NEWBURYPORT — Paige Hefferan didn’t exactly have the road to popularity paved for her as a freshman on the Newburyport field hockey team in 2009.
Hefferan’s mother, Lauren, was the Newburyport head coach, and she wasted no time in placing her daughter on the varsity team alongside elder sister Callie. The Hefferan sisters both received playing time over older, more experienced teammates.
“It was scary,” Hefferan said. “I didn’t know what to expect. I was one of two freshmen on varsity (along with Kendra Dow), and my mom was the coach. I was the youngest player on the team.”
Hefferan is the latest of the sisters to prove her mother correct. Three-plus years after breaking into the varsity lineup as a freshman, Hefferan was recently selected to the Massachusetts “Best of 60” All-Star Game. The game, which will include the top 60 seniors in the state as voted by the coaches, will be played Sunday at Bentley University.
“This was definitely a goal,” said Hefferan, who earned Cape Ann League Player of the Year as a senior. “I didn’t think I’d achieve it, but I’m happy I did.”
Hefferan led the Clippers to a 13-3-3 record this fall, after the team graduated its entire defensive backfield last spring. She cites a collection of Newburyport field hockey alumnae as being mentors on the field, including Cassaundra Davis, Haley Johnson and Mackenzie Maguire from the Class of 2010, and Molly Rowe from the Class of 2011.
Davis (St. Michael’s College), Rowe (Bentley University) and Paige’s sister, Callie (Salem State College), went on to play field hockey in college, although Callie has since retired from the sport.
Hefferan plans to continue her field hockey career in college. She is looking at St. Michael’s, UMass Lowell and Keene State, but has yet to make a decision.