Post-Match Quotes | Vanessa DiBernardo, Alyssa Mautz and Chris Petrucelli - July 30, 2022
Following the Chicago Red Stars match against San Diego Wave FC, Head Coach Chris Petrucelli and players Vanessa DiBernardo and Alyssa Mautz spoke to reporters. The Red Stars fell to the Wave 1-0 Saturday, July 30, and now sit in third place in the National Women’s Soccer League standings.
On Alyssa Mautz’s decision to retire (From Sandra Herrera)
Alyssa Mautz: It felt similar for me, it came pretty fast, they called me out of the blue. I was never searching for anything and just right time to start thinking about it. I never thought I'd retire after the season, it kills me a little bit, but you know nothing’s ever perfect. I think I made the right decision, but I hate to leave my teammates, but I know they’ll keep working hard, keep fighting and keep showing that grit out there.
On Mautz’s perception of the club and where she would like to see it go from here (From Sandra Herrera)
Mautz: I mean we have a lot of young talent coming in now and the veterans are stepping up and I think this club is set for the future still. We’re still in the top five, but this club has always been up there and everyone wants to play for Chicago because they know they’re going to get a winning team. So, I mean, I wouldn’t want to be on any other team either that’s why I've been here for 10 years. Just the team the atmosphere, the girls are awesome to be around and I just have so much fun going to work every day.
On Chris’ experience with Mautz this year and what Vanessa thinks Mautz brought to the team and what they’ll miss with her gone (From Claire Watkins)
Christ Petrucelli: It’s been short term for me, but she’s a complete pro, she does everything that you ask. She does everything with passion and intensity. When she’s on the field you know what you’re going to get. She’s someone who’s going to give everything that she has. She’ll slide, she’ll fight, she’ll run and kick and scream and she’s a great role model for the young players that we have. I told the team before the game that we weren’t playing for Mautz, we wanted to play like Mautz, and I think we did. We played with good intensity and passion and that’s the best way we can honor her. I don’t know that we as a club can do enough for her based on her history and what she’s done. And this was very quick for us and also we don’t get to control a lot of things here at Soldier Field, so maybe we didn’t quite have enough ceremony for her, but she doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, she doesn’t like the attention, she just wants to go out and do her job and that’s why she’s been so good.
Vanessa DiBernardo: Mautz is the definition of the Red Stars. She’s gone through so much, yet she still has the back of everyone else. She's come back from two ACL’s, her mom passed away and she still comes here and shows up for other people. She’s just a great person outside of soccer, so everything she brings on the field is that hard work that dedication that grittiness to win every ball that’s contagious and infectious and that energy that she brings is something that we’ll truly miss here. I think it’s hard shoes for anyone to fill. She has been the legacy of what a Red Star is. I’m excited for her and her next opportunity but she’s going to be truly, truly missed.
On playing in front of 23,000 people and playing in Chicago (from Claire Watkins)
Mautz: I think they just put it out there for me for my retirement. They said we need a bigger stadium. No that was great to see, it was a great environment. I wish we could play here more often just to see more of that environment and the city and be down here, but yea it was very cool to play in front of that crowd.
DiBernardo: It was a fun experience. Obviously we would have liked to have a win, but just to have the fans there it creates so much more to that environment and that’s the environment you want to play in every game. That’s something we’re striving for and want our fans to be able to do at Bridgeview as well.
On the last 24 hours for the club regarding Mautz’s retirement announcement and playing at Soldier Field (from Brian Sandalow)
DiBernardo: I think we’re pretty used to it. This league there are so many different changes, year to year, and even in game, stadium to stadium. Obviously this was a big one, Mautz’s retirement, but I think, although it wasn’t at SeatGeek Stadium, it was here and in a great environment and I hope we were able to send her off well.
On Mautz’s favorite memory as a Red Star (from Sandra Herrera)
Mautz: I think I wasn’t even playing. It was off an ACL and we had made it to the finals the first time. That crowd, it gave me goose bumps. Just to see that and to see the fans get so into it, it was incredible and I was just so happy and for my teammates to get over that hump, I think that’s the one that comes to my mind right now, just because it was amazing afterwards.
On the lineup and Arin Wright’s reintegration on the back line (from Sandra Herrera)
Petrucelli: I think she was good and I think she brings a little bit of veteran presence to that back line that’s so young and I felt that we needed a little bit of that. She played back there a little earlier in the season and I knew that we could try her there, is kind of how this was. Let’s try it and she how it works because if it does work, it will had something that we don’t have. For me I think she was good. She spent a lot of time against some pretty good players that they have out front and I think that it went well. So I think moving forward we will see her there. I think the wingbacks, for us, are always going to be rotated given the amount of work they have to do in games and given what they add to the system and the quality of how many we have. We have 4-5 really good ones, we lose one after tonight, but anyone of those guys can step in and help us, so I think there’s always going to be some rotation on the flank.
On whether the team needs to focus on developing more of scoring threat or reinforcing up the defense (from Claire Watkins)
DiBernardo: I think it’s both. Obviously, if we play both sides of the game, defensively and offensively. The mistakes that we’re making are super easy to clean up so I don’t think it’s super concerning. Outside of their goal, I thought we were pretty good defensively, so I'm pretty confident in that. Offense is always like in front of goal is the hardest part, it’s always the last thing to come. I think we created a lot of chances tonight, I just think we didn’t hit the frame enough. So, if we had hit some of those off the frame, some rebounds or anything like that we could have easily scored a few tonight. We’re always trying to get better, both sides of this, we’ll continue to work and get better at it.
Petrucelli: I think some of the mistakes we made in the back these last couple of games are on me and on our coaches in that we’ve tried to implement a style of play that focuses on passing the ball a good deal. Sometimes it’s not appropriate to pass it, sometimes it’s better to kick it and get rid of it. I think that we got caught overplaying a little bit and I think that’s part of the change in the way we’re trying to play. I think the next piece of this is identifying when we should play and when we probably shouldn’t.
On the physicality of the game and the playing surface (from Claire Watkins)
DiBernardo: I would say it was a difficult game, they’re very direct so lots of first and second balls. The surface was pretty slow, so it hurt us a little bit when we were trying to move the ball quicker. The ball wasn’t moving as fast as we kind of wanted to. I don’t think that’s the reason why the game ended the way it did, but yeah.
On Shaw’s ability and goal (from Jeff Vorva)
Petrucelli: Honestly, I started coaching Jaeydn when she was 10 years old. She was like she is now, she was scoring goals and playing against 12–13-year-old players in US Soccer training centers and she was coming once a month and she was dangerous. So I wasn’t surprised by it by any means, she’s a great talent, a wonderful young lady. I’m sure she’s going to do great things moving forward.