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Port Moody goalkeeper transfers to Minnesota for third NCAA season

With Montana women's soccer, Camellia Xu set a single-season school record for shutouts and was named the 2021 conference goalkeeper of the year.
Camellia Xu of Port Moody played two seasons with the University of Montana in NCAA Div. I, and was named her conference's 2021 goalkeeper of the year.

Big Sky to Big Ten; Grizzlies to Gophers; Montana to Minnesota.

After setting several school records, Camellia Xu is moving further east along the United States' northern border in hopes of achieving more greatness on the pitch.

On Friday (Jan. 6), the Port Moody product officially signed her transfer papers for the University of Minnesota in continuing her stint in NCAA Div. I women's soccer — the highest level of collegiate athletics in North America.

"I chose the University of Minnesota for its high level of academics, competitive Big Ten environment, but most importantly, how dedicated the coaches and team is to their sport," said Xu in a Gophers' release.

"It was a surreal feeling stepping onto campus for the first time."

In her time with Montana, Xu became one of the most highly decorated players in Grizzlies' program history.

She was named the 2021 Big Sky goalkeeper of the year after notching a conference-high 11 shutouts, good enough for fifth in the U.S., a 0.72 goals-against average and a .859 save percentage.

And that was during her first year of NCAA competition, in which she also earned a first-team all-conference nod.

Xu helped Montana win 20 games in two seasons, which included 19 clean sheets. She started in 39 of her 40 games played and led the Lady Griz to the 2021 Big Sky Conference title.

The win also punched Montana's ticket to the national tournament, but the team was knocked out of the first round by Washington State.

Xu was also invited to Canada's under-20 women's team selection camp last January as a result of her success at Montana.

She'll now look to revive the Gophers after they finished 8-8-3 in the 2022 Big Ten campaign.

Minnesota has won three conference titles in its history, including as recent as 2018.

Xu played minor soccer in the Coquitlam Metro-Ford program, as well as Mountain United FC in the BC Soccer Premier League before she joined the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX program in 2018.

She’s also been a member of Team British Columbia since 2015.

- with a file from Mario Bartel, Tri-City News

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