November 01, 2013
In the Limelight
Murphy leads Crusaders to Landmark berthAndrew Murphy started out playing baseball and lacrosse as a child, but when he started playing club soccer in fifth grade with his friends, he knew he had found his sport.
Susquehanna's men's soccer team experienced huge success last year, making history by advancing to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament in San Antonio, Texas.
However, Murphy was quick to point out that this year's team is very different from the 2012 edition.
"A lot of different players have had to fill different roles this [year], especially after losing four key players on the defensive backfield last year," hesaid.
Murphy is now a senior captain and midfielder on a team that is coming into its own.
"I'm playing in a position I usually don't play in," he said. "I was center-back. Now, I have more of an attacking role."
And attack he has. Going into Saturday's game at Goucher, he had accounted for eight goals in the last seven games, notching one each against Juniata and Scranton, and two against Gettysburg.
The team's high performance level has garnered respectful praise from Head Coach Jim Findlay.
"Anytime you lose the types of players and leaders that we had on last year's team, obviously a record breaking team, somebody else needs to step up. Some players are vocal, and some players lead by example. I think Andrew is a combination of both," Findlay said.
In Findlay's eyes, Murphy has become a great example of what a role model should be.
With the NCAA Tournament somewhere in sight, Murphy's mentality to speak up when necessary, combined with his ability to let his talent do the talking on the field, has fired up the Crusader fan base's expectations for this playoff season. The Crusaders are currently ranked No. 1 in the Landmark Conference, with their only two conference losses coming from No. 2 Catholic, with a final score of 2-1, and No. 4 Merchant Marine, which resulted in an overtime loss.
According to Murphy, the two teams that could challenge them for a Landmark title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament are Catholic and Scranton.
"He gets everyone motivated before the game, during the game, and after the game. And as a captain, he really stepped up when we lost and brought the team together," senior defenseman Dean Hristopoulos said.
Murphy said what he would miss the most about playing soccer at Susquehanna is simple.
"Practice every day, an escape from classes, just something to do around Selinsgrove. But for the most part, I'm going to miss the guys," he said.
The Crusaders are currently the No. 1 seed in the Landmark Conference and are hoping for a chance to host the Landmark Championships for a second year in a row.
With Merchant Marine losing 4-1 against Scranton on Wednesday night, the only team standing in the Crusaders' way is Catholic.
For all of the fans debating about showing up to any of the matches this year, Murphy said, "You got to keep showing up! You get in their heads. Whenever we have a good fan base, we seem to get the right result."
The first round of the Landmark Conference semi-finals is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7.
SPORTS HEADLINESMurphy leads Crusaders to Landmark berth SU wins final LC game, 3-0 Susquehanna loses to Bears under the lights Field Hockey sticks it to Goucher Jones scores in loss Institutional drug tests for student-athletes cut