Aug. 27, 2014
Chestnut Hill, Mass. -
Senior forward Stephanie McCaffrey is a dynamic player on the soccer field. Her skills level is very high but it's her dedication this past year to fitness that could be a game changer. McCaffrey opened the season with a goal and assist in the win over Harvard in the season opener. The Eagles (1-1-0) are on their first two-game road trip of the season this weekend as the team plays at Jacksonville and at UNF. Prior to the team's departure, McCaffrey sat down to talk a bit about her final season at the Heights.
As you enter your senior season, how will your role on the team be different than in past years?
SM - I think the most major difference will be that I have to lead by example in times of adversity. I need to make sure I remain positive, calm, and confident both when things are going great and when they might not be at their best. Overall, I need to constantly act and lead in a way in which I want the younger players to emulate.
Do you feel that the younger players will look to you on the field to lead?
SM - Absolutely, and that's a challenge I'm incredibly excited to take on. I have learned so much in the last three years from numerous great leaders, and I can't wait to use those experiences for the better to help this year's team succeed.
What did you do differently this summer to prepare for the upcoming season?
The last two summers I practiced in the mornings with the Boston Breaker's professional side. The level of talent both on and off the ball has been vital to my development as a player and I can't wait to apply what I've learned and improved on to BC this season. I was also fortunate enough to go to two Under-23 US National Camps this summer. In that environment, the competition and ability you face every day is an irreplaceable experience.
Every year the schedule seems to get tough. Six of the teams' first seven games are on the road and then you return to battle the conference. What is the mentality going into the season on how to face the first month of play?
Our goal in the first phase of the season is simple - is to be successful in our out-of-conference games. This isn't a knock on any out of conference teams, but we come from the best conference in the country and that comes with a sense of pride.
Has the team set any goals, if so what are some of them?
Our team sets goals in individual phases in order to reach our capstone goal of making the NCAA college cup. Last year the team was not ranked prior to the tournament.
How important are the rankings to the team?
Obviously, it's an honor to be ranked team and a testament to our hard work, but I wouldn't say a ranking affects us one way or another.
How quickly can Hayley Dowd and you begin to create chemistry on the field?
We are starting to click. You can see it in practice, pretty much every day it improves. Obviously, it's a new forward partnership, but we're different players and that's going to help us. Specifically, Hayley has great vision playing balls inside the defense. I think the two of us playing off of one another will be a lot to handle for opposing defenses.
It's early but do you see a younger player that is quickly developing and will have a positive impact on the season?
With the injuries and graduations we've had, it's been great to see younger players take on the challenge and step up. Particularly, I think the two freshmen Allyson Swaby and Madison Kenny have been phenomenal. It's not easy to come in and start in the back as a freshman, but both of them play with the confidence of veterans. They look great already and I can only see them going up from here.
Name a soccer highlight for you over the last three seasons.
In my sophomore season we defeated the No. 1 team in the country Florida State at home under the lights.
Do you see playing professional soccer be in your future?
I think so, I'm pretty sure I'm going to enter the 2015 NWSL Draft and see where that takes me. Eventually, I want to work in finance, but would love to play for a couple years.