Dec. 6, 2008


Head Coach Anson Dorrance
Opening Statement
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be in the final, it’s against a tremendous Notre Dame team. We’ve enjoyed the event, and it’s been an enjoyable weekend for us.”

How North Carolina has played a role in the evolution of women’s soccer
“I think I’ve been here so long, I’ve seen the evolution of the game, and that’s been very satisfying. I was coaching in the women’s game before it was popular, and I’m very proud of that. I think that these women can play, and as a country we can play, and I’m certainly proud of getting our country to a position of being competitive internationally.”

On developing his team, players, and challenges in the nation

“We don’t duck challenges, our schedule was the toughest in the country and we try to design it that way every year. If we could figure out who the top ten teams in the country would be next year, we would schedule all of them and play them all on their fields. We love to compete in championships, but the true joy in my life right now is watching players get better. I love player development, watching the kids get better year-to-year. Obviously, the way you’re going to best improve is with competitive practices and playing against the best teams. Every team has different problems to solve, and your players have to figure out how to unlock those doors.”

On what they took away from the Notre Dame game earlier in the season
“Notre Dame came into that game and were very combative in a positive sense. Our challenge is to see if we can weather their strength and physicality. It’s tough to play against them, and some of our girls are going to have to decide if they really want the ball that much and measure the risk because Notre Dame’s going to make some choices risky. I hope our girls choose to play with their hearts and take the beating at the chance of scoring a goal or winning a ball for us. Most games at this level are won with your heart. My curiosity is which team of mine is going to show up.”

Junior Tobin Heath
On the history of playing against Notre Dame
“I think it’s neat that it’s some of the same teams as from 2006. With Notre Dame we’ve created a fun rivalry throughout the years, and they are extremely competitive. It’s a blast to play them. It’s only appropriate we’re meeting them in the finals because it’s the most important game of the season. We’re looking forward to it. You always want to play the best team, and they’re undefeated.”

On why the games against Notre Dame are memorable
“I can’t put my thumb on what it is that makes these games remarkable, but each team has the qualities to win. Whenever two teams compete on the playing field and both are capable of winning, that’s when you get the most interesting games that are unpredictable and come down to the little things.”

On measuring up to past North Carolina teams
“I think we’re all extremely competitive players and we want to prove to be one of those best teams. We’ll do anything it takes. What happens, happens, but in the end, I hope we do prove to be a great team.”

Junior Casey Noguiera
On whether or not the team thought they’d see Notre Dame in the final
“I was hoping we would meet them in the finals. This rivalry has been building up, and it’s always great to play the best team you could possibly play, so if you win, you know you’re the best team. We’re all pretty excited.”