Ruckaberle: “[Our players] have character; that’s what you need in games like this”

After Wednesday night’s thrilling USL W League tie (3-3) between visiting Lane United FC and PDX FC, Head Coach Jurgen Ruckaberle and goal-scorers Briana Kubli and Sela Freeman shared their thoughts on the match.

Ruckaberle congratulates Lauren Becraft on her performance. (Barbara Minkler)


On the team’s comeback:

“I’ve been doing this a long time and if you’d asked me in minute three, I probably wouldn’t have given a lot of hope that we’d earn something on this day.”

On what changed for LUFC’s players after they fell behind 2-0 early: 

 “They really are together and I think we have some players that can make a difference. And I think today that was Kubli. She got us back to 2-1 and we probably should have tied the game. Then they get another kick in the back with a mistake and a punishment, and we’re chasing 3-1, and it’s again Kubli who gets us back. I think they have some game changers, but they also have character. And I think that’s what you need in games like this.”

On the final two league matches, both on the road against the top two teams in the division:

“I’m really excited to play United PDX this weekend. They’re a team we competed really well against at home; we gave away a goal four minutes from time. We’re coming up and I think we’ve gotten better since then. I’m sure they have too, but I’m looking forward to a really good challenge. The final game of the season will be up at Oly Town FC and I’m excited to play them. They’re probably the top team in the bracket and it’s nice to give them another look.” 

On the postgame mood:

“It was good. There was a little bit of disappointment that we didn’t win the game because, as we all remember, the game in the Eugened ended 4-3 (for PDX FC), and we really hoped to win it. I think we did enough to earn that point. With a little bit of luck on our end –  we had two good chances at the end that I think we could’ve converted – but everyone was happy and felt good about themselves.” 

Forward Sela Freeman fends off a PDX FC defender. (Peter Bellerby/NW Sports Pics)


On the team’s mentality after falling behind early and how they were able to fight back:

“I think we came out sleeping and that obviously showed, but after the second goal we just picked our heads up, we were hard on each other, and we knew that we had people to find the back of the net and we kept things together.”

On her equalizing goal: 

“Yeah, I just looked up, and I think it was Kubli who had the ball. And I just knew I had to finish it, and I just got to it and tapped it in.” 

On the team’s mental approach going into the last two games:

“We definitely want the points, but I also think that we just want to finish on two good performances. Our focus is to just keep growing as a team and finish the season strong.” 

Briana Kubli, with 2 goals and an assist, was instrumental in the team’s comeback. (Barbara Minkler)


On the intensity of the match:

“It was very intense throughout. We didn’t start out on the best note, but once we got the first goal, I think we picked our heads up. After that, once we tied it up, it was intense on both sides and you could tell that we both really wanted it today.”

On the key to getting back into the game after the early deficit:

“I think the key was to keep our heads up because we can’t let ourselves get down after we get scored on. The game can turn around so fast, it just takes one goal and we’re back in it, which is what happened.”

On the final two games:

 “I think that we’ve been putting out a good performance. It’s been three games where we’ve gotten a point each time, and I think we had a good run against United PDX, which is our next game. The last time we played them, it was zero-zero up until the last few minutes. So I think we could earn a point there.”

(Main photo credit: Peter Bellerby/NW Sports Pics)