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All-American girl: Dow's Murphy makes U.S. national team

By Fred Kelly, Midland Daily News, 11/01/21, 11:30AM EDT


Dow High senior Emma Murphy has a goal of some day becoming an Olympian. Whether she achieves that goal or not, she now will always be able to say that she represented her country well in international competition.

Murphy, 17, followed an unbelievable junior season for the Dow High-Midland High cooperative girls' lacrosse team by earning a spot on the USA Lacrosse U18 national team at the end of the summer. She and 21 other of the top female high school lacrosse players in the nation went 4-0, including a win over Canada, at the USA Lacrosse Fall Classic in Sparks, Md., the weekend of Oct. 15-17.

"It was amazing. I'm so thankful to represent our country, and I had such a fun time," enthused Murphy. "All of the girls on my team were amazing. They're all extremely good, and the competition was just incredible.

" ... We had practiced together before the tournament, so we got to know each other beforehand, and then at the tournament we were pretty much together all of the time," she added of her teammates. "We had dinners together and all stayed in the same hotel, so it was really fun. ... We also got to watch the women's (senior) national team play against Canada, and that was crazy to watch. They're really good."

Playing for her country was just the latest in a series of incredible achievements for Murphy this year. 

During her junior prep season, she led Dow-Midland to its first-ever state semifinal berth -- and she lit up the scoreboard in historic fashion along the way.

Murphy's 174 goals shattered the previous single-season state record, and she even set national records for both goals per game (9.7) and total points per game (12.2), earning All-America and Academic All-America honors from USA Lacrosse in the process.

Afterward, she made the cut at an USA Lacrosse regional tryout and advanced to the national tryout in Maryland at the end of August, where she earned a spot on the U18 national team from a pool of about 100 regional qualifiers.

"I'm most proud of making the USA Lacrosse team. I worked really hard for that, and it was one of my goals, and it felt really good when I made the team," she noted. " ... Throughout the (national) tryout, I was really aggressive. We did a lot of competing, and I just tried to have a lot of energy, and I guess they (the coaches) really liked that.

" ... It was really surreal," she added of receiving notification a couple of weeks later that she had made the team. "I was extremely surprised, because the competition was good, and everyone was amazing. I'm really glad I made it."

A week from Sunday, Murphy will realize another longtime goal -- signing her National Letter of Intent to play lacrosse and study pre-medicine at Notre Dame.

"I'm so excited. There are no words to describe how excited I am," she said. "It's been a goal of mine since middle school to go to Notre Dame, and I'm excited to finally make it official."

When she's not playing lacrosse or in school, Murphy said she enjoys traveling, particularly if there's a nice beach involved.

"I really just like going anywhere warm, and I really like going to the beach. ... I like traveling in the summer and going to the (Great) Lakes," she noted, adding that Petoskey and Holland are two of her favorite destinations.

Murphy said she is not sure how much longer she will play lacrosse competitively, but she has one big goal beyond playing for the Fighting Irish.

"I would like to focus on (medical) school right after college, but I would like to make the Olympics (if lacrosse gets added as an Olympic sport for the 2024 games)," she said.

In the immediate future, Murphy just wants to help her teams do their best.

"This year (in high school) I would like for the team to get even further in the playoffs than we did last year," she said. "And at Notre Dame, I guess I just want to make the most of it. It's definitely going to be intense, but I just need to believe in myself and make the most of it."