Nov. 19, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Wofford and UC Santa Barbara players and coaches spoke after the Gauchos' 1-0 victory in the NCAA Tournament First Round at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.
Ralph Polson - Wofford Head Coach:
"The game was not the statement I'd like to make. UCSB is one of the best teams we've seen. But let's talk about our team. I started 22 months ago, and last year we only won a couple of conference games. This year we had lofty goals: we had our first ever winning record. We wanted to win the Southern Conference and get the automatic bid.
"In the first half of tonight's game I thought we had the better of the play. We had to make adjustments before the game - this was the first time we played against a 3-5-2 formation all season."
On their defensive effort:
"We have pressed teams all season, we try to take them out of their game."
Wilson Hood on his cross hitting the bar:
"I tried to drive the ball across the box, and the defender [Pontius] just barely headed it back. I thought it was going in - I actually started celebrating a little early - but unfortunately it hit the crossbar."
On goalkeeper Thomas Hunter's eye goggles:
(quote by coach Polson) "He picked up an eye infection after our conference tournament. It was bad enough that it forced him to fly into Santa Barbara just 5 hours before the match. Doctors could not clear him to wear his contact lenses. The goggles he picked up from Charlotte didn't fit, so they sent the prescription to a Santa Barbara optometrist who made them here.
Tim Vom Steeg - UCSB Head Coach:
"To say that I was very very disappointed in our first half would probably be an understatement. We were not sharp on the ball and we didn't move the ball around well. We just weren't on the same page.
"I was massively disappointed in our energy, our workrate, our commitment. We played a first half like we didn't care. And that's one thing that's never going to happen while I'm here. We're always going to care. I like our group and know we're capable of winning every night; sometimes it's just a matter of fighting through it.
"Our forwards are dependent on service this year. When the midfield isn't pushing forward and connecting with passes, we can't create any chances."
"I definitely don't feel we played any better tonight, especially in the first half, than we did against Irvine. We just weren't punished for our mistakes. That was the only difference tonight.
"We made some changes at the half, and came out with more energy. We managed to get that goal and come away with the result, which was pretty fortunate.
"My first half was definitely forgettable, to say the least. To have a hand in the winning goal is a bit of a relief."
"We had a really hard time connecting balls all over the field, and especially up top."