Catching up with soccer Coach Ubaldo Murillo

By Greg Colburn, Communications Coordinator

The Lady Knights are off to an impressive 3-0 start. They’ve outscored their opponents 16–1 and haven’t allowed a goal since their opening game, which they won 4–1.

Coach Ubaldo Murillo (right) reflects on the season so far in an interview with Central Station:

CS: What do you like about how the team is playing on offense?

UM: The team is working together. That is what is allowing our offense to be successful. Although there are a few things we can improve upon, I am very happy with how the team transitions quickly from defense to offense. This is due to the communication on the field and the players understanding each other’s strengths and the game.

We are very lucky to have playmakers who understand how to create these opportunities and are very coachable. The coaching staff also allows the players to provide feedback during and after the game, which enables us to make the proper adjustments. The three returning players and the recruitment process has definitely played a big part in our success so far.

CS: Can you talk about how the defense is playing?

UM: I am very happy with our defense. The defense has displayed a lot of patience and understanding in their assigned positions. We have a great center back, Aleena Griffith, who has excelled in her position. We have also been very fortunate to have players who can play defense on both sides of the field and also multiple positions. Each player on the team is aware that they are expected to play some defense, whether it is pressuring up top as a striker or in the mid-field.

CS: What are some areas for improvement?

UM: One thing we can definitely improve on as a team is our conditioning, which I’m sure most teams have the same issue.

CS: Wislene Verna has eight goals in three games. Your thoughts on her play so far?

UM: She has improved tremendously. Her focus and determination on the field has allowed her to be very successful with finishing this season. She has also grown as a leader on and off the field. Her success is also due to how well the team works together when they are in an offensive position. Our wingers and midfielders work the ball forward, which creates opportunities for Wislene and other strikers.

CS: Who looks to be some of your toughest competition?

UM: I believe our entire schedule will be pretty tough this season, but our goal is to show other programs how much we have grown as a team. Most teams will find out that they are not only competing against a soccer team, but a family, who supports each other on and off the field.