Nov. 29, 2007
Box Score |
Northwestern Men's Soccer
November 28, 2007
Illinois-Chicago 2, Northwestern 0
University of Illinois - Chicago head coach John Trask
"First of all, I'd like to say that I have the utmost respect for coach [Tim] Lenahan and the Northwestern program. They're a heck of a soccer team and a great program. David Roth is as good as there is in the country. I look forward to seeing him play at the next level. Hats off to my team. They're a feisty bunch. They don't like to lose. Some people may have thought earlier in the season that we weren't a special team. I always knew we were a special team and that's coming to the forefront now."
On the number of international players on the team...
"One of the Serbs was already with us. The Mexican-American, Cesar Zambrano, was basically with the program. In terms of Jovan [Bubonja] I went to Serbia. I had some connections so I went over there and found him. The two Bosnian brothers, the Husidic brothers, have been here since they were about 13 years old. Much like UIC, we're very culturally diverse. I love it. We're a lot like the city of Chicago. I think it's great. Everyone one of our guys respects each other and eats each others' foods. We've got two Englishmen on the team that opted to join us this year. The blend of these young men is really special for a college program. Obviously, we've also have quite a few Americans from the Chicago and St. Louis area and different parts thereof."
On playing Creighton in the next round...
"We played Creighton two years ago. We were fortunate enough to beat them at their place, kind of against all odds. We were just starting to build the program. Some of our guys felt hard done by the refereeing in that game and we were lucky enough to pull it off. I think we're going to be really up for this one."
On scoring four goals in the postseason so far...
"I had an injury midseason. I hurt my hamstring. I worked hard to get back into games and training and with working hard it pays off. With my team, every goal I've had I haven't done anything myself. I've just been able to be at the right place at the right time. It helps having a great team behind me."
Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan
"First off, congratulations to UIC. They played a great game. They did a good job of keeping us from what we wanted to do. We wanted an open, up-tempo game. They did a great job of keeping us in check. We got going a little bit in the second half, at the beginning. When it comes down to the NCAA tournament, it really comes down to making plays. They made a couple of plays and they were successful."
On having a break of over two weeks since the last game...
"There are pluses and minuses. You get all your bumps and bruises healed. We were at full strength for the first time in two months. We had great practice sessions the last 19 days or so. Obviously, things are moving a bit faster when you first get out there. UIC played well. John [Trask] and Sean [Phillips] have done a great job with the program. I won't take anything away from them. The game was played the way they wanted to play. The dictated the tempo."
On the team and the senior class...
"This team took a big step in terms of how we played soccer, in the past we were had sat back, counterattacked. This team took a huge step forward in terms of us being one of the premier teams, of being able not only to compete with anybody, but to beat anybody. When we didn't win a game, it was an upset. That was new for us. This group won 50 games together and I don't think we won 50 games in the 11 years prior to these guys getting here. This is a special group to me and they were a joy to coach from day one. This was a very enjoyable season from a coaching aspect. We had some highs and obviously it ends with a low."
On the season as a whole...
"I'm happy with how the season went. Unfortunately it ended, but I'm really proud of being a part of Northwestern and being a part of this program. While it didn't end on a particularly high note tonight, I take with me a lot of great memories and a lot of great friends and great happiness."
On the prospect of playing in the MLS...
"Whoever wants me to play, I'll play. I don't really know. The combine is coming in a month or two so I'll go there. I just want to keep playing because I still love the game. I don't know where, but wherever I can, I'll keep playing."
On the season and the team...
"The season was a success. Along the way, I've made a bunch of good friends, a lot of guys that will be in my wedding and at my wedding. One loss is just the end. Along the way and especially throughout this season, it's been great."