A highly-recruited former full scholarship Division 1 soccer goalkeeper, Lindsey “Luka” Carfagna represented her state in the Olympic Development Program since age 12, played on a nationally ranked club team, and has trained on an invite-only basis at Nike Headquarters with ex-National team coach Tony DiCicco. During her career she worked with some of the best coaches, including USWNT goalkeeper coach Paul Rogers, DC United General Manager Dave Kasper, and Chicago Blackhawks strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman. At the University of Vermont (UVM), Lindsey played only a few months before suffering back-to-back concussions. In her short collegiate career, she gained all tournament honors and conference rookie of the week honors as well as several conference academic honors. Lindsey medically retired from soccer and pursued student leadership and academic excellence on campus while battling back from PCS until her senior year when she walked onto the track team as a javelin thrower. Still symptomatic, but able to safely manage symptoms in a non-contact sport, she used exercise to overcome PCS-related depression, cognitive fatigue, and social isolation. She finished her college career with a third place finish in the America East Conference championship meet in javelin, which she hadn’t thrown in her life until spring of her senior year. Lindsey gained academic conference honors again, an invitation to compete at the New England championship meet, and earned an award from the athletic department for her service to the community and commitment to social justice. She also graduated from the honors program at UVM as a member of several honors societies and was recognized at graduation with an award for her leadership on campus.
After UVM, Lindsey went on to the University of Chicago on a partial academic scholarship where she earned an MA in the social sciences. After working as a college instructor and student affairs professional for a few years, she went on to start her PhD in sociology at Boston College. While at BC, she has worked on a MacArthur Foundation grant as a junior researcher, taught the sociology of education, published her first scholarly work, and is currently working on her dissertation.
Lindsey estimates suffering between 10 and 15 concussions and has battled back from one in the last year, which has caused her to revisit coping strategies while taking on PhD level work. Since suffering her career ending concussions 10 years ago, she has been an advocate for young people healing from concussions and more recently has started writing about her experiences and consulting in the area of sports safety. She’s also taken her passion for exercise as medicine to the next level as a coach and personal trainer. Lindsey recently was the goalkeeper coach for Suffolk University’s men’s soccer team, is a certified personal trainer through the National Association of Sports Medicine, a Crossfit Level 1 trainer, an all-star private coach through CoachUp, and is also studying for a credential in Exercise as Medicine through the American Council on Sports Medicine. She has written for the Knockout Project in the past as well as for Athlete’s LTD, spoken about her experience at various institutions, and is represented by Team on 3’s marketing team for her work as an influential athlete.
Lindsey’s main message to all people struggling with PCS is to live like you matter, to train like you matter, and to love like you matter. She knows first hand how PCS can wreck your life and is an aggressive advocate for mental, physical, and social health interventions for young people post-concussion. While Lindsey has moments that make her fear the long term impact of the hits she’s taken, she uses them as inspiration to live more fully now and reaches out to people who desperately need support in their healing journeys.
You can follow her on twitter and instagram at @LBCarfagna or visit her personal website at www.LBCarfagna.com.
The Knockout Project:
Click To Read Lindsey’s Posts Here on The Knockout Project