Quotes from SCU Head Coach Jerry Smith
Nov. 2, 2001
On the game:
It was a good win for the team. I thought we battled pretty hard in the second half. The games with Portland are always tight like this. It's usually a one-goal game. For us to score two goals against a very good defense... Portland is one of the leading defensive teams in the country I thought we did a good job creating chances, maybe even scored another goal or two, but we also dodged a couple of bullets. We didn't play as well as we can play tonight, but it's a grinding type of win where we did enough positive things to win the game.
There were a lot of plays made out there today that didn't lead to a goal, but still helped us preserved the win. We were not physical enough in the first half. In the second half, our physical effort was much better. When we can come out and play physically and intensely, we're really good, because the skillful part of the game we're really good at, it's the intense, physical part of the game that we need to get better at.
But there were a lot of things in the game that I was not happy with. We did not do well in the air, we got beat in the air a lot... we didn't do well on our throw-ins... our goal kicks and punts, were really weaknesses for us. The reason why you play good teams like Portland is so you can find out what you're weaknesses are, and they exposed them. Luckily, we have a few weeks to work on them before the NCAA Tournament. We'll definitely take the result. A win against Portland is never easy to come by, even on your own home field.
On Clinching a Share of the WCC Title:
And we finished in the fifth place last year, so know that we have at least a share is good news. But I know our players won't be satisfied with that, they'll want to get a win on Sunday to win the championship outright. We'll hold any celebrations about our placement in the conference until after Sunday. Hopefully we'll get a win against a good San Diego team and win it outright. That was one of our goals for the year and we have a chance to do it on Sunday.