Redshirt junior Casey Murphy, who was previously named Top Drawer Soccer’s Top Collegiate Goalkeeper for 2017, was named to the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List on Tuesday.
The Hermann Trophy is awarded to the top men’s and women’s college soccer player in the country each year. Thirty men’s and women’s players were named to the watch list, which you can view in full here. Murphy is one of four women’s players from the Big Ten to be included.
To my knowledge, the last Rutgers women’s goalkeeper to be named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List was Saskia Webber, who became a finalist for that award in 1992. She did win the Missouri Athletic Club National Goalkeeper of the Year Award as a senior that same season. Webber went on to play for the US National Team, making 28 appearances and was a member of the 1999 World Cup Champion squad.
Casey Murphy returns this season to mind the net for Rutgers after missing last year to compete for the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team at the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Papua New Guinea. Per Rutgers, Murphy started all six matches, compiling the most saves (21) and highest save ratio (77.8) among all goalkeepers at the tournament. The Americans finished in fourth place overall.
In speaking with head coach Mike O’Neill this past spring, as the team was busy with their offseason development, he told our Nick Andrews this about Murphy:
“We’re about family here.” O’Neill said. “We enjoy her [Murphy] when she’s here and we miss her when she’s gone.”
Everyone who supports Rutgers women’s soccer is very happy that she will be back in scarlet this fall. Murphy starred for Rutgers during its historical run to the 2015 Women’s College Cup (Final Four) two seasons ago. She earned Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year honors, set a program record for most shutouts in a season (19), and was named a Second Team All-American by the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America).
The Rutgers women’s soccer team is ranked 21st in the United Soccer Coaches 2017 Preseason Poll and have an experienced club returning. Adding Murphy back to the roster gives hope that Rutgers can challenge for a Big Ten title this season. In fact, I picked the women’s soccer team to be most likely to win a title first out of every Rutgers program, in part due to Murphy’s return.
The women open their season on Friday, August 18th at home against Loyola Marymount. We will have a full preview before the women kickoff next week. Congratulations to Casey Murphy on the preseason recognition and best of luck on the pitch this season.