The Daily Iowan

International field hockey student provides key asset

Coming all the way from Tasmania, sophomore Maddy Murphy brings a flare to Iowa's field hockey team.

Iowa+forward+Maddy+Murphy+pushes+the+ball+upfield+during+a+field+hockey+match+against+Penn+on+Friday%2C+Sep.+14%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Quakers+3%E2%80%930.+%28David+Harmantas%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Iowa forward Maddy Murphy pushes the ball upfield during a field hockey match against Penn on Friday, Sep. 14, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Quakers 3–0. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Maddy Murphy pushes the ball upfield during a field hockey match against Penn on Friday, Sep. 14, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Quakers 3–0. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

David Harmantas

David Harmantas

Iowa forward Maddy Murphy pushes the ball upfield during a field hockey match against Penn on Friday, Sep. 14, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Quakers 3–0. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

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Sophomore forward Maddy Murphy has been described by her field-hockey teammates as spontaneous, competitive, and extraordinary — and that’s just the beginning.

Murphy, from Riana, Tasmania, studies engineering at the University of Iowa and brings her spunk and talent to the Hawkeye field-hockey team.

Last season, Murphy started all 18 games as a freshman and scored 11 goals for the Hawkeyes. She was placed on the second team All-West Regional and second team All-Big Ten. She was also named to the Division 1 national academic squad.

Murphy believes her ball handling and awareness on the field are two strengths that allow her to dominate on the pitch, especially in the opposing team’s circle.

“I think the biggest thing when it comes to goal scoring is being able to trap the ball,” she said. “I know I worked a lot on this when I was growing up and learning how to play, because you can’t really do anything else if you can’t just trap the ball and get a good first touch. I think that is my greatest asset — that ability and to have that awareness of where the defense is.”

RELATED: Hawkeye field hockey picks up two wins on road

This season, Murphy has proven that she has an even bigger role for the Hawkeyes than last year. She has the most goals on the team with 23 and holds the team high of 9 goals in 12 games this season. Also in those 12 games, she tallied 5 assists, second most behind Katie Birch.

However, Murphy’s skill is just one of the many aspects of her game that make her a key component to the No. 10 team.

“My favorite thing about Maddy is she brings a lot of energy to the team and she is so positive,” junior captain Sophie Sunderland said.

“She’s a great teammate — she passes the ball, and she scores lots of goals for us, which is really good.”

Head coach Lisa Cellucci agrees with Sunderland. Cellucci couldn’t pinpoint just one thing that Murphy brings to the team but a handful that make her irreplacable.

Her work ethic is one of the big things that makes her stand out. She’s always working toward her goals, as well as those of the team’s.

Her personality — calming in nature when the team needs it but also a fierce leader — and her skill make her a key athlete on the squad.

“First and foremost, she’s just a die-hard competitor,” Cellucci said.

“Everything she does, whether it’s playing a game of catch phrase or heads up, she wants to win, out [on the field], too. [She has] great competitiveness, an awesome attitude, and she has a really fun personality, too.”

The field-hockey team sits at 10-2 on the season with a record of 4-0 at home. The Hawkeyes, with the undeniable help of Murphy’s skill, energy, and competitiveness, will try to continue protecting Grant Field while facing No. 6 Michigan at 3 p.m. Friday and No. 21 Stanford at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 7.

 

 

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