Kansas Soccer Holds Media Day

Aug. 20, 2008

Soccer Media Day Quotes

Aug. 20, 2008

Soccer Head Coach Mark Francis

On the early part of the schedule:

“We open up this weekend with Purdue. They’re very good; they finished ranked ninth in the country last year. (Purdue) did graduate nine players, so they’re going to be a young team, but they’re used to winning. So it’s going to be a challenge. Next Sunday (Aug. 31) we play Auburn, who is a very good team out of the SEC. So I think we open up with two games that will let us know right off the bat about where we’re at, and also if we need to correct some things.”

On the young players up front:

“To be honest, goal scoring is a knack. You can either do it, or you can’t. Emily (Cressy) is a goal scorer; that’s why we recruited her. Kortney Clifton is also a goal-scorer; that’s why we recruited her as well. In our sport, those people get all the press, but other players on our team do their job as well as (our forwards), they just don’t get the press because goal scoring gets the headlines. I don’t think it matters what year you’re in.”

On Emily Cressy having star potential:

“She’s played one game and scored two goals, so she’s started out well. She’s a goal scorer, so she has that knack. The two goals she did score were about being in the right place at the right time and executing. That’s what we expect her to do. Emily has the potential to break all of the scoring records we have here. That’s what she does. Put her in front of the net with the ball, she’ll score.”

On the difference of playing from behind this year compared to last year:

“I think it’s a lot less likely (that we get shut out) this year. But I think what it also does is as a team, when you go down a goal it puts a lot of pressure on the defenders. If you go down a goal, you think ‘oh man, we haven’t been scoring’. I think now the players are more comfortable with that fact that if we do go down a goal it’s not as big of a deal. During the spring, and on the Brazil trip, there were times that it happened, and we didn’t get down, we didn’t panic, we just kept plugging away. It just helps the team’s overall confidence.”

Junior defender Estelle Johnson

On her switch to middle-defender:

“I liked the outside because I got to attack more and I got to be a lot more offense-minded, but I think I’m adjusting to the center because I have a lot more control over the game. I can get to the left side or right side if I need to, and I like having that control.”

On teammate Katie Williams:

“It’s relieving because last year we had to throw Katie in the middle, but I think she’s adjusted well. She’s a big part of the team now, and she knows what I want from her and I know what she wants from me. I think we’ll be good together in the middle.”

On her role on the team:

“I think my role would really be to bring energy and set the tone for the defenders. I know that Missy (Geha) and Jess (Bush) handle the midfield and set the tone for them, but I think it’s my turn to step up and show the other defenders how it’s done.”

Senior midfielder Jessica Bush

On the team:

“I think there’s a lot of speed, but we’ve had speed in the past. Like Coach (Francis) said, the depth on this team is incredible at every position. If one person isn’t playing well that week, another person can step in and we don’t lose a beat. I think to have that on a team is incredible, because you really don’t see it that often.”

On teammate Emily Cressy:

“There are always challenges with it, but we had the year with her last year and we’ve worked with her a lot. She’s really open about communicating with us and we communicate with her if there are issues. It’s been really good. She’s done a great job. She’s a good player and she’s overcome a lot.”

Senior midfielder Missy Geha

On her expectations for the team:

“I have really high expectations for this team. I’m a senior now so I’ve been with the program a few years and I think this is probably one of the most talented teams I’ve played with. I’m expecting great things from this team.”

On the team’s schedule:

“It’s a lot easier to play at home because you’re in your own environment and you keep your normal routine, but there are distractions at home that aren’t there on the road. Then again, there are added stresses on the road with schoolwork and things like that. I prefer to play at home. I love playing at home and representing the University of Kansas on our home field, as a senior. I’m glad that we’re at home a lot this year.”