Women's soccer sensation Christina Julien, born in Cornwall Ontario, scored the game winning goal seven minutes into Thursday nights match as Canada dominated and defeated Haiti 6-0 in the opening CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying match at BC Place in Vancouver.
Cornwall - Jan. 22, 2012 - Women's soccer sensation Christina Julien, born in Cornwall Ontario, scored the game winning goal seven minutes into Thursday nights match as Canada dominated and defeated Haiti 6-0 in the opening CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying match at BC Place in Vancouver.
Julien born in Cornwall, grew up in Williamstown, and started playing Timbits soccer at the age of five. She went to Char-Lan District High School, played in the Char-Lan house league, was picked up by the Glengarry All-Star travelling team, played for the Blazers, and while trying out for the Ottawa Fury U16 team got scouted to play NCAA Division 1 Soccer at James Madison University.
"I played there for four years, earned All-American and All-American scholar, athlete of the year twice for JMU and state player of the Year. From there, I got called into a Team Canada training camp and have been a member of the team every since. At age 23, I am currently on the Olympic Qualifying squad."
The 2012 Olympic Qualifying tournament is a two group tournament with the top two teams in each pool playing off for a spot in the Finals. In Canada's group is Haiti, Cuba, and Costa Rica. In the other group is the USA, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Guatemala. The two teams that make it to the Gold Medal Game secure a spot at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Here is OurHometown Reporter Jason Setnyk's interview with Christina Julien.
Question 1 - What does it mean as an athlete to be selected and playing for Canada?
"It’s always a huge hounor to be selected to play for your country. There’s nothing in the world that makes me more proud then putting on a Canadian jersey before every game I play. With that being said, you can’t waste a minute on the field. You find another level and you put in your dues. There’s a level of responsibility that comes with playing for Canada and there’s a standard for you to do your job on and off the field. There can be a lot of pressure at times but you learn to strive under the pressure and that’s when it really hits me that I have the best job in the world."
Question 2 - From your perspective describe the play on the field that lead to your game winning goal against Haiti. What emotions did you experience after scoring that goal?
"Sinclair ended up beating a couple of Haitian players down the side of the pitch and I noticed that none of their players were tracking back, so I easily made a run to the far post where Sinclair easily passed me the ball for a one touch finish. I was very relieved to have scored. Going into a game against a weaker opponent, it’s always important to open the scoring early in order to prevent them from sitting back and defending the whole game."
Question 3 - What is your team's philosophy towards the game of soccer?
"Our team philosophy is to really enjoy the game while executing our overall game plan. It is a game after all and as our coach says “good mood equals good play”. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t take what we do lightly. There’s a lot of preparation and seriousness when we are out on the pitch trying to execute. It’s just a matter of bringing that fun, kid like feeling back into the game."
Question 4 - What are you learning from these experiences playing at an international level?
"I learn how to deal with all the external factors. With these huge international events, there is a lot of pressure from the media attention, the crowds, and your own teammates. It’s definitely becoming easier to be able to focus in on the one task that we need to accomplish as I become accustomed to all that goes on externally. It helps that our coach has been really good about giving us the right advice and tools to deal with all of the distractions".
Thank you Christina for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. Congratulations on the game winning goal! Watch their next game on Saturday January 21st against Cuba! The game starts 10:30EST on Sportsnet.