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September 18, 2012

Alec Johnson

Ryan Katz

COACH FRIESEN:  Obviously pretty good start to our season.  We had unfortunately our first loss of the year this last weekend to Stanford, who is the defending national champion from last season.  Really excited about our performance against a team of that calibre, it was a very even game.  We actually had several chances to equalize late in the game.  But great start to our season.  We open up, or have our next home game this Friday against U.C. Irvine, another tough opponent on the road; on Sunday against U.C. Santa Barbara.

Q.  What's been the biggest key to the strong start of the season?
COACH FRIESEN:  I think this is probably the closest‑knit group I've had since being here.  We have strong leadership.  We have seven seniors.
It's the first class that has come through the program since I've been the head coach, so I think just a lot of continuity and just focus, top to bottom and I think that's helped our younger players, as well, kind of come into the program and see how things work here, and it's just been, like I said, a fantastic start and a lot of it has to do with team chemistry and hard work.

Q.  Can you talk about Boaz's (ph) injury?
COACH FRIESEN:  Yeah, I don't know a ton about it other than she came out for a ball and the Santa Clara player.  After she won the ball, the Santa Clara player fell on her.  So she was down for a few minutes while Santa Clara actually had the while.  We were trying to trying to get the game stopped and it literally took like two minutes to get the ball out of bounds.
And so she came off the field.  She was fine after that.  We were able to put her back in in the overtime.  Obviously we missed her a little bit in the last ten minutes of the game and gave up the goal.

Q.  Do you think having made it in there when they did score, was that a factor?
COACH FRIESEN:  You know, Megan, unfortunately, Megan plays the toughest minutes possible on our team.  You know, she has to come into a game cold and a game that's tight and it that we are up 1‑0, we are under some pressure after a long weekend after playing Stanford on Friday.
It's the end of the game and we are getting tired, and we are playing high pressure; but as that wears on late in the weekend, that's tough.  So we are under pressure.
So she came in in a tough situation.  She made a good first initial save on the corner and then it kind of bounced around and she just got caught a little bit out of position and just went over her head.  It's unfortunate.  I think Rachel, having the flow of the game and the way she's been playing, maybe she gets to it.
But at the end of the day, Megan did a great job, did everything she could and it's just unfortunate we got scored on with a minute and 15 to go.

Q.  It's about learning what happens in losses; what did you learn about the team at Stanford?  What did the team learn about that calibre of opponent?
COACH FRIESEN:  I think the first thing we learned is we are as good as anyone in the country.  I think to go to Stanford and not just be in the game‑‑ a couple years ago we were up 2‑0 on them and ended up losing 5‑2.  We were not in that game.  That was counterattack soccer and sitting back.
This game was we pressured them into mistakes and we made them look like any other team we have played, and I think that was something that we'll gain a lot of confidence from.  We're disappointed not to win that game, at least to get the equalizer.  We had several chances and same thing with Santa Clara, two very good opponents on the road, tough weekend.
But I think what we'll gain from this is that we can play and we'll take the confidence away from that that we can play with anybody in the country, and we can pressure anybody into mistakes and so I think we'll gain a lot out of this, provided that we show up every single day and that's kind of been our focus, is on the process, day‑to‑day, show up, train hard, play hard, don't worry about the opponents; but worry about the next opponent and the next play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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