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Thorns Postgame: The Interviews - May 21, 2014

Head coach Paul Riley, defender Nikki Marshall, forward Jessica McDonald, and midfielder Allie Long spoke to the media after the Thorns 2-1 victory over Western New York.

Thorns forward Jessica McDonald (back) celebrates her 2nd half goal.
Thorns forward Jessica McDonald (back) celebrates her 2nd half goal.
Jeremiah Mitchell Braeback - Stumptown Footy

Head Coach Paul Riley

"Corner kicks were 13-3. So if you’re getting corner kicks, you’re getting into the final third of the field. We had a lot of shots tonight and a lot of really good chances. Jess had three or four clear cut chances. Sinclair had three or four clear cut chances. Allie Long had a couple of great chances. I thought Allie Long did a great job underneath Sinc. They have a really good understanding with each other. Angie Kerr had a fantastic game I thought. Amber [Brooks] and Sinead [Farrelly] just played their roles really. We played with two defensive midfielders tonight, which we haven’t played with most of the season. They sat in and covered that hole so Western New York couldn't get to Abby [Wambach] on the floor and run Carli Lloyd off of her. I thought it worked pretty well, until they started knocking diagonal balls over the top of everybody. Then we got ourselves caught out a bit. I think for the majority of the time, Sinead and Amber did a good job. Probably Amber’s best game for the Thorns so far. She got in the game a little more. She’s been around 35-40 passes a game. I think she’ll be around 45-50 at least and we need to get her up around in those 50s."

Defender Nikki Marshall

"I’m happy with the defense right now. I’ve been blessed to be in a leadership role because I have two young players next to me and Kat [Tarr] is kind of new on the outside as well. Just being able to step in there and play with two young players that are playing like they’ve been playing for five years. They’re great players. They’re strong, they’re smart, they listen. They help me, too. We have, what Paul likes to call, a good marriage within the back line. I think we’ve done really well thus far. I think this was one of our worst games, defensively, but we still came out with a win and I think we can really learn from this experience."

Forward Jessica McDonald

"It’s extremely important, simply because they have Abby Wambach on their team and that’s one of the players we truly want to shut down as an individual on a great team like that. Them coming from playing in the championship last year and being in the standings the way that they are this year, it’s a good opportunity for us now to get the three points against them and hopefully we just continue that."

Midfielder Allie Long

"It was huge. We wanted this win at home and we knew that it was big time, especially against Western New York. I don’t want to say that they’re a rival, but in a way they kind of are. We just want to make it hard for them to come and play us. Grinding it out, we were under pressure the last 10-15 minutes and I was just happy we were able to not allow Abby [Wambach] a header on one of those services that they kept pounding in the box. Our defenders did awesome. We got the job done so it feels really good."