Europe athletes of the week
Last week: Murnane, a sophomore goalkeeper, made his first varsity start a memorable one on Saturday, making 17 saves in SHAPE’s 3-1 Division II-North opening-day victory at Bitburg.
He made most of those stops under physical duress, according to SHAPE coach Tony Blasio.
“They ran into him three times,” Blasio said by telephone on Monday. “A lot of times when a goalkeeper is feeling physically threatened he loses his concentration on the ball. But Sean stood up and did his thing.”
According to Bitburg coach David Abbott, Murnane was the key to victory for defending European D-II champion SHAPE.
“We had a lot of chances, but we couldn’t get the ball into the net,” he said Saturday by phone.
Murnane was a backup as a freshman, according to Blasio, but played above his experience level on Saturday. “He rose to the occasion,” the coach said.
Last week: Cotter, a senior midfielder, welcomed two-time European Division II champion Patch to Division I Saturday by scoring a goal and setting up two others in the Lady Lions’ 5-2 non-conference road win over the Lady Panthers.
According to Heidelberg coach Jim McCauley, Cotter’s performance Saturday was characteristic for the nearly three-year starter.
“She has developed a good outside shot, but is more apt to be the person to make a strong pass for others to use to score,” he wrote Monday in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
McCauley added that Cotter, his team captain who prides herself on her conditioning, also provides defense and a significant intangible for the defending European D-I champions.
“She is quite determined on defense and works hard to keep her side of the field under control,” he concluded. “She is a natural leader (who) inspires others to do their best.”
— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff