What UCSB's Soccer Team Had to Say About Its Loss to Cal

Nov. 26, 2008

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg and seniors Alfonso Motagalvan, Nick Perera and Chris Pontius spoke after Tuesday's 3-2, double overtime defeat to Cal in the NCAA Tournament Second Round, the first playoff match UCSB had ever lost at Harder Stadium.

Tim Vom Steeg opening statement:
"I'm disappointed for our four seniors. Of course one never made it on the field this year (Kyle Kaveny) because anytime you have good players in your program who have contributed as much as these players have, it's always sad when the season comes to an end and they are going to leave your program."

Vom Steeg's thoughts on the game after seeing Cal defeat San Francisco, 3-0, in the first round:
"Berkeley will probably score first and then I'll go in at halftime and yell at 'em a little bit and kind of get after them and make some changes and probably will play a really, really good second half because that's what we do, we respond. We are a group of competitors and we are really proud. We are a team that scores goals. I mean we are going to put a couple balls away but in the end it's whoever gets to three first because I think we are going to give up a couple goals. We have all season long."

"We are a team that probably hit the 40-goal mark in terms of number of goals we have given up this season and if you had told me that we had been playing in a round of whatever we are in, giving up close to 40 goals, I didn't think that would ever be a chance, but we could never fix it. We were just prone to making mistakes in the back. Tonight I really felt like we gave them two goals. Berkeley really took advantage of the chances they had."

Chris Pontius when asked about facing Cal's goalie Stefan Frei, who made 11 saves:
"We knew going into this game that it was going to be the best goalie we had faced all year. You know, big-time keepers can have big-time games. He has been the heart and soul of their team all year."

Nick Perera on the weather conditions:
"It sucks for both teams but I don't think that there is any sort of blame on that. I mean, it was hard for both of us."

Vom Steeg talking about Michael Boxall's missed pass back to goalie Trond Helge Takset that resulted in Cal's second goal:
"A redirection that never made it there becomes just another way that we give up a goal, kind of a different one. On that one it is just a decision that a defender makes and Boxall tried to head it back and it didn't get there and you give a kid like Wiedeman, who what he does really well is finish, and I thought we had him well in check all night. It's a variation of which we have found many creative ways to give up goals this year and that just happened to be another one."

Alfonso Motagalvan on the game in general:
"In the first half I thought we gave them too much space and too much time. Our tactical change in the locker room is what was working in the second half."

Motagalvan speaking about his time at UCSB:
"For the three of us, our career has been up and down. The coaching staff has helped us develop as players, and more importantly as people. The sport gives us life lessons throughout our four years. At the end of the day it's made us great people."

Vom Steeg on the 2008 team:
"We recruit kids who want to compete, we recruit kids who want to win. Our issue all season long has been very little about their desire, their effort, their energy. I think you have to have a resilient group when you have given up as many goals as we have this year. (It's) unfortunate, because for the life of me, it was one of those seasons where we literally tried everything and we couldn't figure out how to get it right in the back."

Vom Steeg on his team being in a 2-0 hole in the second half:
"Led by our seniors, I knew even though we were down 2-0, we were going to fight. I'm not disappointed in our effort tonight; very rarely have I been disappointed in our effort all season long. I knew after we got the first goal, then we just punched one in. I thought the momentum really changed. We were coming at them and they were on their heels. I felt it was our game with 20 minutes left...from there, we just needed that one chance."

Pontius and Perera speak about next season's Gaucho squad:
"After every year, you look at the players that you're losing, but it always seems to get done. The offense will go. It's not the effort that killed us this year, it was the decision making on the ball." - Chris Pontius

"Every year has their goal scorers; someone always replaces the last person. They've only got space to grow. Someone will be there." - Nick Perera.

Vom Steeg on his decision to start Takset instead of Kristopher Minton in goal:
"Strictly had to do with a week of training and recommendations by my goalkeeper coach (Stuart Dobson). I believe strongly that players have to know that they have to stay in form and be fit. I thought Takset did fine tonight. He made a big save in the second half. I really don't think any of the goals were really him tonight."

Cal coach Kevin Grimes talks about defeating UCSB:
"I certainly credit Santa Barbara an awful lot for coming back two goals down and tying the match. We were very happy with our performance overall tonight. I think both teams played great."

Cal's Andrew Wiedeman on his game-winning goal:
"I don't really know what happened. It was a slippery surface with the ball bouncing around. It took a knock off someone and it came straight to me."

Grimes on UCSB's poor defensive passing:
"I don't think we focused on trying to disrupt their goalkeeper from back passes. The conditions were just very difficult tonight so the randomness of some bounces and some slippery touches were probably going to be a lot more than a regular game with dry weather. I think that was it more than any kind of tactical move on our part."

Cal goalie Stefan Frei on making a leaping save as regulation expired:
"I knew that it was really slippery and our coach said that anything can happen with a slippery surface. My gloves were slippery so it was right around my fingertips and I had to curl around and hold on to it, so that was the one that scared me for sure with three seconds left."

- Quotes compiled by Serena Winters.