Feb. 3, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's soccer head coach Greg Ryan announced the signing of four preps to National Letters of Intent today (Thursday, Feb. 3). The Wolverines received commitments for the 2011 season from midfielder Olivia Buechler (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines), forward Kate Maguigan (Franklin, Tenn./Page), defender Christina Murillo (Ojai, Calif./Nordhoff) and midfielder Cara Richard (Rye, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas).
"The 2011 class is coming after one of the largest classes in Michigan history, so we have just continued to add to the talent and fix some areas where we felt we were still thin," Ryan said. "Specifically, we brought in some very good central midfielders. One of the things that Michigan has lacked in the past has been players that are really comfortable playing in the middle of the park and next year we will have a very talented group in the middle."
Buechler, a midfielder from Torrey Pines High School, earned a spot on the ESPN Rise Preseason Starting 11 heading into her senior campaign. During her junior campaign, she earned All-North County and All-Avocado League first team honors to go with an All-CIF second team selection. A three-star prospect according to TopDrawerSoccer.com, Buechler played club for the San Diego Surf.
"Olivia plays both in the center midfield as an attacking midfielder and can also play up front as a striker," Ryan said. "She is very dangerous around the goal, has a great shot and is a free kick specialist. Olivia, like all of the others in the class, is very skillful and good possession players. She has got a little bit of everything."
Maguigan, a forward for Page High School, was named the 2010 All-Mid State Player of the Year. She earned a spot on the all-state team and collected all-mid state honors as a junior. As a sophomore, Maguigan led all Tennessee high school players with 53 goals, the fourth-highest season goal total in TSSAA history. She starred for Brentwood Premier and was named one of the top forwards in the state by ESPN RISE.
"Kate is a strong, dynamic, fast, skillful player that can strike the ball on goal with either foot, 30 yards and in," Ryan said. "She is a goal scorer and she can also play up front as a target striker. She is another versatile player who is comfortable in the midfield but can also play up top for us."
Murillo, a defender out of Nordhoff High School, was a 2010 NSCAA High School All-American for Eagles Premier SC. A member of the Mexican U-17 squad, Murillo scored the overtime goal that clinched a spot in CONCACAF Championships finals and punched Mexico's trip to the U-17 World Cup. Murillo is rated a four-star prospect by TopDrawerSoccer.com and is the No. 9-ranked player in Southern California.
"Christina is just a fantastic soccer player. She has ice in her veins; I have never seen anyone calmer on the ball than her," Ryan said. "She has great vision and her passing range, accurately, is about 50 yards and her shooting range is about the same. She is a very complete soccer player that will definitely impact our team either in the back or the midfield."
Richard, a midfielder out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, landed on the Foster's Daily Democrat Dream Team for the second time in her prep career. As a junior, she scored the deciding goal in penalty kicks to clinch the state title and was an all-state second team selection. A member of the Seacoast United Premier, she was invited to the 2008 and 2009 Super Y League National Camp. Richard is a second generation Wolverine, joining her father, Dan, who wrestled for U-M in 1978.
"Cara is a very interesting player. Her parents went to the University of Michigan and she played on the same club as (freshman) Tori McCombs," Ryan said. "She is quick, has great skill and plays attacking midfield. She has great vision, is a great passer -- just a very dynamic central midfielder."
The four players will join a Michigan squad that won 10 games and earned an NCAA Tournament berth during the 2010 campaign.
Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423