Match Quotes | Kowalski, Morse and Petrucelli - June 18, 2022
Following the Chicago Red Stars’ match against the Kansas City Current, Coach Petrucelli, Amanda Kowalski and Zoe Morse took questions from media members. The Red Stars tied the Current 2-2 and extended their unbeaten streak to six matches.
On the team’s preparations leading up to the Kansas City match (from Claire Watkins)
Zoe Morse: We had no doubts that Amanda could step in and take on the role and it meant me shifting into the middle. I’ve played there once or twice before, so it wasn’t that big of a shift and we had all the trust in the world in Amanada, so it honestly wasn’t that big of a shift for us because we knew we had to keep our game plan and Amanda was going to step up, which she did with a goal.
On Kowalski coming in last week and adjusting to starting during the Kansas City match (from Claire Watkins)
Amanda Kowalski: I think the toughest thing about having to come in under a circumstance like that is you don’t want to move past the fact that your teammate just had a horrible injury, like you have to put it in the back of your mind and try to forget about it, and I think that was the hardest part about having to come in, was trying to have my emotions take a back seat and stay as level headed as possible, which helped us get a good result.
On half-time adjustments (from Claire Watkins)
Morse: We just knew we had to clean up our passes and just move the ball. They were in a solid formation against us; they matched us up well, so we just had to move it to keep those gaps between them, which I think we stepped up big in the second half in finding more of those gaps.
Kowalski: yea I think the biggest thing too is we had four people in the midfield and we knew we were up numbers, so that was kind of our target, to get into the midfield as much as possible.
On the feeling of continuing the unbeaten streak (from Claire Watkins)
Morse: Yeah. This has been the craziest stretch, but I've been so proud of the team throughout all of it. I think we stuck through it all together and now we get a week off, but honestly, it is a mental break, but we are still midseason and we still have to stay into it and just rest our legs, get a little time off and get back on it again.
On continuing the three-back formation (from Claire Watkins)
Kowalski: I think the personnel we have right now, I mean it’s tough having a low amount of center backs when you have to have three of them, but I think the personnel that we have and the shape that we’re in is probably the best one and it’s one that we’ve been working on all season, so I think for comfort, I think it is where we’re going to stick for now at least.
Morse: I would just add to that yes to both the options you gave us, like yes this is where we’re most comfortable because we’ve been doing it, but obviously if the coaches bring anything to us that we need to change, we’re going to take it on and do that. If they see another formation is best, but I agree with Amanda I'm comfortable with this.
On half-time adjustments (from Claire Watkins)
Chris Petrucelli: Well first of all we finished the half really well. At the end of the half we had the ball and so we just talked about trying to play for our box a little more, but playing inside and outside and I do think it worked some for us. Like every NWSL game it got stretches like crazy at the end, again anything can happen and it did.
Thoughts on the defense (from Claire Watkins)
Petrucelli: We gave up one goal on a play, really and it was off of our turnover, so I thought they did a good job. They’re all really young and they haven’t played together much, so there’s still a good deal of work we need to do back there.
On Petrucelli’s assessment of the team so far this season (from Claire Watkins)
Petrucelli: If you look at it over all, it’s been really good. We found ways to win, Mal has certainly helped that. If you remember early, we were giving up a lot of goals on set pieces and stuff like that, I know we gave up one tonight, but we’ve solved that a little bit. So, we’ve made progress in some areas. I just think that if you go back and watch us play in the Challenge Cup and go back and watch us play now, we’re a better team. We’re a better team now than we were before and I'm hoping we’ll be a better team in July, August and September than we are right now.
On how the team will adjust to being without some players during the international break (from Claire Watkins)
Petrucelli: I think one of the things I'm happy about is, over the course of the Challenge Cup and early part of the season, we’ve played a lot of players and we have a lot of depth and we can use players in different situations and I think we’re going to have to match up players with styles we’re playing against, or ways that we want to play or certain parts of the field that we want to try to exploit. It’s going to be harder without Mal, Alyssa and Bianca, but other teams are losing people too so I think the league is very even, as we’ve seen by the table, probably more now. I think it will continue to be. I think we’ll continue to see a lot of ties as we’re seeing, but we have to find a way to score goals without her, so maybe on set pieces, we saw one today. I think if we can get Ava, Ella and Sarah, who had a really good chance today, if we can get those guys a little bit more confident and sharper, I think we have a chance.