Quotes & Notes | Portland Thorns FC 0, Boston Breakers 2 - June 7, 2013

Buehler: "I think we're still strong and have a lot to build on."

Portland Thorns FC vs. Boston Breakers Quotes
July 6, 2013

Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone
On the team’s play in the first half:
“I think in the first half we were playing exactly to Boston’s strength. We were giving the ball away in the midfield and allowing them to counterattack against us. Sydney Leroux is a world-class forward. You just can’t give her chances like that, having her turn and run at our defense. She’s going to put those away nine times out of 10.”

On the team’s play in the second half:
“I think in the second half we finally saw what we were capable of doing. Unfortunately, we couldn’t put a goal in the back of the net, but other than that I thought I we did a lot of things really well. I think we neutralized their counterattack, and then we also were creating a lot of chances. We put it together in the second half, but there’s a reason why soccer is two halves; we’ve got to play in both of them.”

On what led to the team’s improved play in the second half:
“It was just a mentality shift. We had been talking about it for the past few weeks, and this was the first time we saw it. They finally came together and realized that if we go together, if we press together, if we build the attack together, we can do this. We can create lots of chances. We can be tough defensively. I think it’s been difficult with players coming in and out and we’ve had a slew of injuries, so people are in different positions and I think there’s a little bit of uncertainty, but we finally put it together in the second half.”

On the mood of the team after the loss:
“The mood is uplifting because finally we saw in the second half what we are capable of doing when we go after teams. We’ve been talking about it a lot in training and I think the second half was the first time we’ve really seen it all season long. We’re going to build off that second half.”

Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair
On the team’s play in the first and second halves:
“We were very disappointed with our first half. We knew they had a lot of pace up top and we let them burn us twice. In the second half, we were a different team. We completely dominated, but couldn’t find the back of the net. As an attacking player, though, it’s when you’re not creating chances that you start to worry, so seeing the chances that we created in the second half gives me a lot of hope for the upcoming games.”

On the team’s mentality in the second half: 
“I think there were parts of the first half where we were getting frustrated. You give up two chances, you give up two goals, it’s like ‘oop, here we go again.’ But I thought we rallied. Our halftime was spent sort of reflecting, ‘what are we doing this for guys?’ I thought we came out very well and that was probably one of the best halves I’ve seen us play this whole season.”

On the support of the fans:
“Our fans are incredible. I think in that first half they kept us going. There were moments in that half where it would have been very easy to just, ‘Ugh.’ But they kept us going. They’re incredible. They sing and chant until we’re off the field. No other team in this league has the support that we do. We walk off the field disappointed in how we played, but I think disappointed for our fans, too, because we want to show them better.”

Thorns FC defender Rachel Buehler
On the team’s performance in the second half: 
“The second half, it was really frustrating that we didn't score, but also helpful. I mean, we played some really good soccer and I think we showed our best side so it was great to have a half where we did feel good about how we played, but didn't get the result."

On the team’s defensive performance the past two matches:
"I think it's tough. It makes you want to analyze and sometimes can mess with your confidence and things, but I think we just need to continue to work and find our mistakes and build off of that. We also need to recognize the successes that we have had this season. We still are one of the lowest goals against teams. I think that it's been a frustrating last two games, but I think we're still strong and have a lot to build on."

Notes:
  • Thorns FC defender Kathryn Williamson is the only player to have appeared in every minute of all 14 matches (1,260 minutes) this season for Portland.
     
  • Williamson, defender Nikki Marshall and midfielder Allie Long are the only three players that have started all 14 of Portland’s games in 2013.
     
  • Forward Alex Morgan attempted a season-high eight shots on Saturday. Morgan leads the NWSL in shots (51) and shots on goal (29).
     
  • Thorns FC attempted a season-high 20 shots against Boston.
     
  • Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc leads the league with 55 saves and an 0.85 goals-against average.
     
  • Despite allowing two goals on Saturday, Thorns FC still have conceded the fewest number of goals in the league this season, surrendering 13 goals in 14 games. Western New York has also conceded 13 goals in 14 games.
     
  • Boston forward Sydney Leroux’s opening goal in the 11th minute was the quickest opponent goal scored at JELD-WEN Field this season. The previous record was a 34th-minute penalty kick by FC Kansas City’s Lauren Cheney on June 6.
     
  • Sydney Leroux’s goal in the 11th minute was the first time Thorns FC have conceded a goal in the opening 15 minutes of a match at home this season.