JMU lacrosse’s Finley, Gardner play for Team STX
This summer, James Madison lacrosse Assistant Coach Julie Gardner and recent graduate Stephanie Finley had a chance to play together for the STX Women’s Lacrosse Team, a post collegiate team competing and growing the game internationally. The team traveled to England from July 17-19 to compete against the England developmental and national team.
Finley, an All-American attacker, was named to the STX team after graduation. Gardner, a two-time All-American and University of Virginia graduate, has been with STX since its creation three years ago. This is the first time the two were able to play together.
“Playing with Team STX in England was such an incredible experience,” Finley said. “Although my lacrosse career is over at JMU, I am so excited for Julie and the future of the program because she is a perfect fit.”
On July 17, the team hosted a clinic which focused on skill development in younger players. Later that evening, Team STX played the English developmental team in the first game of the trip. The game was close to start with back and forth goals, but Team STX pulled away to win 18-6. The squad returned to action on July 19, hosting their second clinic before winning its second game against the English national team 20-5.
This is the last year of Team STX, as players join regional teams as part of a semi-professional league. The league is partnering with Play It Forward in an effort to grow the game and get younger girls involved.
Gardner, along with many of her STX teammates, are coaches who are still playing the game.
“I am so thankful to have the opportunity to still play at a competitive level,” Gardner said. “I have played since I was five years old, and I am a coach because I love it. I am excited to bring my experiences to JMU and work with Head Coach Shelly Klaes-Bawcombe.”
About Team STX: STX is a team of post-collegiate lacrosse players who help promote the sport and the STX brand. The goal is to grow the game all over the country, even focusing on areas where lacrosse is not so big. The team plays at tournaments to get younger athletes excited about the game. They also host STX clinics around the country to grow excitement and involvement in women’s lacrosse.