MEET THE PRESS: Matt Mott Press Conference

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Head coach Matt Mott met with members of the media on Monday.
Head coach Matt Mott met with members of the media on Monday.

Oct. 15, 2012

Head coach Matt Mott met with members of the media on Monday to talk about the Rebels' wins over Vanderbilt and South Carolina this past weekend, and to talk about the upcoming matches against LSU and Tennessee in the home finale.

On Both Games This Past Weekend:

We played really well on the weekend. The team is at a good spot. Vanderbilt was a tough, physical battle for us. We had a great goal by Jess Hiskey. She’s been knocking on the door all year, but out at left back you only get so many opportunities. She just stung the ball and hit it on the far post. It was a great goal for her. We held on and didn’t give Vanderbilt very many opportunities to score, which was good. We had just very good, solid play out of our backline. We had two or three really good chances. Bethany Bunker had a good chance. Rafa (Rafaelle Souza) had a great ball to Mandy (McCalla) that she just hit over. It was a game that we felt like we had complete control in the entire time. We were happy to get the results, but we felt like we could have gotten another goal or two. Anytime you can win, we’ll take it.

South Carolina was a typical Sunday match. It was a little slower. Our guys came out focused, intense and determined. We had a lot to play for and it was the first time since I’ve been here that we’ve won two on the road in the SEC. That was something we were playing for. We hadn’t beaten South Carolina and that was another part of it. We’re just trying to get closer to the beach. We came out and played really well. We had a really good goal from Rafa set up by Alex Hildal off of a half volley, Rafa just crushed it. They equalized from a good goal. They’re very good on corners. We had a great corner from Brooke Theobald and Mandy pounded it off of the post and it kind of went straight up. Sam (Sanders) was there and knocked it in. We held on in the second half. We created some stuff. We had a couple of good looks in the second half, but it was more about defending and being compact and organized.

On Where The Team Is Heading Into The Last Three Games:
I’m happy two of them are home with LSU and Tennessee. LSU is very good. They’ve fallen on a couple of hard times lately, but they’ll be ready. They’re trying to get to the beach. They need points so they’re going to come in and play really hard. Tennessee is in the top 20 in the country. Their RPI is around 18. That’s a huge game for us from a standpoint of trying to get another win for our NCAA chances. It will be a very difficult weekend, but I’m certainly glad that we’re at home and in front of our home fans. We’ve been good out here and we’re hoping to continue that.

On The Team Hitting Stride At The Right Moment:
We’ve played well since the Florida game. We played well at Auburn and Georgia, but we just didn’t get the results. Now we’ve started to pick up the results in the way we’re playing. We’re playing really well, and this time of year you have to defend well. We have weapons up front in Rafa and Mandy. Olivia (Harrison) is coming on, as well as Bethany Bunker. It gives us a chance to score and that’s obviously huge.

They lost a big core of their team at midfield. They’re trying to find their identity in there and figure out who’s going to play. They’re going to be good. They’re organized and they’ve got good players all over the field. He’s an excellent coach. They will be a one-goal tough game for us; at least that’s what we’re expecting. They’re a little desperate so that always makes it tougher.

On The Coaching Mentality With Only One Road Game Left In Starkville:
I haven’t spent much time on them yet. We’re trying to take it one at a time. It certainly will be a tough game. Anytime it is your rivalry game, it’s going to be really hard. I expect to get their best, and they should expect to get our best when we match up down the road.

On Needing A Big Crowd For The Final Home Weekend:
We need a crowd. We’re doing a clinic out at FNC Park for all of the kids Thursday night from 6-7 p.m. We’re inviting anyone that wants to come out. We’re just going to have some fun with the kids. The team’s going to be out there. We’re going to try and draw the community in. The students and fraternities were fantastic. It helped us win, without question, against Kentucky. Anything like that certainly helps us win.

On Having Different Scoring Options And Different People Stepping Up Every Week:
Rafa gets a lot of attention because she opens up a lot of things for us. We have good players all over the field. That may be a big difference from our last couple of years. Anybody on the field can score, outside of maybe Kelly (McCormick). That’s part of it. They’re all technically gifted enough. You look at Friedmann (Maddie) on the other side and Jess can score. Friedmann had a couple of good looks out of that back right spot. We bring Sam forward for every corner or free kick because her heading presence is so good. It finally paid off. We knew she was going to score, it was just a matter of when. She goes and tries to find the ball. It’s good for her and Jess, too. Those guys have two game winners in our left back and center back. That game winner on the weekend was crazy, but I’m happy for them.

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