Nov. 19, 2015
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Head Coach Mark Berson
It was a very exciting game. It was a game that showed why these two teams earned the NCAA Tournament. I thought that it was end-to-end action. There were great saves at both ends. There was great attacking play both ways. You need to credit Furman with tremendous resiliency, getting the goal with 18 seconds left. After that, our guys showed exceptional mental toughness. They didn’t cave in. It’s pretty difficult and disheartening to give up a goal at that point. They battled through the overtimes and then found a way to win on the penalties. When you go into penalties, you know that is two good goalkeepers. That was just the decider. But we advanced and we’re proud of that. We’re excited. I’m really proud of the mental toughness these guys showed. That was two dead-even teams in a great game.
On William Pyle’s goalkeeping:
I thought he did really well. He anticipated well. I thought our guys took our penalties well. I thought their goalkeeper was outstanding. We knew that he was very good. I thought William was excellent. But what poise by our guys. It was exceptional.
On the quick turnaround:
These guys are really resilient. Obviously, it’s going to be a big challenge to travel that far. They’re not going to get their normal regeneration and so forth, but we’ll be ready. 6 p.m. Pacific time on Sunday, these guys will be ready. Don’t worry about us; we’ll be ready to go.
Kurtis Turner, Junior (M)
On the goal at the end
We believed. We always have the confidence. Coach always says that it’s just one play that is going to make the difference. We were all rallying each other, saying
“Come on, someone make that play.” We had a couple of chances to do it, but we went to penalties. But I had the confidence in our team to finish the game in penalties
On confidence in PKs:
Obviously you feel a bit nervous. But I think penalty kicks are all about confidence. You have to walk up there and believe you’re going to put the ball in the back of that net. If you have any doubt, you’re leaving a chance for it to be saved or to miss. So I just walked up there and had the confidence in myself.
Koty Millard, Junior (M)
On the win
It is an extremely special feeling. One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to not lose a single game at home, and we’ve done that. We’re really proud of that, and we’re hoping we can play here again this year.
Furman Head Coach – Doug Allison
“Well, what a game. What a great advertisement of college soccer that was. Every kid on both teams gave everything they had tonight. I’m proud of my team and kids for sticking with it. We told them to fight to the end, and they did. I mean ,we scored with 18 seconds left in regulation, and then we almost won it in the first 18 seconds of overtime. But soccer is a cruel game, and someone’s going to go along, and someone’s going to stay. Unfortunately, we have to stay, and we have all the respect for Coach Berson and his team, and we wish them the best of luck.”
On the game-tying goal:
“We pushed the ball forward, pushed guys from the back forward, and Lewis, I haven’t seen him with that kind of speed. He’s fast, but he kicked into a whole new gear. Just proud of every kid on our team tonight, everything we asked of our kids they did tonight. We really feel for the seniors; we always do this time of year. They gave everything. The guys on the bench were great, I just couldn’t be prouder to coach this team.”
On the 2015 season, and Furman’s soccer program:
Couldn’t be more proud of these kids and coming back to a place we know so well. We have so much respect for this place and just the way everything is. Seeing Brainard Cooper still there; he wrapped my ankle several years ago, (and I) can’t believe he’s still here. Coach Berson is such a quality gentleman and individual, and we have so much respect for him. I told him before the game, we talked 3-4 times, one of us is going to on and the other one isn’t. So at least one of us does get to go on. Which is nice, but I’d love for it to be us. We wish them the best. They’re a great team and they had a great year. For us, we don’t want to make excuses. We played a good squad. Every kid we asked to go in a different position, they did great. Noah (Teplitzky) started at left back; he’s a freshman who’s never played there in his life, and he’s starting in a NCAA game. That’s just the way our kids are. They’re quality kids. We love them.
On momentum after regulation ending goal:
“It almost happened. You know to score that late, it’s tough on them, but it’s great for us because we do have momentum. I told the guys why stop playing like we were playing? Let’s just go for it. I never said any words at halftime. The guys coached themselves. I walk in, one guy’s on the chalkboard, one guy’s giving a pep talk, and I’m like “I guess they don’t need me.” But these are just great kids, and I’m so proud of them. Tough way to go, but there a good team, and two great teams. It’s a shame you have to meet in the first round.
On college soccer in South Carolina:
“Really good college soccer in this area. You don’t have to travel far to watch a quality college soccer game in the state of South Carolina.”
Lewis Hawke, Junior (F)
On the game-tying goal:
“It wasn’t a player I normally get the ball from, but it’s what we work on all the time. Coach has put a lot of emphasis on training, the last two weeks especially, just get in front of your man, gives us a chance. To get in front of your man and gives us a chance to open up the field. It happened to me last regular season game against Mercer, and I didn’t get in front of my man, and they created an opening with two seconds to go, so that was running through my head. So I was thinking if I’m where I should be, I trust my teammates. I trust them to put the ball in the right area, and when that happened just have to do my job from there.”