Aug. 20, 2007
WASHINGTON STATE HEAD COACH Matt Potter TALKS COUGAR SOCCER
(On progress of practice
"I'm delighted with our progress. We're definitely a more mature team. Individually and collectively we look fitter and have assessed better than ever. Being in a great place physically allows us to keep pressing on as a group technically and tactically. The ability to work with the ball, building familiarity and chemistry with each other is only going to allow us to get better as we prepare for our first game."
On roles of players
"We've always tried to create a competitive environment for players and that is at an all-time high. Competition for starting places is there and that is healthy if we want to reach our season goals. The beauty of this group is we are able to mix and match players to bring out the best in our team and hopefully that will be reflected in our performance. The challenge will be how we cope with the bumps in the road and the adversity each season brings both for individuals and the team as a whole. With that said, the focus, attitude and personality of this group puts us at a great starting point looking toward the first game."
On team goals
"Our goals match our maturity and expectations better than ever before. We have both outcome and performance goals that we have in place. Whether team or individual, the enthusiasm and attitude of the group thus far has been magnificent. The good thing about this preseason has been we haven't had to start from a fundamental level because of our players' good work. For us as a staff, that's a fun place to be."
On team leadership
"With the majority having spent last fall and spring together we have created and developed almost a collective leadership environment. At any time, different people need to and do take the opportunity to lead this group both on and off the field. No longer do we need to burden our captains with sole responsibility in leading the group and that is a fun place to be. I think we have a dedicated group with a clear ambition and in regards to leadership, we have great potential."
On team's strengths and weaknesses
"With our returnees and the added depth of our freshmen, we want to be as stingy and as hard to break down as we were last year. Only giving up 15 goals and setting a school record is a very good reflection of what we are capable of doing defensively. The standard has been set and it is up to us to better this bench mark. We have to be better at creating, marking more scoring opportunities and scoring more goals. We have addressed those issues throughout the spring and in the preseason and it is nice to see the improvements we have made."
On the team's attitude
"There's a different feel about this group going into the season. They came back early to prepare and look hungry and physically prepared to assert themselves in a positive manner this season. That's been great for us because we've been able to focus on game-like scenarios throughout blending new and returning players together. The chemistry and atmosphere has been great although we are aware that there is much still to prepare for get right, but the early signs are positive."