Utah Royals

URFC Quote Shot Sheet: April 12


Q: Talk about the organization and communication of the backline since they had a lot to deal with Orlando’s fast attackers. Can you just talk about what you saw from your vantage point? 

A: We had to communicate a lot, they have tricky forwards so when we saw the center back pick her head up start communicating and dropping because we know Ally Watt has pace and their 10 is excellent popping off the lines. Communicating within our backine but also our midfield line to pick up those players who are dropping off. Just a lot of communication. I can’t believe I still have my voice. 

Q: You never want anyone to score against you, but tonight it was Marta. Talk about that goal and how you saw it build. 

A: Yeah, the build was a little tricky, from what I can remember off the top of my head it was a chipped ball across and we were all shifting and our focus went that way. You know Marta does amazing things with her off the ball movement and they know where to find her and she was in a spot where we weren’t and to finish that one-time on her right foot was crazy. I was like ‘Hit the post and go out’ but it hit the post and went in. It was an excellent finish by her but we definitely need to be checking our shoulders and being aware of where she is. 

Q: The main thing that Amy mentioned when she was in here was possession. Having the ball more and that results in better results for you guys. From your perspective at the back of everything, how do you improve that into leading into more goals for the team? 

A: We had a lot of possession between Kate, Kaleigh and myself on the back line but the tempo was slow so when we got into half, Amy told us we needed to pick up the tempo and move them quicker. That's what we did in the second half and that's where I think you saw more opportunities come about once we picked up that pace and then how can we connect into our midfield line and also switch the point to be more dangerous. I think sometimes it's hard to get them on the ball like you saw today. We were going to the outside back and to the wide channel which is fine but I think the next level is what we need. We have possession, it's there but how can we turn and be more lethal in breaking lines and I think that is what we are going to focus on this week.


Q: Talk about how it felt to have your debut.

A: It was so great to be with my girls out there. I think it’s been a long time coming in terms of getting back on the pitch in the first place, so being able to be out there and play against people that I’ve watched for years, obviously Marta was on the field, and even just running next to her was crazy and I was just excited. The game didn’t go the way we wanted but every game is one step closer to how we want to play and where we’re going. For me especially, that’s what I got out of today is that it’s one step closer.

Q: Can you say what Rodriguez gave you in terms of discussion after the game?

A: I am really blessed with Amy. She has seen me play before, in college she was the assistant coach there, and she knows me pretty well and the way that I play so just to have her confidence in me beforehand. Maryse [Bard-Martel], our goalkeeper coach as well, I have worked with her also. Even though I’ve been out for a bit, I know they have confidence in me so it's really nice when you get those reassuring words and you can see it in you. Really just breaking the seal today was the goal.

Q: How do you reconcile the undesirable result and move on from this?

A: Good spirits are definitely a facade. It's a way to deal with it because at the end of the day we did lose and that happened. It's not the result we wanted but I think that we do have a lot to cover and we were trying a lot of different things this week. There was a lot of film to watch and a lot to learn from so I’m extremely disappointed but I'm not stressed. Those are different things and I think we're all annoyed and all disappointed and saddened by the result but none of us are stressed or worried about the future. It is the beginning of the season and we’ll learn from it. I wouldn’t say I'm in high spirits but I'm not stressed going forwards.

Q: How would you rate your debut performance during the game?

A: I would have liked to have been sharper immediately upon coming in but that's also my perfectionist side. I do have to understand that there is a learning curve within a game regardless of whether it’s debut or not. We’ve been training and playing at this level for a few months now so it’s not improbable but I would’ve liked to come in sharper. As the game went on we were getting into it and getting a flow which I was really happy with. I think the chemistry on the field, especially positionally, as I change from position to position, the chemistry does change and I think that as we work on it, we will get better and within the game, it got better too. 

Q: Has it been complicated for the Royals, as an expansion team, to adapt together?

A: I think it's been pretty remarkable how quickly we've gotten on the same page. We've really become a family in how we associate on the day-to-day from staff to players and to everyone. Everyone is extremely close and we are very happy and the energy is extremely positive and for me that's the biggest thing. Logistically, we have gotten our flow on the pitch, that actually happened much faster than you would think. Within a few weeks of training we were getting the flow of it. It becomes more difficult when players are in and out, changing positions; but it's also the beginning of the season so I'm not sure that's an expansion team thing, I think that's just a beginning-of-the-season thing.

Q: What was it like playing in a more advanced, central role?

A: I was a midfielder most of my life so it wasn’t too big of an ask. I spoke to Amy about it earlier in the week so it wasn't a surprise either but it's more about getting the chemistry with those players around me rather than the center-back or the goalkeeper. It's a different thing but it's not new for me. It was fun!


Q: So it was obviously a pretty close match for the majority of it, the difference ended up being a pretty impressive goal from Marta. What are some of your takeaways from this match, I guess, with it being as close as it was, and then a pretty impressive goal that made the difference then. 

A: Um, I would disagree that it was a tight match. I thought our last 15 minutes looked almost the best. Where really we were getting the momentum of the game, but the whole time I just felt like we were without the ball. And, we’re not a team that likes that and wants to be without the ball. So, disappointed in us in possession tonight. I thought we just had too many turnovers and didn’t take care of the ball like our normal selves. There’s a lot to go back to this week and review, and hopefully make those adjustments for next weekend, because we weren’t the better team today.

Q: So despite not having possession as you mentioned, you guys still managed five shots and all five were on target, so what’s the difference to get the goal even though you had the efficiency there in shots?

A: From the beginning of the season, conversion has been, you know, the hardest piece for us, and I would say that tonight. We only got five chances but imagine if we had more on the ball tonight how many more we could’ve created, instead of five shots on frame it’s 15 shots on frame and maybe we score two or three of those. I thought we dropped the ball and dropped possession tonight.

Q: Coach, I’ll give you a twofer here - talk about Paige’s starting position and then Zoe coming in for Paige.

A: Paige’s starting position was basically because we wanted to find Mozingo in that wing space. She made such an impact in the previous weekend’s game and you know she’s earned that position for the night. Paige is versatile and it’s nice to be able to move her around where she could give us that balance in midfield tonight. Did I think she made the greatest of impacts? No, and that’s why we made the tactical change, you know at the end of the day we’re trying new things - we’re an expansion group and so maybe we will go into some games looking a bit different, but that’s all just to try things and find out what works.

Q: And then will you speak to Zoe coming in?

A: Yeah, Zoe’s a little ball of energy if you couldn’t tell. You know, when she came in she had a little nerves to her. I knew that she was gonna have to get her feet wet, but for her first game in the NWSL to create that spark for us. I know she was looking, you know, in front of the back line to make little slip passes and try to connect with the forwards. And I thought she did that for us. Again, it just wasn’t enough today.

Q: I would like to ask you about Dana, it looked like she left the pitch crying - did something happen to her?

A: Several of our players walked off the field tonight super disappointed, and I think it’s because we were our own worst enemy tonight. We knew we didn’t play better, it stings a little more knowing that we didn’t play better than the opponent and we didn’t get the three points. Um, you know in our other losses that we've had this season, I’ve felt like we were the better team, and we were proud of the way we played. And then tonight I think we walked away not feeling that. Yeah you see disappointment on players’ faces. We really wanted this win, we wanted it for our crowd, and it would’ve been nice to get three points at home.

Q: I also would like to ask you about the preseason. Do you think that the team needs more preseason games to compete better during the regular season

A: I don’t think we need more games, no.

Q: No, I mean like, in the preseason, the team just played a few games to prepare for the regular season. Do you think that the preseason games were not good enough, or?

A: No, I don’t think so. We played against several boys teams, we had good challenges so no.