Boone Grove senior Olivia McCafferty played two seasons at central defender, but she has not had any trouble transitioning to forward this year.
McCafferty has four goals and five assists in Boone Grove’s first two games. Her seamless move from playing in the back to playing up front has helped the Times No. 7 Wolves to a 2-0 start.
In a season-opening win over Morton, she had a goal and school-record five assists.
“She passes to where you are going,” Boone Grove coach Chad Roggow said of McCafferty. “It has set up so many different opportunities for us to have chances to score.”
After playing sparingly at midfield as a freshman, McCafferty moved to defense for her sophomore and junior seasons.
With the graduation of Paige Aguilera and Mackenzie Starcevich from last year’s regional finalist team, Roggow asked McCafferty to move up front.
“It wasn’t hard,” she said of the transition. “I had played offense before. I had played with our midfielders for a while, so it’s been comfortable.”
Roggow noted that one reason why she has been so successful at forward is because of her footwork and ball control.
"I don’t think I have had anybody who had the ability to be on the ball and go around others like that,” he said. “She rarely gets tackled on the ball and loses the ball that way.”
McCafferty not only has the ability to set up others to score goals, she also can find the back of the net. She scored three goals in a 4-0 win over Marquette Catholic.
“I have been amazed,” Roggow said of her start to the season. “I knew it was going to be a tough year to reposition people and find out who was the strongest at each position.”
McCafferty still doesn't feel like a true forward despite the offensive production.
“I have been scoring defender goals,” she said. “Even though I’m a forward, I still feel like a defender with the way I play.”
While things have been going well at forward so far, Roggow said that depending on the situation, she might end up back on defense if needed.
“As the season goes on, there’s room for change as circumstances change,” he said. “She might return to that role in certain games or situations.”
McCafferty’s versatility will be a help to her at the next level. She has told schools that she would be able to play either position in college.
“A good soccer player should be able to do that,” she said of playing different positions. “I like having more freedom to play wherever. One position can be tedious. I sometimes find myself wanting to go back and play defense.”