Former Nordhoff soccer star and current University of Michigan Wolverine standout Christina Murillo will be taking a leave for the 2014-2015 academic year to pursue her dream of playing in the 2015 FIFA World Cup. (Photo courtesy of University of Michigan Athletics)
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Former Nordhoff soccer standout Christina Murillo has been key member of the University of Michigan soccer program for three years now. The 2011 NHS graduate has started 57 of 59 games as a midfielder for the Wolverines and has two career goals to her credit.
Murillo, who has dual citizenship with Mexico and the United States, recently announced she will take a leave for the 2014-2015 academic year to train with the Mexican National Team as they prepare to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Woman’s World Cup. The Woman’s World Cup will kick off in June of 2015 and will take place in Canada.
Murillo said, “It is going to be hard leaving my teammates, but honestly, I could not pass up this opportunity. It has always been a dream of mine and I want to try to make the final roster.” According to Murillo, the Mexican National Team will have approximately 35 to 40 players try out with the team with the ultimate goal of filling 21 roster spots.
Leaving the Wolverines was a tough decision for the former Lady Ranger, especially given the season they had in 2013. Michigan finished their season with an 18-4-1 record overall and they were 9-1-1 in the very competitive Big Ten Conference. Once the postseason got under way, Murillo and her mates made it all the way to the NCAA Elite Eight before falling to the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers.
When asked how she likes playing for and attending the University of Michigan, Murillo mentioned enjoying the high level of competition and the academic rigors of the world-class institution, but there is one thing she really misses about the Ojai Valley.
“I still have not gotten used to the cold weather here. It is really cold in the winter,” she said.
After she finishes this academic year at Michigan, Murillo will meet her Mexico teammates in Mexico City for a training camp before the qualifying rounds get under way. “The qualifying rounds will take place in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It is going to be really exciting,” Murillo added. The qualifying rounds will get under way this October and only three teams from the region are guaranteed to advance to the 2015 World Cup.
Murillo will return to the Michigan Wolverines after the World Cup concludes and will still have one year of NCAA eligibility remaining. In the meantime, she plans on doing an internship this summer and then she will make a short stop in Ojai before facing off against the best soccer players in the world.
See future editions of the Ojai Valley News Sports Section for updates on Murillo and the Mexican National Team.
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