After the Chicago Red Stars’ 2-2 tie with OL Reign, goal scorers Danielle Colaprico and Ella Stevens, along with Coach Chris Petrucelli, met with reporters.
On half-time adjustments (from Claire Watkins)
Chris Petrucellli: A couple of things surprised me. First of all I was surprised by their lineup. I didn’t think all of their national team players would play the amount of minutes they were. We knew we had a strong lineup. I think they gave us trouble building out, they had four across the front line and that’s something in a three back that’s hard to deal with. We did make an adjustment at half time, we rolled Vanessa wider just to help us on the build and had Danny come central. I think that helped us build out more.
On Ella Stevens staying mentally focused when a scoring opportunity appears (from Claire Watkins)
Ella Stevens: It can be tough. I think it was a lot of back and forth. There wasn’t a lot of time to turn off, so I would say that it was easier to stay focused with how much was going on and how quickly they were able to counter on us. Just watching and seeing all the players working so hard that made it easier.
On Danielle Colaprico taking the penalty kick (from Claire Watkins)
Danielle Colaprico: I feel that there’s a lot of players on our team that can take good PKs and I feel like in the moment it’s just about who’s feeling confident. When I grabbed the ball Mal was like “you got it?” and I said “yea I got this” and I just stepped up and hit it.
On Morgan Gautrat’s return from injury (from Claire Watkins)
Colaprico: I may be a little biased, but I love Morgan. I played with her for so long and I think that she’s a player that we’re glad is back on the field. She’s someone who comes in and instantly makes an impact. She’s someone who calms the game down, especially when she’s on the ball. She doesn’t make the craziest moves, but she keeps it simple and makes a huge impact in that way. I think she’s a great leader over all and knows how to control the game. It’s great to have her back, she’s had a rough year. Credit to her for sticking with it and putting her head down every day and going to work and getting better. We’re so happy to see her back on the field.
Stevens: I would agree with what Danny said. It’s hard getting injured and being out as long as she was just mentally and be back and be physically ready. I’m really happy for her and the minutes she got tonight.
Petrucelli: I think we’ve all watched her struggle through the season and I think everyone felt pretty good the moment she got in, but she made an impact. She was pretty good in the short time she was in there. We needed her and I think she stepped up and did quite well.
On any new aspects of OL Reign’s game that stood out (from Jason Anderson)
Petrucelli: Yea that was a little bit new. A couple of things that gave us problems. Like I said they were four. They didn’t really drop back as we advanced the ball. They stayed up on the front line. Rose stayed back a little bit, but she was behind our sixes the entire time, so any time we lost the ball, it was a quick ball forward for them and it was four against three and that’s why they gave us a lot of problems in transition. It’s dangerous to play that way. It gives your team chances to score goals, which is what they wanted to do. It’s also obviously a little bit risky, but it certainly gave us problems.
On some players’ time off before these next games on a quick turnaround (from Sandra Herrera)
Colaprico: I feel like having a bye weekend was nice, especially with a three game week that we’re about to have. It’s always nice to get a lot of training in. I feel like during the season it’s game after game and it’s hard to work on the things that you need to while at the same time managing your bodies. I think having the bye week really allowed us to do that. So, I think we got some good trainings in and we’re prepared to take on the next few games.
On coaching adjustments for the next couple of games (from Sandra Herrera)
Petrucelli: The timing in training makes a big difference. I think the biggest thing that came out of training was Ella had two really good weeks and that’s why you saw her in the lineup and obviously it paid off. Certainly we had some tactical things we did leading into this match to prepare the team, but the biggest thing that came out of it was Ella having two really good weeks and that carried over into the game.
On Colaprico’s favorite part of the Chicago Sky’s season (from Sandra Herrera)
Colaprico: I feel like so many, but I will go on the record and say that Sloot is my favorite player and if she’s watching this by any chance I’d really like to meet her. Maybe I have a spare jersey if she wants it. We can like swap. It’s been so much fun watching them. They’re all rock stars and honestly super inspiring. It’s funny how it worked out, but they had a game right before our North Carolina game and honestly I was so hype and then we went into the game and I was like “shoot” but they really inspire me and they’re great.
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