshot them, out cornered them. I don't think we executed the way we usually do on our corners. That's usually a crucial point of the game for us. We usually nail our corners. It didn't help that I got a yellow card and thrown off either. That put a bump in the road for us. I thought we really kept the tempo for the game most of the time. Stats say it all. We had control of the game. They got that lucky tip for the first goal and a great shot on the second one at the end. It's tough.
On playing past expectations from the start of the season:
We lost almost all of our starters. It was a lot more than what we expected at the beginning of the season. Once we got into it, I think we came a lot further than we thought we would. It's great to go this far. But unfortunately it ended the way it did.