UConn, Southern CT Soccer Teams Make Sports History At Staples

When the University of Connecticut men’s soccer team plays Southern Connecticut State University on Saturday, April 2o, local history may be made.

It could be the first time a college game — in any sport — has been held in Westport. The match is set for 1 p.m., at Staples High School’s Loeffler Field.

But even if that’s been done before, this is a historic encounter. The 2 teams — UConn, a Division I national powerhouse, and SCSU a storied Division II program — seldom meet.

It’s a significant moment. And it’s at Staples’ famed Hill, because of a very important Westport connection.

The match is a fundraiser for the Dennis Murphy Scholarship. It benefits players on the Southern Connecticut team.

Dennis Murphy

Murphy was one of Staples’ most legendary, competitive and hard-nosed players. He played on the Wreckers’ state championship squads in 1971 and ’72, then headed to Southern. As a captain and, later, assistant coach under Bob Dikranian, Murphy helped lay the groundwork for the Owls’ success.

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 coach Ray Reid began his career at Southern. Murphy’s brother Kenny (Staples ’76) was a UConn captain. He is now the head coach at Connecticut College, in New London.

The April 20 match is a chance for soccer fans of all ages 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 — click here, or send a check to Southern Connecticut State University Foundation, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT 06515. Write “Dennis Murphy Scholarship” on the memo line.

8 responses to “UConn, Southern CT Soccer Teams Make Sports History At Staples

  1. I can’t wait to be there and support this cause! Great news! There is no more fitting place to hold such an event in honor of all that Dennis loved and will always represent!

  2. I hope the Hill is packed with young soccer players. What a great opportunity for them.

  3. Frank Accardi

    Dan, I hope this note finds you well. Enjoying the posts. If you remember ANDREW’S ARMY is still very active. March 16 at Shorehaven golf club in cooperation with St. Baldrick’s Foundation we raised $7000. And on April 27 down at Linfield Pennsylvania the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Villanova University will have the 10th annual Andrew’s Army golf event. Today on Andrew‘s 26th birthday we remember him in a special way. We are pledged to continue to raise money for research in neuroblastoma at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. We want to thank all the wonderful Westporters who have supported him from the very beginning.

    All the best, Frank Accardi

  4. 20 or so years ago Westport youth lacrosse sponsored Villanova vs Boston college regular season meeting!

    • Great to know. That’s why I qualified it for sure!

    • Fred Cantor

      Don, how did that game in Westport come about? And what field was it played on? Thanks.

      • A couple of the parents involved in the youth lacrosse programs were Villanova grads and knew the coach. They wanted to play BC in a neutral site in front of their Fairfield County grads. The played at Staples HS (Not turf yet) field. They actually played the game two years in a row, both games were overtime thrillers and it was so exciting to see all the fans at the games with lacrosse sticks. It was a big boost to the beginnings of the Westport Lacrosse Association which eventually became Westport PAL lacrosse

  5. Brad French

    Nobody better than Murph. Pretty good bartender too! If Weston didn’t open their new high school, I could’ve played with him.