UK Men's Soccer vs. No. 19 Xavier -- Postgame Quotes

Nov. 15, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach Johan Cedergren

Opening Statement ...
"It's a tough loss for us of course; you don't want to go out this early in the tournament. At the same time you have to look where we we're coming from. It was 2003 since the last time we've been dancing. I am not happy with the way we played; the occasion may have gotten the better of us at times. We looked a little nervous and a little hesitant, but at the same time it's been one heck of a season. I couldn't be  any prouder of these guys and the reason to why Matt (Lodge) and Cam (Wilder) are sitting here with (captain) arm bands is because they are two fantastic players and two fantastic people and I could not be any prouder of the two of them and what they've done this season. They were here three years before we got here and it's been some tough years for them but everything I have asked of them they have bought in 100 percent and they have been a huge part of why we have done so well this year. Again, it is really disappointing and as you can see on Matt and Cam, it is not a good feeling. I was part of it in 1998 at Cincinnati. We just want to keep playing; you just want to play the game over and over in your head. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner. They scored a great goal; you have to give a lot of credit to their coaching staff. In the end, you have to look at what we've done this season. We played an unbelievable schedule, had some great wins and to be back in the NCAA tournament, I'm really proud of the guys this year."

On the game ...
"I think the final product went bad a little bit. We were hesitant to play out the back, which usually every game we play through the midfield and create chances. We created one chance in the first half which probably should have been a goal and that was it in the first half. Second half, like a few games this year, we created a few chances but still I think we lacked the final product. Our shots were getting blocked. I think at the same time you have to give Xavier a lot of credit. It's a team that scored 47 goals and only let 19 in, in 20 or so games. We definitely didn't play as well as we could have, every game has individual mistakes that you can go over. At the same time, you have to give Xavier a lot of credit. I think they frustrated us at times. They had of course taken a good look at us and they knew what to expect. In the end, Xavier showed why they are still playing and maybe we have some things to learn from them."

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#6, Matt Lodge, SR
On the season ...
"The change in coaching staff helped a lot. Coach (Johan) Cedergren is a great coach, he brought in some great experience. They recruited some great players and great freshman. We train hard every day, day-in, day-out. I think that helps a lot and it shows in the games."

#12, Cameron Wilder, SR
On the season ...
"The coaching staff has been great, demanding high quality because that's what it takes to be the best, every day, day-in and day-out.  The coaches always stress detail. In the beginning it was tough to get some of the younger guys to buy in but we got better every day and it's been a great season."

Xavier Head Coach Andy Fleming

Opening statement ...
"I'd like to first thank the University of Kentucky for a first-class event. From the minute we got notification that we're playing here, I was blown away by their professionalism and attention to detail that facilitated us to playing an away game. I also want to commend Johan (Cedergren) and his staff, having taken over a program myself, it's not the easiest thing to get everybody on board and find immediate success. That being said, they did it, I think there is certainly a great core there and if you look what is going  on around here I think this program is certainly going to do great things. As far as Xavier goes, the two guys beside me went 2-13-1 their freshman year. (They) really bought into what we were trying  to do and taught me a lot as a coach. Had some success but also left the NCAA Tournament with an empty feeling  the last two years. We're happy to get that monkey off our back, we felt like the next frontier this year was an at-large bid and advancing in the tournament. I have a lot of respect for Kentucky but tonight I really felt like we were solid from start to finish, we played a complete game. Except for maybe an eight-minute lull in the second half I really felt like we commanded the game and really played well for the first time in a while and I'm really proud of our team."

On frustrating Kentucky ...
"I think our ability to hold the ball and keep the ball was our first mode of defending, rather than defending itself. I also thought we were well prepared for them. About 10 days ago they played Central Florida and we came down and watched with a hunch we might play them in the tournament and I thought that gave us a leg up. We played in their end of the field and like I said, you can't score if you don't have the ball and I think that was a big reason why we commanded the game in the first half."

Xavier Student-Athletes

#11, Spencer Luke, SR
On the goal...
"Matt Walker did great dribbling down the sideline, it's funny because coach had been drilling him about a little pop-touch that he should use and put into his game and he actually did it, that started the play that we scored on. He did great dribbling down the sideline, he crossed it and it was a difficult ball for  the defender to handle and it got by him. It was coming with pace so I figured I'd take a touch, had to toe-poke it but it still ended up as a goal."

#24, Sean Ryan, SR
On their defense ...
"Just defensively, it's being locked in and working together as a group, not really leaving anyone out to dry. I think we definitely put some pressure up front, making sure they weren't sliding any balls behind us and we were also really stepping up and blocking some shots that weren't getting to Justin (Marshall). I think it was our initial pressure and forcing them to play difficult balls."