Playing through the pain, Cassidy Heflin was not expecting to be named USA South Player of the Week, as she was on Mar. 2. Fighting the pain of a polyp on her gallbladder, Heflin played the first four games of the 2020 season as a midfielder with no sub. She often had to send another teammate over the restraining line so she could take a breather.
Sporting an injury every year of college so far, Heflin was disheartened from not being able to play every game this year and having to sit out for two weeks in order to recover from her surgery. Confident in the surgery and calmed by her passion for medicine, Heflin was not scared to go under. She was more anxious about missing the Meredith and Salem girls’ lacrosse games the following weekend.
“I’ve been in pain so the best thing is to get the surgery over with, but missing two games is hard,” Heflin said. “Plus that’s an away trip I can’t get back.”
Proving to be a vital teammate, Helfin led the team with 24 assists, 91 draw controls and 26 caused turnovers. This was Heflin’s first time winning the USA Player of the Week award. She received Rookie of the Week her freshman year, and Second Team All-Conference as an attacker her sophomore year and as a midfielder last year. She also won the USA South All-Tournament in 2019 and held a spot on the All-Academic Team for three straight years from 2017-2019.
“Cassidy’s award was well deserved. She does things behind the scenes that are not always accounted for in the stat book and on the field,” teammate Rowan Bumpass said. “Cassidy is a game changer and it was awesome to see her finally get that recognition.”
Obsessed with doing the draw, Heflin loves playing midfield and has done so for eight years. Heflin began playing lacrosse as a freshman in high school – which is not common for many Maryland prospects. Heflin was recruited by her high school basketball coach to try lacrosse after playing basketball for eight years. Moving from Maryland, Cassidy found herself feeling homesick after the first semester of her freshman year.
“Homesickness manifests in different ways, for me helping others and not taking care of myself and not taking care of my homesickness was a struggle,” Heflin said. “I was also dealing with other things like finding myself.”
In addition to the regular stress of college, Heflin has managed to succeed in athletics, academics and work. Despite being physically drained from practice and emotionally drained from working as an RA, babysitter and in the learning center, Heflin has maintained a 3.7 GPA while majoring in biology with a cell and molecular concentration. As sports teams are hubs for making close friendships, Heflin has found a great roommate and friend in her fellow senior, Domonique Steele.
“As a nursing or science major and student athlete, some days are harder than others but you do it because you love it. There’s nothing else I find more rewarding,” Steele said. “I think Cassidy chose PA school because she has a calling for healthcare and a love for wanting to help people. You make a sacrifice so you can do it.”
Recently accepted to PCOM Georgia (a PA school in Gwinnett), Heflin aspires to be a part of a medical team and help those in need.
“I’m thankful for Piedmont, but I’m ready to be challenged,” Heflin said.