Ruckaberle: “I’m happy for the players”

The Lane United FC Women’s team earned their first win in franchise history, defeating PDX FC 1-0 in what was a thrilling defensive battle. Hear from Head Coach Jürgen Ruckaberle, Defender Suzu Narusawa, Midfielder Neve Duston, and newest addition Sophie Cleland.


On the team’s first win:

“I’m happy for [the players]. They’ve worked hard, they stuck with the game plan. I think the first half was really rough, but, as opposed to two weeks ago where we played [PDX FC], we kept our composure, played [with] discipline and earned probably the best goal of the season so far.”

On what changed since the last time Lane played against PDX FC:

“It’s really more the gradual progress that I was expecting and that I see in practice. You can see [the players] are more experienced. They had to deal with two very good forwards in the second half that caused many problems in the first game, and I think today they shut them down, which I’m very proud of.”

On Sophie Cleland’s goal:

“I’ve been talking and working with Suzu [Narusawa] for the entire season, that I want her to be a more forward-oriented player because she is smooth, good and smart. She can see the play and timed that cross to perfection because she waited right until the last moment, until the defender put her foot in, to get that cross delivered. And Sophie had a fantastic finish. Not everyone is going to be able to finish that ball.”

On how to build off the win:

“Continue the progress. We’re still going to have to be defensively organized and disciplined. [Capital FC] has a very creative midfield that caused us problems in all of the games. And we lost the first one, tied the second and hopefully we can earn three points on Sunday here.”

Player of the Match Suzu Narusawa was all smiles after the victory. (Barbara Minkler)


On how she felt to get the win:

“I feel happy.”

On her assist

“That cross was perfect.”

On her thoughts of the next game:

“We didn’t lose this game, so I hope we keep that up.”

Captain Neve Duston plays a pass vs PDX FC. (Barbara Minkler)


On how it felt to win for the first time:

“[It] feels really good. It’s something that we’ve been working towards all season. We got a little bit unlucky in earlier games, but you can really see how we’ve grown and had composure to be able to finish against a good team.”

On what the team has been doing better:

“Showing up every day, putting in the hard work and being able to build those relationships with your teammates. Being able to make those connections and know how each other plays and work together towards the common goal, which we’ve been able to recognize and choose.”

On her thoughts on the last home game on Sunday:

“Ending on a really good note, obviously this is the last home game of the season, like you said. So just giving the crowd and the supporters the best game that we can.”

Sophie Cleland (middle) celebrates her goal with Suzu Narusawa and Jada Foster. (Barbara Minkler)


On how it felt being on the field for her debut, rather than as a fan or Assistant Athletic Trainer (for the men’s team):

“It was great. The energy was really nice to experience from playing rather than just watching.”

On her goal:

“Honestly, I just saw Suzu with space on the ball and I was like, I’m just not going to let this get to anyone else except for me.”

On the focus of the last upcoming home game of the season:

“Finishing the season strong. I know we had a rough start, so finishing on a high note and getting a couple more wins is definitely the goal.”