New kids on the block: Stephanie McCaffrey

One in an occasional series about the fresh faces

hoping to join the U.S. women’s team

Stephanie McCaffrey (top) with teammates after her first national team goal, against Brazil in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 25, 2015. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Stephanie McCaffrey (top) with teammates after her first national team goal, against Brazil in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 25, 2015. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Oct. 25, 2015, isn’t a date that Stephanie McCaffrey will soon forget.

That was when the 22-year-old forward earned her first cap  on the U.S. women’s team — and scored her first international goal.

McCaffrey came on for Tobin Heath at the start of the second half of a game against Brazil in Orlando, Fla. The United States won 3-1.

She scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time, driving home a beautiful cross from Megan Rapinoe.

McCaffrey, a 2015 rookie with the Boston Breakers, became the 18th player in the history of the U.S. women’s team to score in her first game. The last one to do it before her was Christen Press on Feb. 9, 2013, against Scotland. (Press scored twice in that game, a 4-1 U.S. victory.)

McCaffrey played for Boston College from 2011 to 2014.

There was one embarrassing black mark on her collegiate record. In her sophomore year, she was suspended from playing against Penn State in a second-round game of the NCAA tournament because of offensive tweets about Jerry Sandusky and the sex-abuse scandal then rocking Penn State.

Young (and foolish) Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston College)

Young (and foolish) Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston College)

She and Boston College apologized.

McCaffrey — a youngster at the time, after all — apparently thought the tweets were acceptable trash-talking on the eve of a big game.

Upon reflection, though, she said in her apology to Penn State:

“I now realize how inappropriate and disgusting my tweets were today. It was not my intention to offend you or your school, and I regret all my actions from the bottom of my heart.”  

She seemed to learn her lesson from the episode, which brought her unwanted national headlines. McCaffrey was never again involved in any troublesome conduct on or off the pitch.

As a junior, she made the All-ACC Academic Team and was the recipient of the Boston College Athletic Director’s Award for Academic Achievement. As a senior, she was the Eagles’ co-captain, the team’s assist leader and second-leading scorer.

McCaffrey was the fifth player selected overall in the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League draft.

She played fairly well, but the Breakers were a disaster, finishing dead last in the league with a record of 4-13-3.

McCaffrey appeared in 19 of the team’s 20 games, starting in 17. Her three goals were the second most on the team, and her three assists led the club.

Earlier: Emily Sonnett

 

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One thought on “New kids on the block: Stephanie McCaffrey

  1. Pingback: The search for tomorrow’s stars is on | finishers

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