Casey Murphy made her national team debut last week, the former Rutgers standout goalkeeper putting together a solid shift in a 3-0 win on the road over Australia.
It was Murphy’s first appearance for the United States, who are the defending World Cup champions and won bronze in the most recent Olympics.
Murphy made eight saves in Friday’s win, an impressive international debut given that it was at one of the best national team programs in the world.
“Well, to be honest, I tried to play it cool but inside I was so excited,” Murphy told reporters after the game.
“Obviously, I’ve been training for a very long time for this chance and this opportunity. And I just want to make the most of it for the team and for our country. So, yeah, I was obviously so excited to get the chance to start tonight.”
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At Rutgers, Murphy took a redshirt as a senior to play in the U20 World Cup. The standout goalkeeper, who turned 25-years old this April, has played professionally in Europe and is now with the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL.
The short-turnaround for the national team is a challenge as the players were only together for a few days before playing against Australia. With a lot of new players coming in, the focus was about getting everyone on the same page quickly against an Australian national team that is one of the best in the world.
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“The focus for the team was obviously a lot on us. In the few days we had to train together, what we needed to do to be successful. And so we did try out a few different styles and building out and, you know, if it didn’t work, we skip it and move on to something else. And obviously, it was a lot of trial and error. But you know, once we found something that was working then we would keep with it,” Murphy said.
“That’s the biggest thing, especially when you’re playing such a good opponent like this, we know it’s going to be tough. We know it’s going to be a battle. First thing we can control is our work rate. And so that was definitely there tonight. And then obviously, the tactical piece of it was tremendous in helping us put together a good game plan in a short amount of time so we could find success in the game today.”