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Match Quotes | Milazzo, Naeher and Petrucelli - June 12, 2022

The Red Stars walked away with a 1-0 victory over the Orlando Pride on Sunday, June 12. Afterwards, Coach Chris Petrucelli and players Tatumn Milazzo and Alyssa Naeher spoke to reporters about the team’s performance. Here’s what they had to say:

On Kayla Sharples' injury (from Claire Watkins)

Alyssa: I think the biggest thing was just getting our composure back. Obviously, it’s always hard to see a teammate go down in the middle of a game. I think the back four has been jelling as a unit. So I think it was important to grab Tatumn and go up to the coaches and figure out what we’re doing and game plan what adjustments we’re going to make and then it’s just getting our minds back in it. At halftime we’re able to make more adjustments and talk things through, but it’s never easy, but credit to Tatumn, Zoe and Amanda coming in. It’s not easy to come in 20 something minutes into a game and obviously the three of them played strongly and played well and we’re able to finish with another shut out.

Tatumn: Honestly, it was about getting composure back. It always shakes you up a bit when one of your teammates is down and it looks like that. In that moment it’s like, let’s check the time get through this half with what we have and regroup at halftime. I think everyone did a good job rallying together the rest of that half and staying together throughout the second half as well.

Chris: No update right now. She has a knee injury and she’s going to need a scan and all that, so once that happens, we’ll have a good diagnosis and figure out which way to go with her.

On substitution rotations (from Claire Watkins)

Chris: I had a plan, but it went out the window about 20 minutes in. It was a plan to rest some players and the encouraging thing was we got to halftime and we were going to make more changes, but Vanessa said let me go and Bianca said let me go. So, it was encouraging and satisfying to see those guys say we need to get the points here and I'll run until I die and I think they did.

On Chelsie Dawber’s substitution (from Dan Gaichas)

Chris: Chelsie hasn’t played so, she’s not injured or anything like that. She only had so many minutes in her.

On the tough schedule the Red Stars just finished (from Jeff Vorva)

Chris: I think it was incredibly difficult for us. Today wasn’t much of soccer game, you could see we didn’t have a lot of legs. You could see us, we committed a lot of late fouls and it was sort of reaching when we couldn’t move our feet anymore. But, if you look at it, over five games in that short amount of time, the results are pretty good. I didn’t know what to expect going into it and didn’t know where we’d be coming out of it, but I think we’re in a pretty good spot right now. It wasn’t just five games in a short amount of time, it was good teams that we played. I think we should be encouraged about what we did during that time period.

On having 12 shutouts at home (from Hernan Espinoza Jr.)

Alyssa: That’s nice to hear, I didn’t know that. I think that’s a credit to the back three right now and the other seven in front of them. We start defending from the forward line all the way back through. Any shutout is team statistic, obviously as a defense that’s our goal coming into every game. We want to keep a clean sheet, it’s always on our minds and we know if we don’t get scored on we can’t lose. I think it’s a credit to the defensive effort everyone is putting in all the way from the nine all the way to the back line. We keep working, we keep building from it and we talked about being able to convert some of these late leads into wins and not just ties. Proud of the group tonight for being able to do that particularly. Seattle last week to win 1-0 and to come out tonight with another 1-0 win. I think we’re moving in the right direction; we still have a lot of work to continue to put in and continue to learn from each game. We have to keep coming together as a group and as a team and I think that’s what you saw tonight, at the end of a 5-game stretch everyone gave what they had. Everyone is fighting and giving every last ounce of energy that they had. We’ll rest up now and head to Kansas City next week.

On how the team is feeling physically after this stretch of games (from Hernan Espinoza Jr.)

Tatumn: Definitely after this stretch everyone’s legs are tired but I know we were thinking that we just had to get through these couple of games and try to get the results we had and now we have a little bit longer of a break, so I think we were just really trying to push and get the results we wanted and go from there.

On Chris’ assessment of the team 1/3 of the way through the season (from Dan Gaichas)

Chris: They’re tough. They fight hard. You watch them and first of all you’re impressed with the effort, how gritty they are. The quality of some of the goals is really good. The quality of the goal Mal scored today was top level. If you have a talented goal scorer and a talented goal keeper and then you have a bunch of tough players, you have the chance to be pretty good and we’ve been pretty good.

On the team’s feeling about the schedule (from Claire Watkins)

Tatumn: I feel like there’s no point in letting it even be a thought at this point. That’s what we’re given and we’re going to deal with it. Don’t waste your energy on the stuff you can’t control.

Chris: We talked about it when it started and we said we’re going to take it one game at a time. Let’s not worry about game 2, 3, 4 or 5. Let’s worry about game number 1, and when we get to game number 2, we’ll think about game number 2. There was some plan to rotate and things like that, but for them, it was go out and play each game.

Alyssa: That’s the mindset now. This is a five-game stretch, but I do think that needs to be addressed in the offseason. I think it’s not just us. Washington has had game after game after game. The last time we played Orlando they were coming off their big stretch of games. I think as a league, as a front office, whoever is in charge of the schedule, owners, GM’s, whoever it is, need to come together and put together something that makes sense because this league should be the best league in the world and unfortunately, you’re not getting to see the best out of teams and players because it’s not just the games, there’s no time to train. Players can’t get back from injury and don't have time to get built up minutes in, you’re only getting minutes in a game. So, our mindset, in season now, like they said there’s nothing we can do, there’s nothing we can change and our focus is one game at a time. What’s our game plan for this game? How do we get points, how do we get wins. We’ll figure out Kansas City next week, but I think it needs to get addressed. And again, it’s not just us, it’s every team in this league and I think there are too many talented teams and talented players to see some of those things get hurt by such a condensed schedule when it doesn’t have to be that way.

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