PHOTO BY BEN LUDEMAN

North Carolina midfielder Olivia Dirks uses an STX Exult Pro strung with a Lock Pocket when she competes for the U.S. training team.

Pro Picks (NIL Edition): The Top Women's Lacrosse Sticks of 2022


Lax.com presents “Pro Picks,” a guide to the top sticks on the market and survey of what products the best players are using.

Given the groundbreaking NCAA decision to allow athletes to capitalize on their name, image and likeness — and the flurry of endorsement deals — we’re turning our gaze to the college game. Shout out to Lax.com athletes Asher Nolting, Meg Carney, Will Bowen, Stelios Kroudis, Kit Arrix, Brian Cameron, Max Waldbaum and Kevin Lindley, as well as the STX and Warrior athletes who participated in this exercise.

Look out for these sticks this spring and get your own at Lax.com.

MAVERIK ASCENT +

Position: Attack

MSRP: $249.99 (complete) on Lax.com

Pocket: Full mesh/mesh runner

The Ascent is back and better than ever. The signature 22-degree release point allows for maximum hold while on the move. Enhanced stiffness provides a strong foundation for ground ball pickup. Trusted and used by players at Jacksonville and Tufts.

STX EXULT PRO ELITE

Position: Midfield

MSRP: $274.99 (complete) on Lax.com

Pocket: Proform/Lock Pocket/Crux Mesh

This stick provides a face shape built to intercept passes with a drop-rail angle that redefines hold and control. The speed scoop allows for clean ground balls. Pocket options include the Proform, Lock Pocket and Crux Mesh 2.0. AU pros Haley Warden and Lizzie Colson use the Exult Pro.


 “I still have every STX stick from when I was younger at home in my garage. I still play with them in my backyard.”

— Olivia Dirks


NIL ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT
OLIVIA DIRKS

School: North Carolina
Year: Junior
Position: Midfield
Weapon of Choice: STX Exult Pro complete stick with Lock Pocket ($274.99 on Lax.com)

What about this stick separates it from competitors?

The unique pattern and thicker strings of the Lock Pocket allow for the ball to sit right at the sweet spot when you are cradling, shooting and passing. This stick is extremely durable, lightweight and helps me be accurate and efficient when shooting and dodging.

What’s your pocket setup?

The Lock Pocket has a unique stringing pattern with leathers and more of a high shooter setup so the ball can sit higher in your stick.

What advice do you have for choosing the right stick?

Choose one that makes you feel comfortable and in control of what you are doing with the ball. This will allow you to enjoy the game and play at your best in any circumstance. I still have every STX stick from when I was younger at home in my garage. I still play with them in my backyard because I enjoyed them so much.

BRINE EDGE PRO

Position: Attack

MSRP: $219.99 (complete) on Lax.com

Pocket: ISO Warp Mesh

An engineered flex profile in the upper third of the head allows for the head to flex with the ball, creating next-level hold between the ball and the pocket. The new ISO pocket is weather-resistant, long-lasting and consistent with minimal maintenance. Currently the stick of choice for Kylie Ohlmiller.








STX CRUX PRO

Position: Attack

MSRP: $299.99 (complete) on Lax.com

Pocket: Lock Pocket

The trusted and beloved Crux design combined with the brand-new Lock Pocket to optimize ball control and accuracy provides the utmost confidence on the field. The Lock Pocket’s unique knotted pattern really hugs the ball to eliminate any unwanted ball movement within the pocket.

NIKE VICTORY ELITE

Position: Midfield

MSRP: $249.99 (complete) on Lax.com

Pocket: Mesh runner

A stiff, yet lightweight stick built for the draw expert who needs to play all over the field. The draw tabs on the back of the scoop allow you to dig into your opponent’s stick, gaining ball control before the referee even blows the whistle. Nike athlete Sam Apuzzo plays with the Victory Elite.




PHOTO COURTESY OF BC ATHLETICS

Boston College's Kit Arrix, a Lax.com athlete, plays with a Gait Air head and Gait Ice shaft.


GAIT APEX
MEG CARNEY-APPROVED

Position: Midfield

MSRP: $274.99 (complete) on Lax.com

Pocket: Flex Mesh

Strung with Flex Mesh, the Apex has a game-ready pocket with little to no break-in time, eliminating the hassle of crafting a sweet spot. The double-sidewall technology creates a wider catching area, ideal for midfielders. Current stick of choice for Athletes Unlimited champion and U.S. team star Taylor Cummings.

NIL ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT
KIT ARRIX

School: Boston College
Year: Sophomore
Position: Attack
Weapon of Choice: Gait Air head ($149.99 unstrung; $219.99 strung with Flex Mesh on Lax.com ) with Ice + shaft ($109.99 on Lax.com)

How does this stick suit your style of play?

My stick is incredibly light, which allows me to handle the ball and put a ton of power behind my shots, as well as fakes, passes, etc.

What pocket setup do you use?

Strung by Lax.com, my pocket is the LaxPocket Flex Mesh with a high pocket/hold and mid shooters. Using mesh in high school, I was unsure how I would feel about the flex mesh, but It has been my favorite pocket. It’s always so consistent and keeps it’s hold very well.

What advice do you have for choosing the right stick?

Explore the many brands that are out there. Don’t automatically use a stick because your friends or teammates use it.  A stick is so individual and personal. Everyone has different preferences.

This article appears in the April edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join USA Lacrosse today to start your subscription and help fuel the growth of the sport.