The United Soccer Coaches announced on Tuesday the 15 semifinalists for the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy, which is the national player of the year award in Division I soccer. Casey Murphy, the redshirt junior goalkeeper for Rutgers was included as one of the semifinalists. She is the only goalkeeper remaining under consideration. Murphy was included on the initial Watch List for the award back in August and more than lived up to expectations in her final season on the banks.
Previously this season, Murphy was named the Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year and was a First Team All-Big Ten selection. She led the conference in shutouts, save percentage, and goals allowed. Here is more from the press release from Rutgers:
The goalkeeper elevated Rutgers to becoming the top defensive team in the nation, ranking first in team categories with a 0.267 GAA and 0.924 save percentage. Murphy ranks second compared to individual goalkeeper statistics in GAA, save percentage and shutouts. Overall, she stopped 73-of-79 opponent shots on goal this season, allowing just six goals in 21 starts.
Murphy recorded 16 shutouts, including nine straight to start the year to set a new program record of 924:07 consecutive opponent scoreless minutes. Across seven ranked matchups, Murphy kept Rutgers unbeaten by not allowing a single goal in those contests with a record of 3-0-4.
Overall, Murphy became Rutgers all-time career shutouts leader this season with 45 total clean sheets across just three years of action. She redshirted the 2016 season to compete as the starter for the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team at the U-20 FIFA World Cup. Murphy’s career total is a mark that ranks second in Big Ten history and fourth in the NCAA among active career leaders.
The next step in the process is that the three finalists will be announced on December 8th and the winner of the MAC Hermann Trophy will be formally announced at a banquet on January 5th. For the full release on the semifinalists click here.
Whether Murphy is selected as a finalist or not, in my opinion, she has solidified her position as the greatest goalkeeper in Rutgers women's soccer history. Although her time on the pitch on the banks is complete, her career is a long way from being over. Murphy should be a fixture in professional soccer and with the United States Women's National Soccer Team for years to come.
UPDATE: Murphy was named First Team All-American on Thursday night!