March 13, 2014
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior Christina Murillo (Ojai, Calif./Nordhoff) of the University of Michigan women's soccer team announced on Thursday (March 13) that she would be taking the 2014-15 academic year off in order to train for the Mexican Women's National Team in preparation for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, which will be held June 6-July 5 in Canada. Murillo will miss the entire 2014 season for Michigan, but plans to re-enroll and rejoin the team for her final season of eligibility in 2015.
"First of all, I want to thank my teammates for being so supportive of my decision during this process," Murillo said. "This was a hard decision to make, but this is ultimately an opportunity that I couldn't pass up again. I also want to thank Greg for giving me the freedom to follow my dream. I'm not sure many other college coaches would let their players do this, but he has been in support of this since the very beginning. It will be difficult to not be out on the field this year for Michigan, but I'm hoping that when I come back after a full year of training that I will be able to contribute even more to help this team achieve great things."
"Being selected to play on the world stage is a huge honor and we're all so happy for Christina," head coach Greg Ryan said. "When we were recruiting her, we knew that she would have this chance. I was very confident that she would get that opportunity to play. Everyone here is so proud of her. We will miss her next year here at Michigan, but we want to wish her and Mexico the very best in the 2015 Women's World Cup."
In three years at Michigan, Murillo has started 57 of 59 matches, scoring two goals and contributing eight assists. She primarily plays in the central midfield, playing most of last season as a holding midfielder. This spring, Murillo was playing at center back, the position she plays at with the full Mexican Women's National Team. She has six caps with the Mexican Women's National Team, while also playing with the Mexican U-20 team at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in 2012.
With Murillo's departure, U-M will need to replace seven starters off of last year's Elite Eight squad. Four players that started double-digit matches last season will return, including goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin (Greenwich, Conn./Brookfield), forward Madisson Lewis (Canton, Mich./Plymouth), midfielder Christina Ordonez (Elmhurst, Ill./York) and defender Chloe Sosenko (South Lyon, Mich./Brighton).
Contact: Brad Rudner (firstname.lastname@example.org)