December 2, 2003 - by
Florida State Quotes From College Cup Media Day

Dec. 2, 2003

Patrick Baker
Florida State University
Head Coach

“It sounds like they (Connecticut) have found the right line-up because they are doing exceptionally well. We are trying to find how they are playing right now because there have been some changes. We know their personality players. Some were there last year and we are familiar with their top freshmen this year. The have young talent that has blended nicely with veteran leadership. They are confident right now.”

“I would be lying if I didn’t say the loss last year at their place hurt. We are very excited to have the opportunity to play somebody who ended our season last year.”

“I have talked to Anson Dorrance, the head coach at North Carolina, and have tried to pick his brain about how to deflect and delegate a lot of the things that start to come up when you make the College Cup. It is amazing how many people remember you when you make it to the final four. It is exciting. Everybody likes a winner and we understand that but our priority is to remain even-keeled. The bottom line is we face a very good UConn team Friday and we want to be just as prepared as we have been for every other opponent thus far.”

“I think there’s probably a team unity and they have been able to play at a high level week-in and week-out. Especially in UConn’s case, they have won 3-1 and 5-0 in the Sweet 16 and quarterfinals were we have squeaked by in overtime and beat Florida 2-1 in a close game. It is interesting because they are in a different situation than we are. You hope that playing the No. 3 and No. 6 seeds like we have only helps you prepare for a game like this. Hopefully strength of schedule will be a benefit for us.”

“To have played North Carolina twice in nine days and lose 1-0 at their place and then 3-2 in the ACC Championships speaks volumes about where our team is at. North Carolina is kicking around everybody in the NCAA Tournament. You are talking about beating some of the best teams in the country by three or more goals. That puts a little bit of an added stamp of approval on where our program is going and how well our players have played when you do so well against the No. 1 team in the country.”

“We could have beat UConn last year. Should we have, that’s questionable because they are a great team. They found a way to score and we didn’t. Probably the most frustrating thing was we talked about the way they played and for them to score just two minutes in and in the exact way we talked about was frustrating. To lose that way was hard but it has helped us. If you keep putting yourself back in those situations like the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight, you hope things will eventually go your way. Now we get to play in the biggest venue for women’s college soccer and that’s the College Cup.”

“Before West Virginia and Florida this year, the only time we ever won an NCAA Tournament road game was at Florida in 2000. We lost to Clemson at Clemson twice and to Connecticut in Storrs. It gets to the point where you start to realize the value of home field advantage. In fairness, we didn’t deserve to be a higher seed this year because of our early season losses but our seeding was justified with the way we were playing at the end of the year.”

Joy McKenzie
Florida State University

“Some of it has sunk in and some of it hasn’t. We are all sitting in the lockerrom and talking and it starts to dawn on you that we are going to the College Cup. It is a little crazy. We are all on cloud nine but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going there to be competitive.”

“There is a revenge factor there. Anytime a team ends your season that is a factor but Connecticut is a good team. They have proven that every year. It should be a competitive match.”

“Connecticut has really good possession and their forwards are very athletic and fast. We have to try to consolidate that and limit them offensively. With the way our back four has been playing I like our chances of doing that.”

“Everyone is excited that we are in the College Cup but what I have heard in the lockerrom is that we are going to approach this like we have approached the last 20 games. There will be an adrenaline rush because this is a bigger stage but we have responded well to that type of challenge in the past.”

“Playing in the ACC prepares us for the NCAA Tournament and games like this. We do play the best teams in the nation all year long and I think that gives us a competitive advantage.”

Amber Tollefson
Florida State University

“Every time we play a team for the second time we match up a lot better and perform at a higher level. Seeing a team the second time allows you to obviously have a better idea of what they do.”

“After the Kansas game, we were 1-4 and coach Baker brought me and (Kristin) Boyce in a room and said he was sorry and that things were not supposed to start off like this. I knew inside that we would be fine and sure enough we have bounced back. We have been such a different team since then and have grown so much.”

“From my four years with coach Baker, I know that he cares for his players tremendously. It didn’t take him apologizing to the seniors to figure that out. He wants more than anything to send this senior class out on a good note and he stresses that everyday. He has a passion for every individual on this team. This is our family away from home and we know he cares for us.”

“Initially he thought the 4-5-1 matched the players we had better than the 4-4-2. In preseason we all thought that. Maybe we just weren’t used to it but making the switch raised our comfort level.”

“It is so funny because my teammates always say they are going to send us out the right way but that is something I have said before to our seniors. Now were in the College Cup and its like ‘Tanks guys’. Its funny because as a kid you dream of being one of the final four teams playing. To finish your careers in the College Cup on this team is a dream come true. It is such an amazing feeling that I can hardly describe it. It is still sinking in. Its amazing.”

“It is great to have played at the SAS Soccer Complex during the ACC Tournament. You get a feel for how the environment is. It makes it easier to picture in your head. We know the surface and know what the lockerroms are like. I think it is an advantage.”

“UConn is such a great team but I thought last year when they scored two minutes in, we never got to play to our capabilities and that is a credit to them. The whole game was back and forth. Both teams had chances but they took advantage and made that goal stand up.”

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