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U.S.-Norway Post-Match Quotes


 U.S. vs. Norway Post-Match Quotes
Boston, Mass.
Oct. 1, 2003



U.S. HEAD COACH APRIL HEINRICHS


On how the game went…

“We’ve played Norway in my tenure probably more than we’ve played any other team.  So strategically is was a simple game and we tried to keep it a simple game, keeping the focus on long balls, winning the first ball, winning the second ball, organizing for the second ball, and then settling the ball. Those were sort of our priorities.”

On changes to Norway’s strategy...
“No surprises, other than the fact that we just continue to reiterate that Norway gets better during the course of tournaments and that was their best game. I mean, if you guys watched some of their earlier games during the course of the tournament, they again brought their best “A” game to the field tonight. We’re constantly matching up against our opponents’ “A” game and it makes us better.”

On Abby Wambach...
“Abby is obviously a force, somebody that they were keying in on and neutralize her presence and certainly in the air she was dangerous all day long in terms of the goal that she scored, the balls that she flicked, but also you could see her will power, and her fighting presence and the competitiveness which she brought to her game today. I said to her after the game, that was her best game of her life. And she did it for 90 minutes. She’s fit, she high-pressured when we needed her to high pressure, she stuffed some of the long balls that they were trying to serve late in the game, she pressured players to serve before they were ready to serve and just worked her rear end off.”

On whether there were any surprises in the match against Norway...

“No surprises. We just continue to reiterate that Norway gets better during a tournament, and that was their best game.  They brought their A game, and we are constantly matching up against opponents A game. And that makes us better.”


DEFENDER CAT REDDICK

On the game…
“Norway is a great team that is very physical and we knew that coming in. We respected them and we were glad to get the 1-0 win.”

On next opponent...

“Both teams are great. Give both credit, they both made the quarterfinals. It’s going to be a battle for them tomorrow and it’s going to be interesting to see who wins. Once we find out who wins, we’ll start settling down and figure out what kind of strategy we’ll need to play Germany or Russia.”

On penalty kick, used to create momentum...

“We totally did. Norway can get a quick goal in 2 seconds. One, two, there’s the ball in the net. They play such a direct style of soccer. With Dagny Mellgren and Pedderson up front, they’re a dangerous twosome up there. You have to respect them. We were very happy with the 1-0 lead, we decided to keep playing tough defense and all around, forwards, defenders, midfielders and keeper, it was a tough day.”

FORWARD TIFFENY MILBRETT


On Wambach...

“I’ve seen that potential in Abby for a few years now. She’s an incredible player who is just hitting her stride just now and just being comfortable. A player who was an MVP for us today, did not get the honor, and somebody who is so skilled and talented in all areas and makes her a dangerous player. I see potential in her for many years.”

On next opponent...
“Germany, wow, what a team. It’s a team that’s very solid at every position out there on the field, a team that really knows how to play football and I think to have them ads a potnetia;l semifinal opponent, it’s going to be a tough game for us. With Russia, I’ve only seen Russia play in this tournament and they look good. It’s the best I’ve ever seen them play. They’re very cheeky with the ball, very athletic and I think a team that knows how to play the game of soccer and is very dangerous.”

On Norway...
“I think we were very worried before the game. They’re a very good opponent, knocked us off in the 2000 Olympic finals so obviously somebody that we’ve faced many times on big stages. I think the game was a very good game, solid for our team. Norway had a good couple chances but I think we were the stronger team in the end.”

On the turn of momentum after PK save...
“I just think that it’s a part of the game, you have to deal with those things, because there are ups and there are downs during the course of the 90mminutes and unfortunately that spot kick did not make it in. We just buckled down and stayed solid. I don’t think we fell apart at all because of that.”

MIDFIELDER SHANNON BOXX


On the game…
“We knew it was going to be a close game and it was. We knew it would come down to one team making a mistake or one team doing the extra thing – and Abby did that. She put a beautiful goal away.”

On Wambach...
“She was everywhere, I mean even defensively, she was working hard to get back and a lot of times you were seeing the defenders on Norway trying to clear it and Abby’s there getting a toe on it and it goes out of bounds, allowing us to set back up. She had a heck of a game and she wanted it, she definitely wanted it.”

On the physical aspect of the game...
“April said this is going to be a physical game, it’s going to be a batle in the air, Norway’;s very good in the air, they dominate. That’s one part of the game that the U.S has done so much better. I know that that’s one thing April likes about me, is that I can battle in the air and Abby the same, and Cindy Parlow the same, so we’re definitely getting even with them at that point.”

FORWARD ABBY WAMBACH


On the goal…

“Catherine sent in a great ball to my head. I don’t want to use basketball as a term here, but I was kind of posted up down there and the ball found my head, and went in the goal obviously. This was a career game, a career goal. Just to be able to go out there and leave it all on the field and to play with pretty much all of your heart, thinking about all the preparation you’ve done to get here, this just encapsulates that entire past couple of years.”

On the game…
"My hat goes off to our defensive line. Our flat-back four did a tremendous job for us today and obviously Bri, she’s strong back there. Right now it’s not about scoring goals, it’s not about looking pretty, it’s about winning games.  And that’s what we came into this game to do – to get at least one more goal then them. We all left it on the field today and we’re just excited to be going to Portland and be playing in the semis.”

On play that led to PK…

“It was a great ball over the top by CP (Parlow) and I made a run down the line, I was just inside the penalty box and I touched the ball. Nordby knew that I had touched it by her so she had nothing else to do, that she had to foul me, or else if I got by her it probably would have been a goal.”

MIDFIELDER KRISTINE LILLY

On setting the tone of the game...

“The first goal, the early goal., helped set the tone. Our back line played incredible. They weathered the storm and all the long balls. I think they (Norway) only had a couple shots on goal and that’s huge. I think our team played well and fought to the very end.”

On the U.S. strategy...

“We wanted to go after them. You’ve got to set the tone right away and our strength is attacking them. We were trying to do that as much as we can and trying to find the seams because they had 5 midfielders.

On the semifinal game...

“There hasn’t been a whole lot of rest but we know the routine of the World Cup. We start our rest right now, taking care of everything and tomorrow we start preparing for our next game.”
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