ROOKIE SPOTLIGHT: Stephanie McCaffrey

(July 13, 2015) - Family. Something that Stephanie McCaffrey has never strayed away from during her soccer career. Whether it was starring at Buckingham Browne and Nicholas in high school, to having a storied career at Boston College, McCaffrey is now excelling as a rookie this season on the Boston Breakers.

- By Meg Kelly

(July 13, 2015) - Family. Something that Stephanie McCaffrey has never strayed away from during her soccer career. Whether it was starring at Buckingham Browne and Nicholas in high school, to having a storied career at Boston College, McCaffrey is now excelling as a rookie this season on the Boston Breakers.

The Winchester native has played her entire soccer career in Boston, giving her friends and family a chance to support her every step of the way.

This season, McCaffrey has been a key player on her new family, the Boston Breakers.

“It’s been awesome,” McCaffrey said. “I think I’m fortunate to A, be home and B, have a great support system. One thing I can’t say enough about is the organization and how they do such a great job of making it feel like a family.”

It has been somewhat of a reunion for McCaffrey, who played on the Boston Breakers College Academy team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League for two seasons before entering her name in this year’s NWSL draft.

Stephanie McCaffrey is one of four rookies on the Breakers this season (Photo By Mike Gridley)

The Chicago Red Stars drafted McCaffrey with the fifth overall pick and it seemed that for the first time in McCaffrey’s career, she would be on the pitch outside of Boston.

However, within minutes of being drafted, the Breakers traded for McCaffrey, keeping the local product in Boston. After playing for the Breakers College Academy team, McCaffrey relished the chance of playing professionally for the organization she grew to know so well.

“It would be tough to grow up playing in the academy and getting to know the people in the organization who are awesome and who I really loved and then not getting a chance to be part of their professional team,” she said.

McCaffrey wasted no time in paying dividends on the Breakers trade, scoring the lone goal for the Breakers in the season opener at Portland Thorns FC.

McCaffrey has always had a knack for finding the back of the net and setting up teammates for success. At Boston College, she finished fifth all-time in goals with 32 and assists (26), becoming the fourth player in program history to record more than 90 career points.

The transition to the professional ranks has been no different as she leads the Breakers with six points. McCaffrey has found the back of the net twice and has assisted on two goals. The rookie credits her teammates for her success this season and believes in them as much as they believe in her.

“I feel like the team is behind me and believes in me,” McCaffrey said. “They make it easier for me to be confident instead of saying I’m a rookie, I should take a backseat, which is awesome.”

Stephanie McCaffrey is tied for the team lead in assists (two). (Photo By Mike Gridley)

Like every rookie, there are adjustments to make at the professional level. The demands increase both physically and mentally with intense training sessions, competition, and travel. McCaffrey is quick to note that she has much to work on her game on and off the field.

“The part that hasn’t been as easy of a traditions are just the demands physically, mentally on your body,” McCaffrey noted. “Every day you have to put in some kind of extra work or you’re going to fall behind the pack.”

The Breakers (3-6-2) current sit in eighth place in the NWSL standings with 11 points at the halfway mark this season. McCaffrey has been posting an impressive season (she ranks third amongst rookies in scoring with two goals and two assists) but her main focus is guiding the Breakers to the playoffs for the first time as a member of the NWSL.

“I just want to do everything I can to help this team make the playoffs,” McCaffrey said. “I think we’ve floated around the middle of the pack in the league, we’ve been in a playoff position for a few games, so it’s definitely something that’s not out of our reach.”

McCaffrey is living her dream, despite traveling the world and seeing the potential opportunities to play elsewhere, there is no place McCaffrey would rather be than Boston.

“It’s crazy,” McCaffrey beamed. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think a lot of times you’re tempted to think the grass is always greener, but I don’t feel like that at all.”

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