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U.S. U-20 WNT vs. Jamaica: Post-Match Quotes - Jan. 11, 2014

On the match:
“I think in the first half we struggled with the environment, we struggled with their style of play and we struggled to dictate the tempo of the game. At times, we got a little bit overwhelmed in regards to their direct play. Breaking down a team that isn’t pressing us very much proved to be something we need to continue to work on. In the second half, we turned things around a little bit in our possession, we moved the ball better and we changed the point better. But, a little bit disappointed in how we played them at the beginning of the half. That said, we scored two goals. So, to not play well in the first half and coming into the locker room with a 2-0 lead was big for us.”

On facing different challenges in the first two matches:
“We had two different challenges thrown at us. With Costa Rica, they had some players we knew were going to be creative on the ball. With Jamaica, we knew they were going to be physical, so we were going to have to play two different ways to be successful. But, we came away with two wins and we advanced. That was job No. 1.”

On if there will be any starting lineup changes in the final group game against Guatemala:
“It’s an opportunity to definitely rest some players. We still want to have a bit of cohesion going into the fourth game, but we’ve had some players play a lot of minutes, so we’ll have to manage them.”

U.S. U-20 WNT midfielder ROSE LAVELLE
On the match:
“We really wanted to be able to control the tempo of the game, and I think it started a little hectic. Toward the end of the first half we were able to settle down and eventually get a goal. It was more physical than the previous game, and we had to focus more on the air game because we knew they’d come out and be good in that aspect. I think we did a good job at that.”

On making the semifinal:
“We’re definitely happy. We came here to qualify for the World Cup and we’ve accomplished our first goal, which was to make the semis, but now we want to finish at the top of our group. We have another game we need to focus on, so that’s the next step. We are going to use tomorrow to recover and we want to come out strong [against Guatemala], score some goals and get a shutout.”

U.S. U-20 WNT defender ANDI SULLIVAN
On the match:
“I thought the game was extremely competitive. Jamaica was constantly a threat. Even when we had three goals on them, they were still dangerous, so that was a great challenge for us. They challenged us a lot, and it took us a long time to get into our rhythm and get control of the game. They were fun to play against.”

On captaining the team against Jamaica:
“It was a little bit of a surprise when I walked into the locker room and got the captain’s band from the staff. It was a great opportunity, but it was different for me. I had the support of Cari Roccaro, our main captain next to me, and that was extremely helpful. If I get to do it again, great. If not, I’m glad I had that opportunity. It adds to the experience.”

On converting her penalty kick chance:
“We’ve been practicing PKs this week in the Caymans and I’ve gotten into a little routine. We had it set before the game that, if there was a PK, I would be the one to take it. So, when it happened, I felt prepared because my coaching staff had that confidence in me. I’ve never felt that way about a penalty kick before, but today I just felt confident, went through my routine and it was easy.”

On the match:
“We started out a little shaky in the beginning, but once we got a rhythm, we started playing. We did much better at the end of the first half and the start of the second. We got a bit more composed and kept control of the game a lot better than we did at the start. I’m glad we got the goals early and were able to hold onto the game.”

On Jamaica:
“They were really physical and good in the air, but we were prepared for that so we knew that coming in. They had a lot of speed, so their counter-attackers were pretty good and threatening to us. I think in the end we did a good job handling that.”

On scoring a similar goal to her strike against Costa Rica:
“Both the finishes were high at the near post, kind of similar, but it was a great buildup from the team. Morgan played a great ball in, and I kind of brought it down and just finished. The buildup for both goals was really good.”