Lucy Murray's Lacrosse IQ, Pedigree Shine as Midwest Player of Year

Dartmouth-bound Lucy Murray racked up 82 goals and 65 assists, leading New Trier (Ill.) to its first state title in 11 years.


She’s gritty, tough, determined and selfless.

Those were the adjectives that New Trier girls’ lacrosse coach Pete Collins used to describe senior attacker Lucy Murray after she quarterbacked the squad’s offense to a state title this season. 

Despite battling lingering injuries all season long, Murray racked up 82 goals and 65 assists for the Illinois state champions. She scored seemingly at will, but her ability to find other teammates is what set her apart and truly made the Trevians successful. 

Murray’s outstanding season has earned her Brine/US Lacrosse Midwest Girls’ Player of the Year honors for 2019. 

“She is amazing, amazing at feeding,” Collins said. “I mean she can place that ball, and the touch on it is nuts.”

The statistics show what she is capable of, but her game extends well beyond what shows up on a scoresheet. She was a leader and a “coach on the field,” according to Collins. He had enough trust in Murray to allow her to call out plays and direct the team’s offense.

Playing from behind the goal allows Murray to have the vision she needs to run the offense, she said.

“I have been around the game for a while, and I have been part of the New Trier lacrosse program since before I was in high school,” Murray said. “So, Collins will tell us what plays he wants called, but it is up to me, and it’s just not me. Other girls will say, ‘Let’s try this,’ but I will read the defenses and figure out what kind of plays will beat that defense.”

Murray was the kind of player who made those around her better, Collins said. 

“The big thing with her was her leadership, making sure other kids were really focused,” Collins said. “The balance of fun and being connected and the energy out there and also being on our field, being a coach out there. Those things were huge because she made everyone better.”







In big moments, Murray proved her determination. She’s done that since her freshman year, Collins said. 

Facing Ohio state champion Upper Arlington, Murray scored a pair of goals to rally New Trier from a three-goal deficit to earn a 6-6 draw. Down 13-11 to Rockford, the state champs of Michigan, Murray scored or assisted on New Trier’s final three goals to force a 14-14 tie. 

She also scored the game-winner with 23 seconds left against Forest Hills (Mich.).

En route to the championship, New Trier faced perennial power Loyola Academy (Ill.) and Murray scored four times. New Trier’s win marked the program’s first playoff victory over Loyola since 2008, snapping a six-game playoff losing streak against the rival school.

Collins said Murray’s performance against Loyola was a special moment. 

“The energy she brought out there made everyone better,” Collins said. “She scored a goal at the end to seal the win and that was a great memory, especially since there was a huge crowd and a lot of alumni.”

In the state semifinals, the Trevians defeated Glenbrook South (Ill.) 14-13 thanks to Murray scoring the game-winner with 2:14 remaining.  Then came what Collins called one of the most complete games he has seen his team play. 

New Trier defeated Hinsdale Central 12-4 in the championship game. After three consecutive years of losing in the state finals, Murray and her fellow senior teammates finished high school with a title. 

“After playing four state title games and losing all three until my last one, that was the biggest moment,” Murray said. “I looked at all my teammates and said, ‘Wow, we did it.’ Also, the fact that it was the first one from New Trier in 11 years, I think all of that made it more special.”


BRINE/US LACROSSE
MIDWEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
LUCY MURRAY

School: New Trier (Ill.)

Year: Senior

Position: Attack

Coach Pete Collins: “She has a great balance. I think that for her being a kid that has played since being a freshman, she was not afraid to play big in the big games. Her role was not just someone who can score, but she was someone who could be defending, take draws and focus on being a coach on the field, or running the offense and making sure people are in position or reading the defense.”

 


 

While Murray is arguably one of the most accomplished players for New Trier’s storied program, things have not come easy for her. 

This season, Murray underwent treatment for lingering back and hip issues, but she channeled her toughness and played every game. 

Last season, Murray’s mother, Kristen Murray, who is also an assistant coach at New Trier, underwent treatment for breast cancer. Murray said her mom found the cancer early on and was able to treat it and still coach.

“She said at the [team] banquet, ‘I tried to imagine life without my mom and couldn’t,’” Collins said. “It was kind of cool for her to share that at the banquet, for her to embrace that.”

Next year, Murray will be challenged at Dartmouth, where she joins a women’s lacrosse program coming off an NCAA tournament berth under the guidance of new coach Alex Frank. Attending academically challenging schools is the standard in her family. Both of her parents are products of the Ivy League as Brown graduates, and Murray’s sister, Kelsey, is the all-time scoring leader at Stanford. 

In the meantime, Murray will cherish the time she spent playing for her mom, and she knows she is well prepared for the next level.

“She is one of the smartest people I know, and she knows the game so well,” Murray said. “It is pretty special to share this experience with her. She has helped me grow my game. I really don’t know anything different. She has always coached me. She coached my club team. She coached my teams when I was little. It is just cool to learn from her.”

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