• Chicago Red Stars

Pre-Match Quotes | Ella Stevens and Chris Petrucelli - July 7, 2022

Ahead of the Chicago Red Stars’ match against the North Carolina Courage, Coach Petrucelli and Ella Stevens took questions from members of the media. The Red Stars play the Courage in their 11th match of the season on the road July 10 at 5:00 pm CT.

On the team’s confidence to play through the midfield for this match (from Claire Watkins)

Chris Petrucelli: It’ll be harder for sure. For both teams. Both teams are used to outnumbering other teams in the midfield and that’s not going to happen this match. This becomes more individual matchups and how to handle your individual matchups and the ability to create some space against players that are tighter and matched up. It’s an interesting matchup for both teams because neither one is used to being matched up in the midfield like we’re going to be.

On the players stepping up with the international players absent (from Claire Watkins)

Petrucelli: It was great certainly to see Sarah score the first one after a great run from Tatumn. We made the decision to move Vanessa forward a little bit in the hopes that she could provide some spark, which she certainly did. The final goal was a good combination of a good service from Gilli, a nice set up from Yuki and a good finish by Ella. It's good to see different people involved and I think we saw some people raise their game. Ella being one of them for sure, I think that was the best game that she’s had and we needed that, and will continue to need that in the coming weeks.

On Ella getting used to playing in this system and getting more minutes (from Claire Watkins)

Ella Stevens: I think it’s taken me some time to feel comfortable on the field in general, but I think being given the opportunity to grow has been good and there has been things that I've need to work on since I got here, so I think taking the time to improve helped and hopefully I can continue to show what I can do.

On Ella playing center forward (from Claire Watkins)

Stevens: I would say at the beginning I just wanted a way to get on the field and I saw that we were missing a true nine, so I said why not? Maybe I can figure it out. I think having Ava, who is a true nine, and learning from her and how she uses her body and how she moves in that position, that’s been helpful. I didn’t expect it but it’s been fun.

On developing her finishing (from Claire Watkins)

Stevens: I think I've had to work on that because I would much rather play the final pass, I think I’m more comfortable doing that and in front of goal I think it looks easier that it is, and maybe it is, but that’s definitely been a challenge that I've had to work on.

On WNBA All-Star Weekend taking place in Chicago (from Claire Watkins)

Stevens: I think it’s great and inspiring. I think when I was younger, it wasn’t a thing and to see it grow the way it has and continue to grow has been a lot fun.

On the NWSL having an All-Star Game (from Claire Watkins)

Stevens: I think that would be fun. We would have to work out minutes because a lot of players play a lot of minutes and the players playing in that game would be the ones who play a lot of minutes. But if can figure that out, it would be a lot of fun.

On the team’s success despite injuries to players (from Larry Hawley)

Petrucelli: It’s a deep roster and a lot of good players. The team as a whole has adopted the philosophy of what’s doing what’s best for the team and that means sometimes it might be there day and sometimes it might not, but when they’ve been called upon, they’ve all stepped up and done well. I think it’s got a lot to do with a lot of talented players who have the right attitude and are team first people.

On what has allowed the younger players to step up (from Larry Hawley)

Stevens: I think just being able to play at the level and what they’ve done to be able to play in their first season. To be thrown in, it takes a lot of getting used to and it can be uncomfortable but I think the transition into this league and taking the opportunities they’ve been given, I think it’s a testament of what kind of players they are. It’s helped our team as a whole a lot.

Petrucelli: I think they’ve created an environment that is enjoyable for everybody. If you get a chance to come to training you see a group that’s having fun. I think when you enjoy your job you tend to be good at it and that’s kind of what we’re seeing.