(W) Soccer

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Switzerland Experience
June 05, 2018
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF rising sophomore Madison Murnin made her first international trip a memorable one - traveling to Switzerland as a member of the U.S. U-18 Women's National Team in April.

Murnin, who participated in the U-14 U.S. National Soccer Team Camp in 2013, first learned of the possibility that she would be called up in March.

"Two days before I actually got invited, (Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak) called and asked if I had my passport," Murnin recalled. "It was such a random question."

A few days later, the question made sense.

"I (had been) sick, so I was lying in bed, taking a nap," Murnin said. "I woke up to my phone buzzing and it was an email from U.S. Soccer. I was scared to open it. I called my dad, read the email and started crying. He kept telling me how proud he was of me. I was so excited."

Nine days later, Murnin made the trek to Newark, N.J. to meet her teammates.

"I was really nervous. When I was approaching them at the airport in New Jersey, I was really scared. What do I say? I just said "hi, I'm Madison. This is my first trip." They were all so welcoming."

From there, the group took a redeye flight to Switzerland. After a quick rest, they began training.

"(Practice) was pretty nerve-wracking at first, but we just did something really light, just a couple passing drills to get our legs moving," Murnin said. "After my first couple touches, the nerves went away. I was just playing soccer."

On the first two days, the squad held two-a-day training. By the third day, they went down to a single practice, opening up time for sightseeing.

Murnin took in the sights at Bern and made a trip to the Swiss Alps, remarking on the beautiful scenery in both stops.

Back on the pitch, the U.S. faced the Switzerland U-19 WNT for the first time on April 7. The squad scored three goals in the first half to earn a 3-1 victory in the friendly in Stadium Hessgut-Liebefeld. Murnin didn't play in that match, but in the second friendly on April 10, she had her opportunity.

"I didn't know if I was going to play or not, but I had a really good week at practice, so I was hoping," Murnin said. "Then (Coach Jaime Frias) called my name."

Murnin entered the match for the final 15 minutes, stopping as she ran out on the field to look around at the stadium.

"It was such an amazing opportunity to represent my country, wear the crest on my uniform and get that experience."

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