Sport: Women’s soccer
From: Strongsville, Ohio
Majors: Finance and marketing
Was a former mid-distance runner for the Loyola track and field team
Tried out for women’s soccer team in fall 2015 and was accepted onto the squad
Scored the game-winning goal against Drake University last season during the semifinal round of the MVC tournament
Recorded the Ramblers’ first hat trick since 2009 at her senior night on Sept. 23
Loyola Phoenix: How did you get into playing soccer?
Ciara Murray: “[I was], like, four when I started … All my siblings played soccer. My dad was my coach, and everyone played soccer when they were young, but I stuck with it.”
LP: Your three older siblings, Sean, Declan and Brigid, all participated in Loyola Athletics. Was there a certain pressure to follow in your older siblings’ footsteps?
CM: “No, I kind of had tunnel vision set on Loyola when I first toured it with my oldest brother, [Sean]. So, I was pretty young – like, [in] seventh grade. I pretty much decided before my other two siblings.”
LP: Why did you first decide to participate in track and field at Loyola instead of soccer?
CM: “I didn’t actually get the opportunity to play soccer at Loyola. So, I was offered a spot on the track team and decided that since I couldn’t play soccer, it was the next best thing for me. I’d be on the team with my sister and run, which is something I love to do even though soccer was my true passion.”
LP: What was the main factor that made you switch from track and field to soccer?
CM: “Since soccer has always been my first passion, I’d always wanted to play soccer. But I guess I had to wait for the opportunity to come up, and finally, [I] rounded up the courage to try out for the team, and I did, and it worked out.”
LP: What was going through your mind when you scored a hat trick?
CM: “It was a really emotional night for us, being our senior night. All of us seniors are really best friends, so it was just a cool night for us and we just went out there and decided we were going to have fun no matter what. And I think since we were all relaxed and happy — and our main goal was to just have fun with each other — that we were able to combine well and make things happen.”
LP: What are some goals you have for the rest of the season?
CM: “We actually have a lot of goals that we’ve set going into conference play. We definitely want to increase our number of shutouts and be able to score at least a goal a game and win all our home games for the rest of the season. We also want to keep the positive energy going.”