RALEIGH, NC -- During the fall, Scotch Plains-Fanwood goalie Sean Murray showed most of New Jersey why he's a premier goalkeeper. On Saturday, he showed the country.
The Raiders’ star goalie shined in the net for the East in the High School All-American Game this weekend in North Carolina, as he received the game ball for his shutout in the first half of the game.
In the match, Murray’s East team carried two goalies -- each keeper playing one half. Murray shutout the West squad in the first half, while Gavin Campbell of Salesianum (DE) played the second half and allowed four goals. Murray was one of four New Jersey players to participate in the game.
“The game was a lot of fun and it was cool to be able to meet and play with kids from across the country,” Murray said. “There was good camaraderie within the group of players, and it was overall a really great experience.”
The shutout from Murray is not an uncommon sight. In the 2016 season, Murray, a senior, recorded 14 shutouts on 50 saves. Likewise, the 6’4” keeper has notched 125 total saves in his three-year varsity career, which came to an end two weeks ago after the Raiders’ State Final loss. In Murray's career in the net for Scotch Plains-Fanwood, he had 39 shutouts. The team went 61-8-2 during that span.
"When you have that type of quality goalkeeping, you’re going to be successful. Sean was certainly one of the primary reasons why we were able to come out with those numbers over those three years," said Coach Tom Breznitsky, who has guided the Raiders for 45 years.
Murray was recently named goalkeeper of NJ.com's First Team, All State for his outstanding 2016 campaign.
“For the high school season, it was great to win sectionals and the team has a lot to be proud of,” said Murray. “We put together a great run in the State Tournament and it was unfortunate the way it ended, but ultimately we can’t look back and have regrets about the season because we know we gave it our all.”
The next step in Murray’s career will come next fall, when he takes his talents to the Division I level at Monmouth University. Monmouth men’s soccer program is regarded as one of the nation's best -- especially for keepers. In fact, Murray isn’t the first SP-F keeper to go onto play at Monmouth. Current MLS player Bryan Meredith, SP-F class of ‘06, played at Monmouth and now mans the net for the San Jose Earthquakes.
"Sean was, without a doubt, besides Bryan Meredith, the best high school goalkeeper we’ve ever had. He’s going to the same program that Meredith went to, Monmouth, which certainly made a better goalkeeper out of Meredith," Coach Breznitsky said. "I certainly think the same things are very, very possible in the future for Sean."
Sean Murray's future in the game of soccer sure looks bright, and Saturday’s All-American Game was another example of why.
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