September 4, 2008

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Sept. 4, 2008

Note: This article appears in the "Lacrosse Classroom" section of the September 2008 issue of Lacrosse Magazine, a US Lacrosse publication available exclusively to its members. Join today to start your monthly subscription.

If there's a topic you'd like to see covered in the "Classroom," e-mail section editor Matt DaSilva at mdasilva@uslacrosse.org.


by Matt DaSilva, Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

These days behind the cage, Ryan Powell calls the shots for the Denver Outlaws' attack as the engineer of the MLL's most dynamic attack. But with explosive midfielders who are constantly on the move and multitalented attackmen on the wings, Brendan Mundorf's shiftiness comes in handy behind the cage.

While we've covered the basic array lateral (split, hesitation, swim), north-south (roll, face, bull) and crease (inside roll, rocker, question mark) dodges in this space before, more advanced players will use a combination of the three to set up that sweet finish.

In Mundorf's case illustrated here, he uses a split dodge to set up a crease roll, and then finishes off Zac Jungers' hip to use him as a screen on the shot.

First, the dodge:

1. Starting at "X," dodge your defenseman with your stick in your strong hand. Mundorf is left-handed.

2. When the gap closes, split dodge to your weak hand, making the transfer as quick as possible. Sell it hard to get the defenseman leaning in that direction.

3. Plant your front foot in between the defenseman's legs, and make contact between your upper bodies.

4. Bring your stick in close to your chest, and transfer hands as you pivot around him back to your strong side.

5. Time your roll to finish on the backside of the crease, so that you're two or three strides from above goal line extended and have the topside advantage on your defenseman. "Don't ever come out of a roll dodge facing the sideline," Mundorf says.



And now, the finish:

1. You've got topside position, but you don't want to bring your stick back for a trail check, nor do you want to step into whatever slide is surely on its way. Take one step above GLE.

2. When the defenseman tries to recover to the inside, he becomes a screen.

3. Keep your hands tight to your torso and hidden behind your hip, with your stick hanging at hip level, "because defenseman are taught to get their hands up in that situation," Mundorf says. "Your hands should be right by your [outside] hip pocket."

4. Push off your defenseman, and in one motion, rotate your hips and flick both wrists.

5. Follow through. Your stick should finish on the defenseman's hip, the emphasis being on accuracy, not power.



Jungers' Two Cents: Time the Move

Don't let the attackman catch you on your heels behind the cage, says Outlaws defenseman Zac Jungers. Instead, time his move at its pivot point, and jolt him off balance to vacate the dodge.

"Sometimes it's not enough to have good body position, footwork and stick," Jungers says. "When he plants, you push. Extend your arms."



Here, Mundorf attempts his patented split-to-roll dodge. Instead of biting on the split dodge, Jungers waits for Mundorf to plant for the roll, and pushes off his back with a legal cross check as his gloves, not his stick, make contact.
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