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WOMEN'S SOCCER: McCaffrey Having Breakout Year As Sophomore

After A Key Performance In BC's Upset Of No. 1 FSU, McCaffrey Looks To Keep It Up In Postseason

For The Heights

Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01


Graham Beck / Heights Editor

Last week, the Boston College women’s soccer team pulled off the upset of the ACC when they overtook the top-ranked team Florida State in an invigorating match. Not only were the Seminoles No. 1, compared to the Eagles’ No. 24 ranking, but they had also spent the beginning of the season as an absolute powerhouse. In the 14 previous games, the Seminoles only gave up three goals in total—BC scored three goals in the match. The Eagles also scored the first ACC goal against the Seminoles of the year, ruining their hopes for an undefeated season.

The entire BC squad played top-caliber soccer, and was elevated by an outstanding performance from sophomore Stephanie McCaffrey, who provided both a critical goal and an assist to keep the Eagles above the Seminoles.

 McCaffrey comes from an athletic family, and grew up surrounded by sports.

“I grew up sandwiched in between two brothers, so always when I was growing up, even if I wanted to stay inside and watch TV, my Dad always pushed me to go outside and play sports,” McCaffrey said.

The athleticism didn’t restrict itself to just soccer, as McCaffrey played multiple sports before focusing on soccer and basketball in her middle school years. In the end, when the schedule of the two sports became too conflicting, McCaffrey says that through a “process of elimination,” she decided that soccer was the sport for her, and headed to the extremely competitive club soccer league.

Even as a freshman in high school, McCaffrey could see that she was playing at a level that would potentially allow her to play high-level college soccer.

“The process was actually really gradual, but once [my club team] became freshmen in high school, of everyone on my team, I think 17 out of 18 players ended up going Division 1, so being a part of that team made me realize, that even though I wasn’t the standout or anything, just being on that team, it was kind of assumed you would go Division 1,” she said.

The road to Chestnut Hill was also a gradual one, as McCaffrey visited the campus for the first time as a recruit during her sophomore year, and committed early in her junior year. Luckily for the Eagles, BC held a lot of appeal for the budding star. A native of Winchester, Mass., being able to stay close to her family became a huge bonus point in tipping the scales toward BC.

“I had narrowed it down to BC, University of Virginia, and Duke, and it came down to that, even though they were all similar in school and in soccer, being close to my family and that I really liked Coach (Foley) and I liked the team, so I chose BC,” McCaffrey said.

 Coincidently, wanting to be close to her family worked out extraordinarily well, as McCaffrey’s older brother, James, decided to play football at BC.

“What’s funny is that even though he’s older than me, I committed here first,” McCaffrey said laughing.

Either way, having her brother here was a huge plus and made the choice feel like an even better fit.

The team itself has become an integral part of McCaffrey’s college experience, as she rooms with some of her teammates as well. The group has bonded immensely over their time at BC, and spends a lot of time off the field together. This close dynamic has proved to translate itself into the Eagles’ play.

“We have a lot of talent, but what separates us [from other teams] is that everyone on the team is best friends,” McCaffrey said. “Even though we have other friends too, if you asked me who my best friends at school were I’d say the entire women’s soccer team. We have very similar personalities, and that wasn’t that case when I visited other schools, so I really like that aspect about us.”

As a student in the Carroll School of Management, although she hasn’t reached the point of declaring a major, McCaffrey hopes to pursue a degree in finance or marketing.

When talking about the match versus the Seminoles, McCaffrey emphasized just how crucial the win was for the team.

“It was a much needed win, because we had just lost three games in a row, and we don’t do that, it just doesn’t happen here, and in those games we had been playing really well but it just wasn’t coming off,” she said.

A huge part of that win was that the entire team, from defense to offense, stepped up and was able to contribute.

“Nobody thought we could do it, and especially because we got those three goals, it was good to shock everybody,” she said.

In the future, McCaffrey feels confident in her squad, and has confidence in their abilities to succeed.

“I think we’ve proven that if we want to, we can win a national championship,” McCaffrey said. “It’s not a coincidence that we tied Stanford when they were No. 1 and beat FSU.”

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