Stagg Party: Michigan rejoices after commitment from latest Windham field hockey great
By Michael Muldoon
In February, then-sophomore Lindsey Stagg made a verbal commitment to a field hockey scholarship to the University of Michigan.
“I just knew that’s where I wanted to be,” said Stagg, a Windham resident who stars for the Derryfield School in Manchester. “It felt like home when I was visiting. I loved the team and the coaches.”
A lot of coaches would love her to change her mind but she said that’s not going to happen.
“Nope. I’m 100 percent a Wolverine. Go Blue!” she said. “I visited a couple times before I committed. I went to summer camp there this summer and I’ve stayed in contact with the coaches.”
She’s joining a top program as the Wolverines made the Final 4 in 2017.
The 5-foot-6 junior midfielder will likely switch to defense for college.
Will that be tough, sacrificing the glory of being an elite goal-scorer?
“I’m happy to do whatever the team needs me to do,” said Stagg, who was born in Georgia, but soon after moved to Windham.
Last fall she was named a third-team All-American by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (16 players made each team). Only five sophomores were honored.
She seems well on her way to repeating as All-American. At last look, Derryfield was 11-1-1 and Stagg had 24 goals. She’s battling her friend, Windham High sophomore Kate Blaisdell (23 goals), for the state scoring crown.
Of course, the hometown Jaguars would love to have her, but she’s been at Derryfield since 6th grade.
“My brother, Ryan (now a BU student) went there before I did,” explained Stagg, who started for Derryfield’s lacrosse team as a freshman but didn’t play last spring. “He loved it. And Lenny McCaigue is an incredible coach.”
She’s been an instant hit. Stagg has 57 career goals in her three-year Derryfield career.
Chelsey Feole, another Windhamite, is her coach with the NorthEast Elite club program. The former two-time Eagle-Tribune MVP and two-time Boston College All-American believes the Maize and Blue are getting a special player.
Feole said, “Lindsey is the real deal. She’s skilled, a grinder and smart ... the trifecta.”
Smart on and off the field. Last year she had a 4.0 grade-point-average at Derryfield.
Feole loves that Stagg took no shortcuts to get where she is.
“She is self made,” said Feole. “She wasn’t always the best player. Since U14, she was relentlessly committed to her pursuit of excellence.”
Stagg has a lot of skill, but one sets her apart.
Feole said, “Lindsey’s deceptive sweep, a skill that is incredibly advanced and difficult to execute at game speed, sets her apart and is her defining skill. Everyone in New England knows how dangerous that skill is.”
Ed Rogacki of Newhampshirefieldhockey.com
wrote after one brilliant goal: “Stagg probably scored the goal of the season. She took the ball down the sideline, cut in at about 10 yards from the baseline, dribbled back up to the inside edge of the circle, to where she was lined up outside of the right post, then hit a reverse chip that went screaming into the far post.
“That doesn’t justify how the good the goal actually was. It’s one of those things you have to see it to understand how amazing the goal really was.”
Leahy launched Stagg’s career
For a small town (13,592 at the 2010 census), Windham has produced a massive number of Division 1 college field hockey stars.
The common thread is usually recently-retired Windham middle school coach Marge Leahy.
She, too, had a big hand in Lindsey Stagg’s career.
“I was in elementary school playing floor hockey,” explained Stagg. “The gym teacher, Mrs. Leahy, said, ‘You’ll try field hockey next year.’ I don’t think she was really joking! She gave me a stick to practice with.”
Windham players fueled Pinkerton Academy back in the day, then Salem High and now the new Windham High. Many have starred at prep and Catholic schools, too.
Those D1 Windhamites, most of whom were stars, include Marge’s daughters Meghan (Georgetown ‘05; captain, 4-year starter) and Brenna Leahy (BC ‘08; captain, 3-time Academic All-Conference), Chelsey Feole (BC ‘10; 2-time All-American), Tatum Dyer (American ‘12; 3rd-team All-American), Carolyn Malloy (Northeastern ‘12; 2-time all-conference), Kelsey Federico (UMass Lowell ‘18; 50 starts, 3-time National All-Academic), Rachel Lanouette (Brown ‘19; 4-year starter, 2-year captain) and Casey Thompson (BU ‘22; 2 goals, 2 assists).
The beat goes on as current high schoolers Lindsey Stagg (Derryfield All-American; Michigan ‘24), Maddie DiPietro (Eagle-Tribune All-Star for Central; BU ‘24) and Kate Blaisdell (2017 state goals leader for Windham; Northeastern ‘25) have committed to Division 1 scholarships.
for The Eagle Tribune