Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps pulled off a world class performance in England’s semi-final against Sweden as she kept a clean sheet and helped the Lionesses progress to this Sunday’s final.
In an article in The Times, Molly Hudson dives into the age-old discussion of the quality of women’s goalkeepers and how Earps is turning that stereotype around, one save at a time.
The keeper is part of the first generation of shot-stoppers that had dedicated positional training throughout their whole career, and statistics show it’s paying off; statistics show that over the last three seasons, the number of goals resulting from a goalkeeping error fell by 73%.
That’s according to StatPerform, who also found that, in comparison with the Premier League, men are twice as more likely to concede due to a goalkeeping error than women in the WSL.
According to The Times, former Red, Siobhan Chamberlain, didn’t get a dedicated goalkeeping coach until 12 years into her international career.
Earps’ heroism between the sticks hasn’t gone unnoticed by her teammates and peers as Leah Williamson applauded her after the semi-final victory.
“Mary made a save at a key moment of the game – which was an incredible turning point for us. We then went up the other end and scored.
“That’s when you talk about a team. That’s what a team is about because at two opposite ends of the pitch everybody is making it count. That moment deserves a shout out.”
Williamson was referring to the shot from Blackstenius that was dipping under the bar until Earps tipped it over.
Meanwhile, her Manchester United commrades have been congratulating her outstanding performance and not just on the women’s side either.
David De Gea messaged Earps and she has previously been compared to the Spaniard.
“I’ll take that comparison,” she says. “Me and David speak a little bit. He’s just messaged me saying congratulations. We message back and forth about results and clean sheets so that’s always nice to have his support. At Man United he’s really supportive of the women’s game.”
This all comes after Earps was dropped from the Lionesses in 2019.
In fact, Earps has often said how she feared her international career was over until Sarina Wiegman called her up when she was thinking about curtains back in September of last year.
After a solid season with the Reds, the Euros was her moment to shine and Wiegman stuck with her throughout, putting her faith in her completely and she has excelled under this guidance and responsibility.
As Earps continues to win fans over and quash any notion that women can’t make good goalkeepers, she turns her attention to getting the job done on Sunday night against Germany.
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