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Midland's Murphy, Wilson break state records in same game

By Fred Kelly, Midland Daily News, 05/08/21, 9:15PM EDT


Breaking a state record is a pretty cool feat in and of itself. But helping a friend and teammate do the same in the same game? That's really something to celebrate.

And that's exactly what Emma Murphy and Grace Wilson, both members of Midland's cooperative girls' lacrosse team, did in a 30-3 win over Grand Blanc on April 27.

Murphy, a junior attacker/midfielder from Dow High, racked up 17 goals in the game to break the previous state record of 15 set by Madalyn Champagne of Livonia United on April 12, 2019, while Wilson, a senior attacker from Dow, tallied 16 assists to break the previous state record of 14 set by Hartland's Amber Crouse on May 5, 2014.

Murphy, who has verbally committed to play collegiately at Notre Dame, admitted that she and Wilson had decided beforehand to go for the records prior to that game.

"We definitely had a mindset to do that. Pretty much the whole game, we were working hard to play as a team, but Grace and I were also working together to accomplish our goal," said Murphy. " ... It was crazy. It definitely means that our hard work paid off, but it also means that we worked together well as a team -- not just me and Grace but the whole team."

Murphy said that her team got off to a good start that day -- and then the goals just started pouring in.

"We had a lot of possession. Gabby Wilson was winning every single draw, and so we had a lot of possession on offense. It was awesome," Murphy enthused. " ... I got into a rhythm with shooting, and the shots kept going in.

" ... I was getting open for Grace, and she was getting me the ball," she added. "We were each working toward something and helping each other out."

Murphy, who is also in the MHSAA recordbook for scoring 11 goals (which is tied for 11th-most in state history) in a May 3, 2019 match against Lake Orion, has been playing lacrosse since the fourth grade. She characterized herself as "a really fast, aggressive player" who loves competing.

Murphy said she initially enjoyed lacrosse mostly for the social aspect of the game, but that has changed.

"I used to think it was just so fun hanging out with my friends, but that definitely grew into a love for the sport itself," she noted. "I have so much fun playing it."

Murphy said she had whittled her choice of universities down to Duke, Michigan, and Notre Dame before finally deciding to head to South Bend.

"Notre Dame is a beautiful school with an amazing (lacrosse) program and awesome coaches," she said. "Ever since I was little, I've gone to camps there, and I just fell in love with that school more than any other."

Grace Wilson, who has been playing lacrosse since the first grade and whose mother Pam is Midland's coach, said "it means a lot" to own the state record for single-game assists.

"It's a team effort, and it is a huge accomplishment. It was something I was looking forward to trying to do this season, and to do it early in the season was really rewarding," she noted. " ... Before the game, I was looking at the MHSAA recordbook and ... thought to myself, 'I could probably beat that record.'

"Basically, that's what I wanted to do in that game, and Emma was trying to beat the record for goals in a game, too," she added. "Those two (ambitions) complement each other, and we worked together really well."

Wilson admitted that, as time wound down, she wasn't entirely confident that she and Murphy would achieve their goals. So, when it did happen, she was elated.