Nov. 26, 2003
Regarding the first half injury to Carl Acosta: Cal head coach Kevin Grimes: "Well, he's our leading scorer so not having him for half the game definitely had an impact on the match. He's a guy that if we leave on the field for a majority of the game, and most of the time lately he's been playing a full 90 minutes, so the fact that we could only play him a half a game definitely hurt us."
Regarding the emotion of the game: Kevin Grimes: I don't think Santa Barbara was more fired up than we were. They just looked a little fresher I thought than we did. Their legs looked like they hadn't played in 13 days and our legs looked like we just played five days ago. I didn't notice any extraordinary emotion on their part from any other team we've played this year. I just think they were quicker to the ball and seemed to close us down quicker than we could close them down. It just seemed like we were just a half a step behind everything.
Regarding the UCSB team this year compared to last year: Kevin Grimes: "To me they look about the same. It seems like they had eight or nine returning starters just like what we had. Both teams to me look almost identical to what they did last year. We have an excellent goal keeper and they have an excellent striker in Neil Jones. I think our team is about the same as well, minus the injuries."
Is UCSB a team that can go far in the playoffs?: Kevin Grimes: "I think any team in the final 32 to be honest with you on the day can win the national championship. So now they're in the final 16, I think their chances are even better. If you look across the country the parity of college soccer is so high now. Literally the top 50 teams now on any given day can beat anybody. A final 32 team, once you get on a roll I really believe can win a national championship. The downside for us is that we're not going to get the opportunity this year. We just didn't have what it takes to win tonight."
Assess how your team played tonight: UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg: "I thought we played very well tonight. We've had over a year to think about that game from last year, especially when you use that last game of the season you sit in the off season and think 'if I was in that game again, how would I do it differently.' What was great was that we actually had a week and a half to prepare for a game. So I had a year to get ready for this game, hoping that we could get this game, and then a week and a half to get this team ready. I thought was a very tactical game on our part. Our game plan was to always find Memo (Arzate)." "We felt that our league was very tough this year. We've been battle-tested which is great for our conference and great for us. It was nothing new for us to step up tonight."
Were you thinking a lot about last year tonight?" UCSB goalkeeper Dan Kennedy: During the match it didn't cross my mind but definitely in preparation for the game it gives you a little more motivation to get pumped. We did the work to get the bye and it helped us out. It let us prepare for a week and a half and that's what you don't get."
On watching last year's game film from the Cal/UCSB NCAA 2nd round match: Tim Vom Steeg: "Assistant coach gave me a Vince Lombardi book for my birthday and in the book it says show them the film, show them the film until they don't want to see it anymore and they'll usually go out and do something about it. It was great because the game we played up in Berkeley last year, we just were not prepared for that game. What I've been really thinking about was once we were prepared for this game my focus was really on Sunday. Let's say we're in St. John's, how would we match up. I've actually been thinking about Sunday for a day and a half. It was up to the players tonight. There was nothing left to do but go out and play it." "I'm very proud of how we struggled through a part of our season and we had some injuries and we had to move some things around. Going into the last three games of the year we decided that we had to put a lineup on the field that would get us this win tonight. That's what you saw three games ago and we played well in that lineup and we finished off with three wins.
Regarding UCSB's defense tonight: Dan Kennedy: "It was definitely the best defensive game we've played all year. We've had 20 games to prepare for this and to have your best defensive performance come in your 21st game, hopefully we can just keep on getting better. We put everything on the field tonight."