Murphy-Logue is the man at Macalester (Soccer)
Even as a kid, Stephen Murphy-Logue of Anchorage knew he wanted to be a soccer player.
Well, actually, he wanted to be astronaut. But that’s a different story.
At age 5, he started playing soccer. By the time he was in eighth grade, it was his primary focus. In high school, the game took precedence over girls.
“While most of my high school buddies were out with their girlfriends and partying on Friday and Saturday nights, I preferred to play pickup soccer at local gyms, practice penalty kicks at Balto Sepla Bark, set juggling records outside my house and run religiously on the Coastal Trail,” he told me.
“This same discipline carries on to today.”
And that’s why he’s the reigning MVP at Macalester College, a NCAA III school in St. Paul, Minn.
Murphy-Logue, of West High fame, is entering his senior season this year after earning MIAC First Team all-conference honors and being named his team’s player of the year last season.
“Last season was truly amazing,” he said.
And it all started in Anchorage, where he discovered his love for soccer after watching the 2002 World Cup.
“There was something about the fluidness of play and constant movement of the players that really drew me to the game,” he said. “I immediately became obsessed with the sport.”
It’s no different today.
Murphy-Logue, 21, is a talented midfielder capable of controlling the game with his ball skills, posing a threat every time he touches the ball. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder is rugged enough to hold off defenders and strong enough to overpower opponents for 50-50 balls.
“I primarily play defensive center midfield. I occasionally drop back to center defender when our starting center back is unable to play,” he said. “My primary job is to cover the back four on the defensive side of the ball and switch the angle of attack on the offensive side by distributing the ball out wide to our wing players. I am also very good in the air at winning headers.”
He emerged as more of an offensive player last season, delivering five of his eight career goals and two of his three career assists, making him a complete player.
His next goal is a championship.
Macalester College advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and returns the nucleus of that group, led by Murphy-Logue.
“Our team should be very good this year,” he said. “The MIAC is incredibly competitive from top to bottom … nothing is guaranteed going into any conference game. Therefore we will have to bring our absolute best every time we step on the pitch.”
Question: What about school?
Answer: Academics are very important for me. Balancing my workload is a tough task but I manage to perform fairly well in the classroom. I am a Political Science major and a double minor in American Studies and Hispanic Studies. I volunteered last semester at a local Hispanic community center in Minneapolis. My primary task was to help Latino children engage in bilingual conversations.
Q: Who is your inspiration?
A: My primary inspirations are my parents. They both instilled in me certain qualities and characteristics that make me the man I am today. The most important lessons I have learned from them are honesty, respect, the value of hard work, the importance of having fun, and having a positive attitude towards life. I like to think of myself as someone who is, like my parents, perpetually optimistic and respectful towards others.
Q: What’s campus life like?
A: College life is the best. No parents, fantastic cafeteria food, great friends, wonderful classes, amazing soccer, and living in the Twin Cities tops it all off. Aside from the daily grind of classes I keep myself busy by hanging with friends, dancing on the weekends, dabbling in poetry, volunteering, playing all kinds of sports at our athletic facility and exploring the Twin Cities. My absolute favorite thing in the world, aside from playing soccer, is dancing. It allows me to unwind from the stresses of life and let loose.
Q: Should NCAA athletes get paid?
A: I do not think so. We are student-athletes and the former word takes precedence over the latter. We are at school to get educated and learn skills that will help us succeed in our future occupations. Having said that, however, I firmly believe that being an athlete in college is a rewarding experience. Sports are a metaphor for the rest of life. They instill in individuals concepts such as fair play, dedication, teamwork and perseverance. I feel very fortunate to be a student-athlete at the college level.
Q: Where were you when Landon Donovan scored?
A: I was in my basement. I nearly had a heart attack watching the game and was sweating from every pore as each second ticked off the clock. I believe the first “word” out of my mouth after Donovan scored was an unintelligible ‘Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh’ followed by a series of ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!’ My mom, who had stopped watching the game with me to get ready for work, heard the pandemonium coming from the basement and immediately came downstairs. She actually started to cry tears of happiness. Both of us were incredibly proud to be Americans at that moment, like millions of others that day.
Q: Got a nickname?
A: Just about everybody at college calls me ‘Moose.’ This is due to my physical size and the fact that I am from Alaska. I am called ‘Beef’ by my friends in Alaska. My mother calls me ‘Baby-Boy-Joy’ and my extended family members on the Murphy side of my family call me ‘Stevie Ran; Randall is my middle name. I also sometimes go by ‘SML,’ ‘Murf,’ and ‘Smurf.’
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
A: I like all types of music. I love Tracy Chapman, Blue Scholars, Drake, Barry White, Michael Jackson, Fort Minor, Elton John, and Tiesto. My favorite songs at the moment are “Desert Rose” by Sting and “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal.
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: My dream job would be as an astronaut. I would give anything to someday do a spacewalk and be on a mission to a distant planet or galaxy. I recently turned 21 so anything is possible at this point. All I know is that I want to enjoy my living and be proud of what I do.