Game Changer: Brine Introduces Warp Technology to Women's Lacrosse

PHOTO BY BRIAN SCHNEIDER


Marie McCool nearly cost North Carolina the 2016 ACC title — and it had nothing to do with her performance on the field.

McCool, then an ascendant sophomore midfielder for the Tar Heels, wrangled a draw control away from Syracuse’s Kayla Treanor with 32 second left and UNC leading 14-13. During a timeout, an official grabbed McCool’s stick at Syracuse’s request.

The stick, worn down and mangled after playing three games in four days, did not meet the technical standard for stringing. The official slapped McCool with a yellow card and awarded Syracuse the final possession. The Orange tied the game on a buzzer beater, sending the game to overtime before the Tar Heels ultimately prevailed.

McCool earned ACC tournament MVP honors, the first in a litany of individual honors for the two-time Tewaaraton finalist and U.S. national team member. But why did it have to come to that? Why did McCool have to hold her breath after every goal she scored?

“I never want to let down my team just because my pocket was illegal,” she said.

McCool, who does not string her own sticks, recalled this recently while unveiling the new Brine Dynasty Warp Pro — the first women’s stick to utilize the Warp technology developed by New Balance — at US Lacrosse headquarters. The Warp features a pre-strung, Kevlar-bonded pocket made of water-resistant polypropylene, creating a consistent playing experience regardless of weather or use. McCool considers it a vast improvement over other products that come off the shelf that she likened to tennis racquets.

“With the Warp, just having that confidence that I’m using a stick that’s not going to be illegal, that has a great sweet spot for accuracy and stickhandling, that’s really important for me,” she said.






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The lacrosse community wondered what a women’s Warp might look like after US Lacrosse simplified stick specifications in 2017. In conjunction with the NCAA, NFHS and industry representatives, the national governing body removed much of the technical language and instead focused on creating a performance standard.

Pocket depth and shooting string requirements would remain paramount. The materials used to achieve the standard would become, well, immaterial. Manufacturers were free to innovate.

“We have criteria when we look at rule proposals and rule changes,” said Caitlin Kelly, senior manager for the women’s game at US Lacrosse. “For players who don’t have a background in lacrosse, we wanted to make it easier to pick it up and understand the rules.”

“From the beginning, we knew our Warp technology had unique potential to solve some of the more frustrating equipment issues plaguing the women’s game,” said John Gregory, director of brand marketing at Brine. “We believe it will have a lasting, positive impact on the sport.”

US Lacrosse senior manager of the women's game Caitlin Kelley and Team NB/Brine athlete Marie McCool discusses the rule changes, innovation, growing the game and the impact of the all new Dynasty Warp Pro.

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