Baltimore-based sports equipment company STX launched the first elite post-collegiate women's lacrosse team in 2013 with the intention of putting together the world's most formidable women's lacrosse team, while also influencing youth girls' lacrosse players.
During its inaugural season, Team STX hit the ground running. The team captured gold during the elite women's championship game at the 41st Vail Lacrosse Shootout at Ford Field in Vail, Colo., and again during the women's elite title game at the 20th Ocean City Lacrosse Classic at the Northside Park Athletic Complex in Ocean City, Md.
Team STX is preparing for its second season, which is set to begin July 3, when the team will return to Vail, Colo., to defend its elite women's Vail Lacrosse Shootout title. STX category brand manager Kadie Stamper said STX had continued to look for new ways to connect its customers through women's lacrosse.
"We came to the conclusion that by bringing together some of the most influential elite post-collegiate players, we could kill two birds with one stone," Stamper said. "We've quickly begun to see the positive influence these women have on the younger girls with whom they interact."
Stamper said players selected for Team STX had to meet certain requirements. She acknowledged the team had been selected in part based on the players' skill sets, personality traits and geographic location to help expand STX's footprint around the country.
"First, we wanted the most skilled 2012 and 2013 graduates in the game," Stamper said. "Furthermore, we wanted ladies who we knew were outstanding people above just being great at lacrosse, and we wanted to ensure that they would be awesome role models for these young lacrosse fans."
Sam Farrell, a native of Millersville, Md., who joined the team following her senior season at the University of Florida in 2013, said Team STX had allowed her to prolong her career and serve as a mentor to young girls striving to reach the highest levels of lacrosse.
"It is such a great way to continue playing the game while being role models for young lacrosse players all over the country," said Farrell, who was a two-time All-American defender at Florida. "I am a teacher and a high school coach at South River, so it actually works out really well for me."
Meanwhile, Rockville, Md., native Kitty Cullen, a former teammate of Farrell's at Florida, said she had jumped at the opportunity to join Team STX after a representative from the organization contacted her during her senior campaign in 2013 about both growing the sport and continuing to play the game she loved.
"We are able to give young kids hope that there isn't an end when college is over," said Cullen, who was a three-time All-American attacker at Florida. "For me, it is an honor to say I am part of the beginning of something so unique and special for the sport of lacrosse. I see the future of women's lacrosse being changed by what Team STX has done."
Stamper said the STX staff planned to create more initiatives focused on expanding the team's reach.
"Team STX will be hosting more clinics, playing in more tournaments and interacting with a wider fan base as each year goes on," Stamper said. "I truly believe that the impact these 20-plus women can have on this sport is tremendous. I feel that young lacrosse players, ages 4-16, feed off that interaction with these standout players."