Published on March 19th, 2019 | by Staples Soccer0
UConn-Southern: Great College Match At Staples April 20
Save the date: Saturday, April 20, 1 p.m., at Staples High School’s Loeffler Field.
The University of Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State University face off in a classic spring season match. They’ll do it at Staples’ famed Hill — and they’ll be thinking of a very important Staples soccer connection.
The game — between 2 of college soccer’s most storied programs — is a fundraiser for the Dennis Murphy Scholarship Fund. It benefits players on the Southern Connecticut team.
Murphy was one of the Wreckers’ most legendary — and competitive, and hard-nosed — players. He played on state championship squads in 1971 and ’72, then headed to Southern. As a captain — and later an assistant coach — under coach Bob Dikranian, Murphy helped lay the groundwork for the Owls’ success.
Coach Ray Reid led SCSU to 3 national titles in the 1990s, before being named Joe Morrone’s successor at UConn in 1996.
Murphy spent many years as coach of all age groups, including Westport’s powerhouse Bridge Grille teams, and with the Westport Soccer Association. He died in 2016, after a long battle with cancer.
Southern established a scholarship fund in his name. UConn is happy to help raise funds for the scholarship program — and not just because of Reid’s ties to both schools. Murphy’s brother Kenny (Staples ’76) was a UConn captain. He is now the head coach at Connecticut College, in New London.
“While Dennis taught stressed the technical aspects of the game, a hallmark of his coaching legacy was his genuine care and support for each player,” Dikranian said. “What seemed effortless for Dennis was his exceptional ability to identify what made players special. He pushed everyone to play at their personal best, with heart, hard work and teamwork. His passion lives on at Southern.”
The April 20 match is a chance to watch 2 excellent college teams — on the same field where Murphy and his 3 brothers (including Kenny, Ed ’74 and Kevin ’77) played. Owl and Husky players will be available after the match too, for photos and autographs.
The Staples, SCSU and UConn soccer programs all support this event. Donations will be collected there for the fund. If you can’t be there — or want to contribute now — send a check to Southern Connecticut State University Foundation, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT 06515. Be sure to write “Dennis Murphy Scholarship” on the memo line.