Former Rutgers women’s soccer star Casey Murphy, who was named a First Team All-American and Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year during the 2017 season, was drafted with the third pick in the second round by New Jersey pro team SkyBlue FC on Thursday. The National Women’s Soccer League 2018 Draft was held in Philadelphia.
From the Rutgers press release:
Murphy picked up numerous accolades throughout her standout career “On the Banks”. The Bridgewater, New Jersey, native’s resume boasts her status as a two-time All-American (Second Team in 2015 and First Team in 2017), two-time Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year (2015, 2017), two-time All-Big Ten First Team selection (2015, 2017), and two-time All-Region First Team honoree (2015, 2017). In the classroom, Murphy was tabbed a Scholar All-American and Academic All-Big Ten her senior season.
In 2017, Murphy was named a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist after leading the Big Ten and ranking second in the nation in GAA (0.267), save percentage (.924) and total shutouts (16). Overall, she stopped 73 of 79 opponent shots on goal, allowing just six goals in 21 starts.
Additionally, Murphy became Rutgers all-time career shutouts leader in 2017 with 45 total clean sheets across just three years of action. The goalkeeper’s career total is a mark that ranks second in Big Ten history and fourth in the NCAA among active career leaders.
Most recently, Murphy participated in the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team’s first training camp of the year from Jan. 4-11 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif.
Murphy was reportedly set to play overseas professionally next season, but either way, her rights in the NWSL are held by SkyBlue FC.
As reported a few days of ago #NWSL draft prospect Casey Murphy of @RUWSoccer has headed to @MontpellierHSC (women) joining @moeebrian in competing in the French League. @AOEurope @MixxedZone https://t.co/4ecRtxsYlH— American Soccer Fan (@USASoccer_Fan) January 16, 2018
Rutgers fans will be thrilled to know that they won’t have to travel any farther to watch Murphy play at the pro ranks in the future once she does eventually join SkyBlue FC, as their home games are at Yurcak Field. In fact, the roster for the local pro team is becoming an unofficial Rutgers Alumna All-Star team, as former Scarlet Knights Madison Tiernan, Erica Skroski, and Cassiddy Benintente are all on SkyBlue FC. In addition, they are led by first year head coach Denise Reddy, who is also a Rutgers women’s soccer alumna.
It gets better. It was first reported by Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer this afternoon that Rutgers legend and favorite daughter, Carli Lloyd, has been traded by the Houston Dash to SkyBlue FC. Lloyd is the reigning two-time FIFA Player of the Year and is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, as well as perhaps most remembered for leading the United States to a World Cup with a hat trick in a 5-2 win over Japan in the Final in 2015. In her time at Rutgers between 2001-2004, Lloyd remains the all-time points leader with 117 and has scored the most goals of any Scarlet Knight player with 50 for her career. She is also 7th in assists all-time with 17. Lloyd also owns records for most points in a season with 37 and is tied for most goals in a season with 15.
While it might not happen on SkyBlue FC this season with Murphy potentially playing in the French pro league, perhaps Lloyd and Murphy will play together in the near future on the U.S. Women’s National Team. While Lloyd’s historic career is on the back end at age 35, Murphy has extensive experience with the junior national clubs, is currently the starting keeper for the Under-23 national team, and could join the senior team in the near future. Either way, she can celebrate a memorable early milestone in her professional journey with being drafted today. Hopefully, all of the former Scarlet Knight stars on SkyBlue FC have a tremendous season ahead, which kicks off this summer.
Overall, it’s a fantastic day for the Rutgers women’s soccer program. They now have arguably the two greatest players who have ever worn the Scarlet Knights uniform set to play professionally on its home field, now and in the future, in addition to the other former Rutgers greats already playing and coaching for SkyBlue FC. Also, with Murphy being drafted, the program can celebrate having at least one player drafted into the NWSL for the past three straight years. It’s just another feather in the cap of head coach Mike O’Neill, who has established the Rutgers women’s soccer team as an elite program in Division I, as well as one of the most accomplished within all of Rutgers athletics. The mantra that O’Neill created, “Forever Rutgers”, certainly rings true today!