Stanford-Bound Maddigan Miller 'A-Plus in the Character Column'

At the conclusion of her senior season at Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.), Maddigan Miller’s awards collection started to pile up — All-County, All-American, multiple Player of the Year honors. After leading the Phantoms to an undefeated season, she’s also the Nike / USA Lacrosse Northeast Girls’ Player of the Year.

Another especially fitting award she won was presented by the Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) youth lacrosse association — the Kerrigan Miller Award, named after one of Maddigan’s three lacrosse-playing older sisters and given annually to recognize outstanding leadership.

A two-time Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year at USC, Kerrigan Miller transferred to North Carolina as a graduate student this year and is one of the most decorated players to come out of the BBP program. Now, Maddigan Miller is following in her footsteps.

“She’s a tremendous kid, one of the best leaders we’ve had walk through the program,” Bayport-Blue Point coach Ryan Gick said of Maddigan Miller. “She says the right things. She can motivate people. She’s a person you want to play for, play with, play behind as a younger player to look up to. She’s just A-plus in the character column.”

But as decorated as Kerrigan was, Gick thinks Maddigan might be the best player to ever compete for a Bayport-Blue Point program that also developed the Weeks sisters — Courtney and Cassidy from national champion Boston College.

“We just had the Weeks sisters win the national championship, Kerrigan goes from USC to UNC, all these kids who are freshman right now — they are tremendous players,” Gick said. “But when you put everything together into a complete package, Maddigan can do it all, and that’s why I’m willing to make that statement, but I do say it with respect for the kids who have come before her.”

Maddigan Miller raised her level this year, both in terms of becoming a more well-rounded player and becoming a better leader.

As a sophomore on a stacked team of future Division I players in 2019, she was on attack and produced 26 goals and six assists. This spring, Gick gave Miller more responsibility as a midfielder, on draws and as a captain. He challenged her on the nuances of the draw control, like knowing where to position teammates and how to push the ball into spaces rather than just to her stick.

Miller finished with 36 goals, 16 assists, 72 draw controls, 26 caused turnovers and 35 ground balls. Others might have had more gaudy numbers, but it’s difficult to imagine anyone impacting the game more.

“She plays a team game for us,” Gick said. “She’s one of the best players around, and if you look at her stat line, she’s not the highest point-getter on Long Island, but she does everything right, including playing into the team concept. That’s why we had as much success as we did because she dominated the circle for us. She has an intelligence and understanding of the draw that I’ve not had before.”

“She’s a person you want to play for, play with, play behind as a younger player to look up to. She’s just A-plus in the character column.”

— Ryan Gick

As for comparisons with Kerrigan Miller, their games are more different than they are similar. Kerrigan Miller “runs hot” with energy and desire, Gick said. Maddigan Miller has the same will to win, but Gick said she’s “as cool as ice.”

Where they are similar is in their ability to lead teammates – something the younger Miller takes pride in doing.

“Kerrigan is awesome. Even at home, she’s the same person all the time,” she said. “I think growing up with her, she was the next oldest from me, so she was my role model my whole life. Just seeing her leadership and positivity affect other players and how well they responded to her definitely helped shape me into the leader that I am today.”

That leadership was on full display in the Long Island Class C championship game, with Bayport-Blue Point trailing Manhasset (N.Y.) during a hydration break midway through the second half.

It was the same stage she reached as a sophomore when the Phantoms lost to Cold Spring Harbor by one goal.

“That bus ride home was one of the worst memories,” she said. “You feel that, and you just never want to feel that again.”

In that moment during the break, Miller pulled her teammates together, almost shaking with emotion and choking back tears, and gave an impassioned plea.

“I told my team, ‘We cannot lose right now,’” she said. “I literally said, ‘They cannot score another goal. Every mistake from this point matters.’”

Bayport-Blue Point rallied to win the Long Island championship game 6-5 and finished the season 17-0.

“It was just a huge relief,” Miller said. “I bawled my eyes out. It was happy tears, but also it was my last high school lacrosse game. It’s so surreal. The whole team was so close this year. There was never any drama.”

In addition to her three older sisters, Miller’s cousin Joe Miller is the faceoff specialist at Navy. Another cousin, Ailish Kelly, is about to be her Stanford teammate, and Kelly’s older sister plays for the Coast Guard.

“One year for Thanksgiving, we rented out a turf field and played a huge game,” Millerr said. “I was probably 4 years old.”

Around the same time, whenever oldest sibling MacKenzie Miller wanted to get in some extra work while babysitting, she’d take her sister out to the front yard and have her pass the ball.

“It was always fun, never pushed upon us, and my sisters made it fun to hang out with them and make it family bonding,” Maddigan Miller said.

As much as Miller will miss her high school experience — one cut short because the COVID-19 pandemic shut down her junior year — she said she can’t wait for the next step, joining Ailish Kelly and her best friend Erin Schaefer at Stanford.

“It is sad to move on to the next chapter, but I’m ready,” Miller said. “I’m excited to see what will go on at Stanford. It is a little emotional, but at the same time super exciting. I’m ready.”

Nike/USA Lacrosse High School Rankings
National Boys' Top 25 | National Girls' Top 25
Northeast Boys' Top 10 | Northeast Girls' Top 10
Mid-Atlantic Boys' Top 10 | Mid-Atlantic Girls' Top 10
South Boys' Top 10
| South Girls' Top 10
Midwest Boys' Top 10
| Midwest Girls' Top 10
West Boys' Top 10
| West Girls' Top 10

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1. Northport (N.Y.), 18-0

Northport captured a second consecutive Long Island Class A championship and capped an undefeated season along the way by beating Massapequa 10-6. Duke-bound Kaylie Mackiewicz played a pivotal role with 66 goals and 11 assists, and Stony Brook commit Ella Cabrera had 37 goals and 11 assists.

2. St. Anthony’s (N.Y.), 12-0

Erin O’Grady led the charge with 79 saves on the season, and the Michigan commit earned CHSAA Player of the Year honors for a second time as she guided the Friars to consecutive league titles. Junior Ava Biancardi, who will play at Duke, had 21 goals and four assists, Northwestern-bound junior attacker Abbey LoCascio added 16 goals and 15 assists and Navy commit Kat McAteer chipped in 11 goals and 17 assists for the undefeated Friars.

3. Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.), 17-0

The Phantoms exorcised the ghosts of previous trips to the Long Island championship game by rallying to defeat Manhasset (N.Y.) to claim their first Class C crown. Stanford commit Maddigan Miller led the charge with 36 goals, 16 assists, 72 draw controls, 26 caused turnovers and 35 ground balls. Senior Alexis Niblock, who committed to USC, was the backbone of the Bayport-Blue Point defense, and Stony Brook-bound senior Alex Fusco had 35 goals and three assists, including three in the title win.

4. Darien (Conn.), 18-3

The dynasty is alive and well with the Blue Wave defeating Ludlowe (Conn.) 14-6 to win a 19th overall state championship and a seventh in the last eight seasons. Junior Molly McGuckin finished with 51 goals and seven assists, sophomore Ryan Hapgood had 53 goals and seven assists, Michigan-bound junior Ceci Stein collected 45 goals and 37 assists and sophomore Chloe Humphrey added 30 goals and 10 assists in just eight games. Boston College-bound goalkeeper Shea Dolce made 98 saves and had a 53 percent save rate.

5. Garden City (N.Y.), 14-2

Under the direction of first-year head coach Dave Ettinger, the Trojans defeated West Babylon (N.Y.) 14-5 to win a first Long Island Class B title since 2017. Yale commit Alexandra Hopkins was huge in the title game and finished the season with 32 goals and 13 assists. Villanova-bound Sydney Pappas totaled 46 goals and 10 assists.


6. New Canaan (Conn.), 20-1

A 20-game winning streak crashed to a halt with a season-ending 8-5 loss to rival Darien in the CIAC Class L semifinals. North Carolina-bound senior McKenna Harden finished with 25 goals, 13 assists, 36 draw controls, 18 caused turnovers and 15 ground balls, while junior Dillyn Patten led the attack with 53 goals. Hollis Mulry, a junior USC commit, added 43 goals, junior Quinn McKiernan had 41 assists and UNC-bound junior Kaleigh Harden collected 64 draw controls and 20 caused turnovers. New Canaan enjoyed its second undefeated regular season in program history and a first-ever FCIAC title.

7. Manhasset (N.Y.), 13-3

After celebrating a third straight Nassau title, the Indians fell to Bayport-Blue Point in the Long Island Class C final. Florida-bound senior Emma LoPinto collected 27 goals, 12 assists, 24 ground balls, 23 draw controls and eight caused turnovers, Villanova commit Grace Gately had 27 goals and 23 assists and junior Alexis Morton, a Richmond-bound junior, added 44 goals and 19 assists.

8. West Babylon (N.Y.), 13-5

History was made — and in dramatic fashion — as second-seeded West Babylon captured a first-ever county championship by upsetting top-seeded Eastport-South Manor (N.Y.) 9-8 in the Suffolk Class B final with Olivia Vergano scoring the overtime winner. She finished with 23 goals and 11 assists, and super sophomore Lacey Downey led Long Island in points (121) and goals (71) and was second in assists with 50.

9. Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.), 13-5

The Northstars ended a 24-year sectional title drought, defeating Baldwinsville (N.Y.) 12-11 in overtime in the Section III Class A championship game. Stony Brook-bound junior Francesca Tortora totaled 52 goals and 42 assists, senior Mount St. Mary’s commit Molly Molchanoff added 44 goals and nine assists and sister Brooke Molchanoff, a freshman midfielder, chipped in 37 goals and 15 assists.

10. Eastport-South Manor (N.Y.), 13-3

Eastport-South Manor’s season ended with a crushing overtime defeat to West Babylon in the Suffolk Class B final. Florida commit Celeste Forte made a seamless transition from defender to two-way midfielder and had 20 goals, 21 assists, 15 caused turnovers and 24 draw controls, and senior goalie Katie Vahle, who committed to Arizona State, made 81 saves.