Postgame Quotes - Kansas vs. Tennessee

Aug. 19, 2011

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Postgame Quotes
Tennessee 2, Kansas 1 (OT)
Aug. 19, 2011 – Lawrence, Kan.

Kansas Head Coach Mark Francis
On comparing tonight’s game with the exhibition last Sunday:

“I thought it was like night and day from last weekend. We talked about at the beginning of the season that if we get beat, it’s not going to be because the other team outworks us. I thought our energy, our intensity and our commitment to compete was excellent. (Tennessee) is a really good team, too. They competed really well and I thought it was just really hard fought game. It was really hot and humid today and I think it zapped the energy out of everyone on both teams. It was real battle of wills just to keep plugging away.

I thought our kids showed a lot of character. Our defending in the midfield and defending in the back was much better. There were very few free headers and very few times where they got the ball with as much space as we gave Butler on Sunday.

I think we need to work on being a little more patient (in the attacking third of the field) and we have to be a little more clinical. We had some great opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of. Overall though I’m very happy with the progress we made from last week. We’ve got a very young group and they way they competed today was awesome. It’s disappointing to lose like that in overtime, but it happens. We need to bounce back because we’ve got another game on Sunday.”

On how the overtime games benefit his team’s conditioning:
“We had a lot of kids play a lot of minutes today. It’s still early in the season and you’re not going to be at the maximum fitness level that you want to be at. We’re still recovering from preseason and I think fitness-wise we looked good. We obviously had to make some changes and get some fresh legs in there but kids kept going. I thought our energy level was good. Games like this will help playing overtime games for sure because I’m sure we’ll be in some more later on.”

On the where the team stands defensively after today’s game:
“I think having Amy (Grow) back in the midfield really helped. She did a great job challenging in the air, winning tackles and she did a good job communicating with the other midfielders. It’s the same thing with Brittany (King) in the middle of the back, it got us more organized and keeping everyone on the same page. Having everybody out there made a big difference. I also think the other kids picked up on a lot of the stuff we worked on in practice and applied it to today’s game so that’s another positive.”

On what it will take to get his team regrouped before the Arkansas game Sunday:
“One of the biggest things is we have to rest up. We have to make sure we refuel because we expended a lot of energy today. Arkansas has a game tonight so they have to travel and we have to take advantage of having a home game on a Sunday. That’s huge because they can sleep in a little, they don’t have to travel tomorrow and they can rest. We just need to come out on Sunday and show some resolve. This time of year a 1-1 record is a lot different than a 0-2 record, so I think Sunday is very important. Arkansas is a good team and they’re in a very competitive conference. It’ll be a lot like today. It’ll be a tough game and we need to come out and show the same commitment we showed today.”