MEET THE PRESS: Matt Mott Monday Press Conference 09.23




Sept. 23, 2013

Opening Statement:
“It was a very good weekend for us. We won both games. We started conference play on Friday night at Arkansas and it was a really hard-fought match. We played very well in the first half. It was 0-0 at halftime. We came out in the second half and Arkansas got a goal on a corner kick. We were able to score two in the last 20 minutes of the game to get the 2-1 victory. We were certainly happy with that performance. Rafaelle Souza scored two goals, both goals on Friday night. The back line was very good all night long against an Arkansas team that was ranked ahead of us. It was good to get that win there to start conference play with three points. It was very big for us.

We came back last night and finished up our nonconference with UALR. We beat them 3-0. Rafa again had two goals to start the game. Then Olivia Harrison scored our third one. We were able to get those guys tons of rest. Most of our normal starters got a lot of rest last night so we can get them ready for this weekend. We got to play a lot of players that don’t get a ton of minutes last night, which was great for us and our team. It shows the progress that we’re making when we’re able to bring those guys in. They were able to contribute and played very well for parts of the game.

We look forward to this weekend. It’s our first Friday-Sunday weekend at home. We play Florida, who is No. 8 in the country right now, on Friday night at 7 p.m. On Sunday afternoon, we take on the Auburn Tigers. Florida is an excellent team. They’re fast and all over the field. They’ve been the best team in the conference for a number of years now. It will certainly be a very difficult test of us. It’s one we’re looking forward to. Auburn, as well, is a very good team. They’re very well organized. We need to be ready for them. The team is in good spirits. Knock on wood we’re pretty healthy right now. We just brought back Jessica Hiskey, who has been out all season with a broken leg. She was back and played about 60 minutes last night. She will start to earn more minutes. She started every game for us last year at left back. That makes our back line even stronger which is certainly encouraging as we hit this big conference slate.”

On Getting the First Conference Win:
“It was huge. We went down, but we didn’t panic. It’s a mark of our team getting more veteran and more mature. We went down. The girls didn’t drop their heads. It was kind of a fluky goal. They felt like we were going score. On the road in the SEC, you have to score two goals to win. It’s really hard to win 1-0 on the road. It speaks volumes for the character of our team.”

On Preparation Thus Far for Florida:
“We got to play USC earlier in the year. That was big for us. Memphis is a very good team. Minnesota is a very good team. All of those games prepared us for teams like Florida. Our conference is stacked from top to bottom. It’s going to be a fight to the finish. I like where we are. I like where we’re sitting. I like the way we’re playing. We’ll be ready for Florida.”

On the Amount of Goals Per Game to Win in the SEC:
“Typically if you score three goals, you have a really good chance to get a result, whether it is a tie or a win. Certainly if you score three goals in any SEC game, you’re going to expect to win that. Our defense is going to hold up. The back line is coming along. We’re starting to put Jess Hiskey back in there. It’s starting to become a more veteran back line. It was great. Melissa Capocaccia and Gretchen Harknett have been fantastic for us all season as outside backs and as freshmen. They’re the two freshmen that we’re starting. We’re happy with the total-team defense. Kelly (McCormick) has done a great job all year for us.”

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