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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

 At 19, Abbey Murphy is one of youngest players selected to Team USA

Abbey Murphy’s family may not be able to travel with her to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, but the family and friends of the daughter of an emergency room nurse and pipefitter from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) will be rooting for her in spirit from afar.

Murphy, 19, of Evergreen Park, was recently selected to the 23-woman roster as the second youngest on the USA Women’s hockey team, and one of five Chicago area women to play for gold.

“It is surreal to think that she made this team,” said her father, Ed Murphy. “Her room is decorated with hockey stuff like an autographed 1980 USA Olympic jersey on the wall, pictures of the women’s team from the Olympics, and here she is playing with the women she has autographs from and considers her role models.”

The Murphy Family has traveled with Abbey to Russia, Japan, Slovakia, and across North America, but this time due to COVID-19 protocols, her closest cheering section must watch from the other side of the world. So, despite the difference in time, family and friends will wake up early and gather for a watch party at 7 a.m. at Barraco’s in her hometown of Evergreen Park. Following Team USA’s preliminary game against Finland on Feb. 3, the team will then take on the Russian Olympic Committee, Switzerland and Canada before quarterfinal play begins on Feb. 11.

“Good luck to Abbey Murphy and Team USA,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “It is so exciting to have an Olympian in our midst. We appreciate the talent, drive, passion and energy that Abbey, her teammates and their families have put forth to represent our country, and we at the MWRD are proud to cheer Abbey on to victory.” 

As part of the experience, Ed and Lynne will join other hockey team families in Park City, Utah for additional watch parties. Ed Murphy said it has been difficult not being able to attend the Olympics in person because of COVID-19, but he appreciates the support, and the worldwide attention women’s hockey is gaining from the Winter Games.

“The big thing for me is to elevate women’s hockey and get it out there for all to see,” he said. “Women’s hockey in the last 10 years has really exploded in popularity and it’s important for female hockey players to have this opportunity for themselves and future generations.”

Abbey, a 5’5” forward, did not exactly bloom from a hockey family dynasty but has athletic skills in her genes. Her father Ed is a Marine veteran, played college football and her mother, Lynne, was a softball player. Her brother, Patrick, played football for Carthage College and her brother Dominic currently wrestles at St. Cloud State University. But at an early age of six she took to hockey.

“We had a kid across the street roller blading in the backyard and she saw that and wanted some skates,” Ed recalled.
She began playing hockey at the Daniel V. Capuano Ice Rink in Evergreen Park before joining the St. Jude Hockey Club in Crestwood, where she played with all boys and excelled. She joined the Chicago Mission Youth Hockey Club to play on all-girls teams, participating in up to 80 games a year, requiring countless hours of travel and commitment. The Chicago Mission program helped develop Abbey into an Olympian along with five other players: Kendall Coyne Schofield, Megan Bozek, Alex Cavallini, Jesse Compher and Savannah Harmon.

“It was not cheap, but it was worth every penny,” Ed said.

After graduating from Mother McAuley High School in 2020, Abbey enrolled at the University of Minnesota, where she starred on the hockey team her freshman year. Shortly later, she was named to the U.S. Women’s hockey residency program and took a gap year from school to train with the U.S. team in Blaine, Minn. Despite COVID-19 challenges and competing against players born decades before her, she showed she belonged on the final roster when it was announced during the NHL’s Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.

“Congratulations to Abbey Murphy and her parents, Ed and Lynne, for their unwavering support in her dream of reaching the pinnacle of her sport at such a young age,” said MWRD Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos. “I’m also excited because she graduated from my alma mater Mother McAuley, and I am proud to have presented a resolution for her achievements in 2018. We wish Team USA all the best.”

Abbey Murphy.pdf

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Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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