NCAA Blacksburg Regional Quarterfinal
November 29, 2013
Duke at Virginia Tech
Opening remarks from Duke coach Robbie Church
Congratulations to Virginia Tech. We wish them well as they move forward. They’ve had a wonderful year, a very consistent year. I’m really, really happy for Chugger and his staff and their team and I think they’ll do some real damage in the Final Four. I think the whole game completely changed with that goal with 13 seconds left (in the first half). I thought we were playing really well. We knocked one off the crossbar and a couple off the post. So, I think two things happened, when we go the ball we just got nothing out of our attacks. It hit the post, crossbar, but when you get good opportunities you got to finish in these games, NCAA tournament games. We were close, but they didn’t go in. Then, unfortunately, with 13 seconds left, they get a goal and that’s like a double goal almost. We get an unfortunate feeling in the locker room – when we were talking at halftime as coaches – it was hard just to get everyone back. A lot of people were thinking about how it broke down and what happened to break it down. And Virginia Tech, like any good team, they came out hard because they knew we would be thinking about that at halftime and they knew how important that goal was and so as we are still thinking about it, we were a little slower. And they just really came at us in waves in the second half. Players were running off the ball well for them. Then, the last two, we started changing our formation, trying to get one back and that left players free to score goals.
… on any differences between this game and the previous meeting
No, there wasn’t anything different. They are just playing better right now. With the run that they’ve had they are more confident, you can see that. They are playing at home. So, I just think they’ve been so consistent all year with their personal and their finding ways to win. They are such a good service, finish team and they put a lot of pressure on you with the numbers that they have. I just think they’re doing their things better.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Meghan Thomas on Tech’s first goal
Well, they knocked it out wide and one of our players was stepping, but as she was stepping, they served it in. And then there was just a ton of players crashing in and I guess from my point of view, I just felt a ton of pressure. And then one of them got their head on the ball and put it in the back of the net.
… on what her team will take away from their run to the quarterfinals
I’m very proud and very happy. I think I’m proud of our girls more than anything in the whole wide world. I think we fought this whole season. We’ve had some ups and downs, but I think through it all, we were together. We were a team and I think we should look back on this season with nothing but pride and happiness. We fought through a lot of hardships, injuries and things, but at the end of the day we got to the Elite Eight and no one expected us to do that. We expected us to do that, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter what we expected, we had to prove to the world and I think making it to the Elite Eight put a stamp on the Duke program going into next year.