Duke Head Coach Robbie Church Opening Remarks:
RC: I would like to first of all congratulate Stanford University. They’re a fantastic team to go through the season like they have, run the table. As you can see, there are no weaknesses. So Paul, congratulations. Their staff does a fantastic job so congratulations to them. I would like to thank our team, program and administration. We all walk out of here and we’re disappointed, but we’ll walk out with our head held high. I thought we played hard and battled for the whole 90 minutes. We knew they were a serve-and-finish team and I thought we did a good job of locking them into one path. But even when they scored, typically like all year we had a good push and I thought we had some good looks and services ourselves. We were close a couple of times. Emily Oliver played fantastic. She made two big-time saves. We’re very proud to be here and I thank Kennesaw State. It was an awesome event that they put on.
On the players returning next season and the future of the program:
RC: That’s something we will deal with as we move forward. We haven’t been in that situation. I know the character and the hard work they put in. They enjoyed this journey. This was a very hungry team. They really enjoyed this journey and I know that’s going to motivate them. We’ll take a little time off and start work in the spring. There’s no question in my mind that we’re more than capable of getting back here. There’s more factors, staying injury free and a little luck but I’m confident we’ll be back.
On the play of his team in the final 20 minutes:
RC: We did a tactical change. We went with a 4-3-3 then went with three in the back. Again I think the girls were correct, at this time and this level if you’re going to score late they will try and go with a 4-4-2. We had to play with more of a sense of urgency and I think we did. With about 10 minutes left we made another change we basically went to a 2-4-4 and tried to get Pathman to serve fantastic balls from the left side. In such a tight game we knew one goal was going to change it.
On how the team reacted to the pressure of the championship match:
RC: I think we did a pretty good job with that. It’s their fourth-straight year here. We haven’t started great, I thought we started better. We had to pick and choose how we wanted to defend them. We wanted their center backs to force play. We think they’re very dangerous wide and when they serve it from the wide side. We wanted the center backs to serve the ball and set play more. We tried to lock them in on one side of the field and I thought we were fairly successful with that. I wish we would’ve held the ball more. I thought we were to panicky to go forward when we got the ball. I thought we panicked a bit once we got the ball early in the match and tried to play a lot of longer balls. I thought we played better in the second half and played more like we have played.
Can you comment on the event itself?
RC: It was fantastic. This is our first time and it’s everything you dream about. The people here at Kennesaw State were absolutely great. The hotel and the venue, it’s an unbelievable venue. Hopefully it will come back and they want to have it come back. I thought it was a great showcase for women’s soccer. The game was an exciting game to showcase that. We tried to attack and Stanford was just a little bit better than us tonight so we have to go back and get better and we will.
On what it means for Duke to advance this far:
RC: We’ve missed a couple recruiting visits while being on the field, but the coverage of our team has been good. This is where we want to be. We want to play in front of everyone for a national championship. We’ll continue to work hard because everybody else in the ACC has this goal. I think it’s going to be a big boost.
How much do you think Stanford’s goalkeeper dictated play?
RC: She’s very mobile. She’s one of the best at controlling the top part of the box. If you play any straight balls at all, she’s going to come up. She supports her back four really well. The ball that Kaitlyn Kerr hit, that was a big-time save. I thought that was in the corner and she pushed it over. I was very impressed. I saw some of the Florida State game and I thought she was very good and she has a really bright future.
On if the team had any first half nerves:
RC: I didn’t feel like we had the nerves. We just had to settle in to our tactics a bit. We wanted the center backs to control it. We really felt like their outside players were really good servers and we wanted to look at how the center backs and their entry balls ended up forward. For the most part I thought it worked out really well. I thought the kids were very excited to be here and very loose and that’s how their personalities are. I’m happy, I would like to have a goal or two goals, but I thought we played well. Overall I’m happy in how we played in our first national championship game.
Duke Sophomore Laura Weinberg On how the team played the final 20 minutes:
LW: I think the last 20 minutes, the way we played was the way we needed to play the entire game. We did have an amazing game, but I think we were pushing those last 20 minutes. We knew we needed to get that equalizer. We were doing everything we could to get that one goal. That didn’t happen, but we played great and battled for the whole 90 minutes.
On her chance in the 72nd minute:
LW: [Stanford’s] Rachel Quon did a great job on that deflection. I had good contact on the ball and I think it probably would’ve gone in. Unfortunately she got that deflection and we got a corner. Definitely was on goal.
On the Stanford defense:
LW: The way they played, we haven’t played a team that played their style all year. Their center backs get forward and their outside backs are great players. Their two center backs are also great players. I think we did get some good looks, but props to their defense they played a great game.
On how exciting it is to have all of the starting lineup from the game back next season:
LW: We’re not losing anyone so we’re just going to come back and work really hard in the offseason, do as much as we can, to get back to this place next year. It wasn’t our year but we’ll be back next year for sure.
Duke Junior Tara Campbell On Stanford’s goal:
TC: A little unlucky I think. I think we had two players on the ball wide. The ball popped out right to her feet so she had a second look at a service. It was perfectly placed back side. I got across my goal and I think I covered up as much of it as I could and Nuoma put it in the corner.
On advancing this far in the NCAA Tournament:
TC: It’s great. Especially since it’s my third year so to come significantly further than we have in the past is exciting. The bad part is we lost. I’m hoping next year to do the same thing we did this year and get back here and have another shot at it.
How do you think your defense played in front of you?
TC: I thought they played well. I thought today, the defenses on both sides shined a little bit. There weren’t a lot of great chances for either team. I thought we did really well. They didn’t have many great goal-scoring opportunities. I think I pushed one over the crossbar that was an attempt to them and then the goal. Other than that I thought we shut them down.
On if she was surprised Stanford played more defensively at the end of the game:
TC: I think on a stage this big, when you go up in a game especially in the second half, your first instinct is to maintain the lead and bunker in a bit. They did a little but they continued to get out some. They kept us honest in the back. But, I think they did a good job of maintaining their defensive unit and dropping players in but still being able to get players forward every now and then.
Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe - Ninth season
Camille Levin - Senior Defense/Midfield
Teresa Noyola - Senior Midfield
Emily Oliver - Sophomore Goalkeeper
On focus for this game:
Camille Levin: We didn't think about any other game this year, it was about this game. We knew we had to come out and keep possession and play our game.
On lone goal in game:
Teresa Noyola: It was going to be the difference at the end of the day because you don't get that many opportunities at this stage. Camille played a great ball and that shows how connected we are. I knew exactly what she was going to do.
On the cross that set up the goal:
CL: I had gotten the crossed blocked before that second cross and the girl slid and intercepted and I had seen [Teresa] run into the box before the block. So I just hit the cross hoping she would be there.
On setting up scoring play:
TN: I scored a goal like that against Washington. Sometimes the players lose you when you go to the weak side and I don't think many people expect me to go back post for a header.
On making the big play:
TN: What I feel right now is such thankfulness to my teammates that we finally did it. This team deserves it. We've worked extremely hard but have also shown great character to not let the heartbreaks of the last two seasons catch up. I said that before the game I said 'It's already incredible that we're here, first of all. Because not many teams can bounce back from heartbreaks like that. That in itself shows great character.
On playing all over the field:
CL: I just want to do what I can wherever I am on the field. When I play in the back I like to get forward and get involved in the attack and play my role.
On last two years' losses:
CL: Both years were heartbreaking. Since last year we've been working for this moment to win this game. It's been a long journey, it's been a lot of hard work and everybody was dedicated to it from the staff. From the athletic trainer to every single player on this team and I don't think there are words to describe how great a felling it is to win this last game.
On Emily Oliver's big save:
TN: She does that every day in practice. She's done that in many games we've played. It doesn't surprise me. She's been huge back there, her presence, her leadership. I'm glad she got recognized.
On making save on volley shot:
Emily Oliver: That's something we've worked on all season. So all the training paid off. Everything I do with Jay [Cooney] and the other keepers, it's a great environment.
On last 20 minutes as a goalkeeper:
EO: It was the longest 20 minutes of my life. I have complete confidence in my backline and my midfielders and the whole team really to deal with those situations. I think it's a stage that we've been to before. The whole team handled it well. I think we played a really smart last 20 minutes. It was high pressure and I'm sure everyone's hearts were beating out of their ears. But Duke did a great job pressuring, so credit to them.
On last minute of game:
EO: That was a long minute.
CL: They had a few corner kicks in the last minute. They were right in our half, so we really just had to stay calm and clear the ball at that point. Get it away from Emily.
On mental preparedness for positions:
CL: I don't really have to mentally prepare. I'm ready to go at any moment and do what's best for the team.
On close play at the top of the box:
EO: Kelley Cobb is a great player so she was on top of us all the time. She came in hard, completely clean, it was a close one but I think we handled it fine in the end. I jumped up, so I'm in the air and I knew I was pretty close to the edge of the 18 so I just kind of blocked it with my body instead. I was just trying to get it out of her path, I wasn't trying to clear it necessarily because at that point it was a difficult clearance, but I just wanted to get it out of her path. That was my thought process at the time.
On double team during goal:
CL: Chioma Ubogagu played a nice little slip pass and I looked to cross it initially but I thought Katie [Trees] did a good job with the defense, but I was on the ground as well. I just got up as fast as I could and played the ball into the box where [Teresa] was.
On goalkeeper’s mentality:
EO: I think that like a lot of people I'm completely different off the field than I am on it. Because if I lived like that, I don't think I'd have many friends. We have fun in training all the time. The goalkeepers, we like to joke, well other people like to joke that we're a cult. Jay is awesome, Aly Gleason and Lindsay Dickerson, they're some of my best friends and we just have a great time.
On being the seniors to make the big play:
TN: It's absolutely fitting. I started playing with Cami, how old were we 14 or 15?, on ODP teams and I knew that from the first time I played with her I wanted to play with this girl as long as I possibly can and it's just fitting that we would combine for the winning goal.
On strategy defending Duke corners:
EO: I think we're a very intelligent team in that we kind of know what needs to be shut down at what time and when the players play alert it just makes my job easier. They know what we all have to do. So I think in that respect, and we go over them before every game, so we were well prepared for set pieces by the coaching staff.