Dec. 4, 2010

Stanford Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe

Were excited to play in the championship game and it should be an exciting match. Were all very competitive people so this is what we play the game for. We want to compete at the highest level and this is the biggest stage. It would mean a lot to us and it would mean a lot to all the players that have come through Stanford. There have been so many talented players and we would love to win a national title for everybody.”

On biggest challenge facing Notre Dame

Weve come up against great forwards in the past with very good defense. Melissa Henderson will be a handful to deal with, but the team can definitely deal with her. Theyre an all-around good team. I expect a challenging game, but theres nothing specifically that Im overly concerned about. We have to take care of business and worry about ourselves and make sure that we put on a good performance, and not worry so much about the opposition.”

On the goalkeeper situation

Were in a great situation because we have the luxury of having two fantastic goalkeepers. Kira Maker has had an amazing career at Stanford and has done so much for the program. Emily Oliver came in this year. Shes a super talented goalkeeper and you saw yesterday she made a huge save. Its been a difficult decision trying to choose which goalkeeper is the best. I think at the end of the day Emily Oliver has grown so much through this year and she just has a real presence about her, so were going to stick with her right now, but Kira has been outstanding, too. Were really fortunate to have two great goalies.”

Junior Forward Lindsay Taylor

On defensive strategy in the semifinals vs. Boston College

We knew that [Victoria DiMartino] was a good player so I tried to keep a close eye on her, but everyone else was, too. We were just making sure she didnt get too involved because shes a great playmaker for Boston College. We just wanted to shut her out of the game.”

On the Notre Dame attack

I dont think theres anything special we have to do. I think the most important thing is to go out there and play our game and be confident. I think if we just go out there and play our game, our defense is confident, our offense is confident and if we play together I think that well be fine.”

Senior Midfielder Allison McCann

I would say that this is one of the most selfless teams I have ever been on. From the beginning of the year we had forwards converted to center-backs and Camille [Levin] scored an amazing goal last night and she plays defense. Everyone has just done what the team needs with no complaints. Its really been incredible.”

Senior Forward Christen Press

On experience in the College Cup tournament

This is our third year here, so I think theres a lot of added experience and a lot of added confidence. Its an expectation for us to be here and its not just good enough to make the College Cup as maybe it was two years ago. Now were here to win and so its more about business. The mentality we carry now will help us in the game to be mentally prepared.”

On approach to playing in the College Cup

I think that in the past years there have been a lot of fun things that go around with the media and different things in the College Cup. This year we just arent letting the distractions take a central role in the way we prepare for the games. Were just really focused in how we play and getting results.”

Notre Dame Head Coach Randy Waldrum

On the 4-3-3 system:

Ive been at Notre Dame 12 years, and when I got there I changed the system to that. And honestly the reason I changed is that 12 years ago it was Carolina and Notre Dame and Portland and Santa Clara, and outside of that if one of those teams didnt win you were stunned. I think the coach before me at Notre Dame had built the team in a 3-4-3 to try to specifically beat Carolina and compete with Carolina. When I got there I felt that we had a few players that truly didnt fit the system, so we went to the 4-3-3 my first year at Notre Dame and we did really well with it.”

On both Notre Dam and Stanford using the 4-3-3 system:

I hope it says that thats the way to go, not only as a collegiate sport but as a country. You hope that internationally our team evolves to a point where we continue to be at the top. I think youre seeing other nations catch up to us now and the sophistication and technical ability of the international players probably exceeds our players now. I think were getting by a lot on just athletic ability”

On the last time Notre Dame played Stanford:

Im not real big on history. Every year is a new year. Were completely different than we were last year as a Final Four team. I really dont think ‘08 has any bearing on whats going to happen tomorrow.”

On having young players play a prominent role

I think its just the talent level that we have and the way the team is playing together. When weve got young players playing, we really coach them very little, because I think sometimes you give too much information to a young player that they get out there and start to think too much. The reason theyre in your lineup is because what they have to offer and you want that to come out. I think as the years go on, you coach them a little more and teach them a little more about how you want them to play.”

Senior Midfielder Rose Augustin

On her four years at Notre Dame:

This is my fourth year here at the College Cup. Its been a great experience coming to the Final Four for four years. This first two years you dont know what to expect coming here, but the last two years, were here to win.”

Senior Defender Julie Scheidler

Its definitely been fun and exciting having all the support from my family. Its been neat to see the transition because everyone was always a Notre Dame football fan and then it so happened that Notre Dame football had a few down years, so weve definitely converted a lot of family members to Notre Dame soccer.”

On preparing for the championship game

We need to focus on what we need to do and get the few details [on Stanford], the specifics that we really need to home in on and make sure were aware of for the game tomorrow, but focusing on us is what we need to do.”