Casey Murphy Recaps FIFA U-20 World Cup Experience

Dec. 6, 2016

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers women's soccer junior goalkeeper Casey Murphy and the U.S. Under-20 Women's Soccer Team concluded competition at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Papua New Guinea in fourth place. Murphy started all six matches for Team USA and boasted the most saves (21) and highest save ratio (77.8) among all goalkeepers in the tournament.

In total, the U-20 squad went 2-2-2, falling by a 1-0 final in the third place match against Japan. The U.S. fell to eventual champion Korea DPR by a 2-1 score in the semifinals prior to the third place match.

Murphy, who was added to the U.S. Women's National Team U-20 roster following her freshman season in 2014, caught up with ScarletKnights.com to recap her experience representing the USA on the international stage

ScarletKnights.com: What was your takeaway from the entire experience?
Casey Murphy: For the last two years we've been preparing for this World Cup, but mostly these past six months have been completely focused. It was a ton of hard work, and it was nice that we were able to spend more time together as a team than we were apart. We really bonded on and off the field and that helped us going into our matches in group play and then in the quarters, semis, and third-fourth place match. Overall it was an unbelievable experience, an unforgettable journey. Even though we didn't get the result we wanted, I definitely will always remember this for the rest of my life.

SK.com: What was it like to represent your country on the world stage?
CM: It was definitely an honor to be able to represent my country. Every time you put on the jersey and wear the crest it gives you the chills. I'm very thankful and very blessed to have been a part of that team. We had tremendous coaches. The players were great people and I was able to create relationships with everyone that was a part of that team and I know I'll have those for the rest of my life.

SK.com: Is there anything you feel you learned over the course of the tournament?
CM: I feel like I learned a lot from the experience. Just being in that environment and playing for your country in a world event, there's so much emotions and it's kind of hard to put into words. Walking out the gate, singing the national anthem and playing a game in front of so many people, I think I learned how much I love the sport and I want to do everything in my power to play as long as possible.

SK.com: What was it like traveling to Papua New Guinea?
CM: Before the event we went a week and a half early and trained in Australia. We went to a part of Austalia that was a lot like Papua New Guinea with the weather and the climate. That helped us prepare for our first game so that we were adjusted to the weather prior to our first game against France. We made sure to take care of all the stuff off the field with recovery, wearing compression pants, staying hydrated, and doing all the stuff we need to off the field so that when we got on the field it was easy for us. We went on a pre-World Cup trip earlier in the year, but I had never traveled anywhere that far in my life. It was definitely a different culture and environment I've never seen before. The people were so friendly and nice and we felt welcome when we arrived in Papua New Guinea.

SK.com: How was the experience of competing against your peers from all around the world?
CM: Every player, every team there was elite and professional. We were playing against women who, back in their country, play professionally. We knew we had a big challenge ahead of us playing all these women and players that have a ton of experience, but as the United States we're always up for a challenge and looking forward to playing the best of the best. We were able to do that and what was unique about this tournament was that every team was different. We played teams that one game would be super direct, and one game would be super physical. We definitely had a bunch of different things we had to adjust to.

SK.com: Were there any moments that stood out during the trip?
CM: On recovery days we would go to an international school and on one of the days the kids came out from class and we got to talk to them. They were dancing and we were signing autographs and they were asking us questions. That was really cool to see some of the kids because you could ask them 'where are you from?' and they're going to say Fiji, or New Zealand. They're from all over the place because their parents work in Papua New Guinea. Anytime we left the hotel and we were on the bus, everyone waves. When we were driving everyone was honking and waving to us. They were just so happy that we were there.

SK.com: Was it difficult to be away from Rutgers this past season?
CM: I'm super thankful that the coaching staff was so supportive of my decision to be able to represent my country in the World Cup. Because they were so supportive that made it so much easier for me and not being a part of this season this year. I wish the seniors the best of luck in their future. We've created a family atmosphere here and because we have that I know I will keep in touch. Even though I wasn't on the field with them this season they definitely made me feel a part of it. I'm looking forward to getting back to work with the team.

SK.com: How excited are you to apply what you learned to the final two years of your RU career?
CM: I'm super excited. I'm just ready to get back to work, back to training, and hoping that my experience at the World Cup can help better this team and this program. I know that we're going to make another run for the College Cup and the national title. I'm just excited to get back to putting in the hard work and having fun with this team and being back with them.

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