How Liz Hogan's Handiwork Helped Charlotte North in Her Rise to Stardom

PHOTO BY NICK IERADI

U.S. goalie Liz Hogan (2) has strung Charlotte North's sticks since North's freshman year at Duke, when the NCAA started allowing mesh pockets.


SPARKS, Md. — Although Liz Hogan has had a hand, or literally two, in Charlotte North’s unprecedented success, she tried to downplay her role Tuesday evening after the first day of the U.S. women’s national team training camp wrapped.

“Charlotte’s got all the skill in the world,” Hogan said. “Sure, it’s fun to be able to say you string her stick, but I think she’d be ripping the net regardless of what stick is in her hands.”

All of North’s collegiate accolades — including the NCAA-record 102 goals she scored this spring, when Boston College won its first national championship and she took home the Tewaaraton Award — have a unifying thread.

They happened with a pocket strung by Hogan.

North brought two identical sticks to practice yesterday. She uses a Gait Whip dyed black with a narrow black strip of mesh plus one U-shaped and one regular white nylon shooting string.

Unlike some players, she didn’t leave her sticks in the locker room after practice, carrying both with her off the turf at Tierney Field like prized possessions. She described her setup as a mid-pocket with a lot of whip and hold, but a good release. Those characteristics were apparent throughout the spring, as North pulled off enough jaw-dropping highlights to make a feature film.







Like North's moves, her quiver of sticks is expansive.

“I feel bad because I bother Liz all the time,” North said with a laugh. “‘Hey can I send you another one?’ They’re so much fun to play with.”

“I’m actually stringing her up another one this weekend,” Hogan said.  

Hogan and North met at a summer lacrosse camp Hogan helped coach back when North was in high school at the Episcopal School of Dallas. They were connected by Maggie Koch, Hogan’s goalie coach at Syracuse and the girls' lacrosse coach at ESD since 2015.

“That’s all she’ll play with,” Koch said earlier this year of Hogan’s work, despite the fact that North strings sticks for other players. 

“I love stringing too. I just don’t think I’m anywhere near as good as Liz,” North said. “She is one of the best in the game and I trust her with everything.”

That trust started North’s freshman year at Duke, after the NCAA women’s lacrosse rules committee allowed mesh to be used in sticks. North reached out to Hogan, whom she called one of the most knowledgeable people in the game about stick and pocket technology, and sent her a head.

The connection continued from Durham, where North played her first two collegiate seasons and scored 141 goals, to Chestnut Hill, where she helped the Eagles clinch their elusive title and her electrifying play has captured the attention of the lacrosse world.

Apart from one time when fellow U.S. goalie Caylee Waters’ head broke, Hogan said she hadn’t strung sticks for any of the other players at camp. She started playing boys’ lacrosse in second grade (there was no youth girls’ program in Victor, N.Y., at the time) but didn’t begin stringing until she was in ninth grade at Victor High School — first for her fraternal twin sister, Allyson. Hogan devoured any information she could find on lacrosse forums. She didn’t feel like paying for someone else to string her sticks, but she also enjoyed the creative outlet.

After she moved to California, Hogan saw a need not only for lessons and clinics, but also performance stringing to help grow the game out west. 2lacrosse, a nod to Hogan’s number, was born. Over the past couple years, her work has expanded outside of the Golden State. She’s strung for several Division I teams, including Virginia and Fresno State. Last fall, Hogan strung two identical all-white STX Eclipse II’s for Pittsburgh. At one point, she strung the goalie sticks for Syracuse, where she finished her career as the program’s all-time saves leader.

Hogan would hop in the cage back at those summer camps when North was in high school. Earlier this month, Hogan challenged North to a competition during tryouts. The video of the showdown and North’s high heat, like most of her highlights, blew up on social media.

“Got to eat my words a little bit,” Hogan told Sheehan Stanwick-Burch and Kristen Kjellman during the live stream of the Team USA tryout scrimmage. “She’s super talented. It’s as fast as it seems. Ninety miles [per hour] comes at you fast.”

The duo will be on display in real time Wednesday when the U.S. plays a Blue-White scrimmage at Tierney Field (6 p.m. ET, free admission).

During the portion of practice Tuesday that featured a 3v3 that built into a 5v5, North took a shot in tight that Hogan deflected, but still trickled in. She got the better of the exchange less than minute later. She held the pipe and stopped a low shot from North after she passed goal line extended.

“She’s one of the best goalies to ever play,” North said. “To get to be able to play against her has been incredible. I’m lucky if I get one past her because she’s the best of the best. She is definitely making us better out there.”

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