Tom Sermanni: Sky Blue FC

Thoughts on the game
“Obviously at halftime, we were quite happy. I thought the game was fairly even in the first half, and we got the opportunity and scored. We came out for the second half feeling quite confident and quite comfortable. An Achilles heel of ours this season seems to be our defending. There were two examples of that in the first five minutes of the second half. Almost a carbon copy of the goal Sky Blue scored against us in mid-week happened early in the second half, despite our best efforts to look at that, study it, and come up with a strategy to stop it. We struggled to break them down from there. The last 10-15 minutes, the effort from the players was great. We put them under pressure, and we had some little bits and pieces of half-chances.”  

Thoughts on the exposed space between the backline and Ashlyn Harris
“It’s a combination. It certainly is a match of pace. We like pace, but other teams like pace as well in different areas. It very much is a lack of recognition of when to push on and when to drop off and seeing those cues. Sometimes that is difficult. But there are certain circumstances, in particularly with the first goal tonight, where at this level that should be a no-brainer. We keep getting caught out. We’ve looked at it, worked at it, talked about it and analyzed it. Then we go out and don’t execute what we should be doing.”

Thoughts on Josée Bélanger’s injury
“She strained a hamstring. I don’t know how badly. At this stage, we will find out probably tomorrow when she gets an MRI. It is very unlikely she will play in 2 weeks.”

Thoughts on 2 goals in 5 minutes by Sky Blue FC 
“It is called being brain-dead. We lost the first goal from a goal kick where we pressed the ball. [Kelley] O’Hara got close enough. [Kelley] O’Hara got tight enough and then being static with a ball over the top. It’s classic defending 101; it should just never ever happen at this level, and it’s happened to us twice in the last four days. The second one was a factor of two things: very, very poor decisions in possession in our own half – being sloppy, not being careful enough to keep the ball – coupled by unbelievably poor, diving-in and amateur defending. I don’t know what to do. I am at a loss of words just like everyone else. It’s not like we haven’t gone out there and worked on our team defending. It’s not like we haven’t looked at videos and seen the opposition players. But we seem to just have this gift of switching off and giving up goals to opposition incredibly cheaply. I wish Alex [Morgan] and Jasmyne [Spencer] and the other strikers got such easy opportunities from their defenders.”

Thoughts on final game with Kansas
“This is what we need to do for the final game: we need to look at Kansas and look at who will be our best team to play them. It’s going to be up to myself, the coaching staff and players to get us focused and ready to get a good result. We could’ve finished with a good result tonight with better applications and decision making. Hopefully in our final game we can do that.”

Thoughts on Kristen Edmonds’s goal and performance
“She’s been the sign of the season. I said before, she came to us as part of another trade. So I didn’t know much about her. She’s one of these players who floated around and suddenly found a place here where her ability comes to the front. She’s the kind of player we want at the Club. One of her projects for next year is to find these ‘Kristen Edmonds’ floating around the league for us, but she’s been outstanding for us this season.”

Thoughts on Lisa De Vanna
“I thought she started well and thought she ran out of gas. To be honest, that was expected; she was traveling all week. I think you saw flashes of [Lisa] De Vanna tonight – about what she can bring to the team and the league.”

Thoughts on what you saw in De Vanna
“She’s a gamebreaker; she causes chaos, scores goals, and is a great footballer. She’s not just this kind of Duracell bunny running with a ball, and you got to remember she hasn’t done a training session with us because she arrived to us on Monday night. We only had a short, loose session, but she hasn’t walked out on the field with us. Two more weeks under the belt, and I think she’ll make a big impact against Kansas.”

Thoughts on Laura Alleway
“She only came on with only 15 to 20 minutes to go, but it was good to get her back in the game. She injected some life, and that really helped us. She nearly scored a goal for us, so I was pleased with her contribution and impact of coming helped the team.”

Orlando Pride Player Kristin Edmonds (Defense, #12)

Thoughts on the game’s result
“We are obviously disappointed with the result, but you always want to come away with a three points and goal or no goal. If we don't come with three points, it’s pretty irrelevant.”

Thoughts on free kick
“We were trying to see where the keeper was going to go. She was really far to our left, so I told Toni I'm going to hit this one, and when it went upper 90, it worked out.”

Thoughts on playing with Lisa De Vanna
“She definitely gives us a spark when she is out there. She is a quick player, and it’s good to have her. I wish we had her for a little bit longer, but it’s nice to have her for the end of the season. Hopefully, for our last game, she can come and make a different for us and help us with our last game and especially for our fans.”

Thoughts on upcoming last game
“We haven’t won a game in a while, so it’s really important for us to finish this season on a high note knowing how frustrated we are. We still have another game to get a win, and I think it’s possible that we can win that last one in front of our home fans and hopefully get a good crowd and environment. Our fans never disappoint, so we hope to get three points from that one.”

Thoughts on pressure to win last game
“I wouldn’t call it pressure, but it’s frustrating to keep losing games. On Wednesday when we played Sky Blue you know we felt like we should of came out of there with three [points], especially on the road where it’s hard to get points at all. It wasn’t the end of the world when we came out of there with one [point], but to lose this one hurt even more. Just for our confidence and happiness, we want to finish strong this upcoming last game.”

Thoughts on playing at home in New Jersey on Wednesday
“I was looking forward to that game all season. I have a lot of fans and teams that I coached in New Jersey. They even came out to watch us play, and they definitely didn’t disappoint, and it was nice to go back home and play.”