March 23, 2010

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Your Game: Two-on-Two Cat and Mouse

by Chris Snyder | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

As defensive players get faster and coaches get better at designing defenses to keep teams out of the 8-meter arc, sometimes attackers need to take matters into their own hands. At Franklin and Marshall, the Diplomats showed us how to kick it old school with a two-on-two down low off the crease area.

Here are five keys to keep in mind.

1. Premeditated Chaos
As players, you need to plan on running the two-on-two. Inform your teammates that the show is about to begin.

2. Communication
Don’t let your own players kill your flow. Communicate to them that it is “game on” down low. This way, the other five players work to stay high on the 8- and 12-meter arcs, keeping their defenders occupied to prevent slides.

3. Vision

Attackers must see their matchups, draw their defenders to the crease area, and survey the field and options as they develop.

4. Quick Decision-Making
Attackers must make decisions before the play has developed. Below you will find three options. It’s up to you to see them before the defense does.

5. Quickness and Agility
If you want to be good, be fast. If you want to be great, be quick. Create space with changes of speed and direction for shots, feeds and goals.


Now that all the pieces are in place for your two-on-two game of cat and mouse, here are three options for execution.

1. Throw back; cut through.
* Start with both attackers behind the goal, one at each post.
* The ball carrier passes back to the other attacker.
* With ball in flight, the passer cuts above GLE and into the 8-meter area, taking her defender with her.
* The attacker behind catches the ball and replaces her teammate behind.
* As the on-ball defender follows closely to the crease, the ball carrier runs her into the adjacent defender, hopefully so that they pick each other off.
* This interference allows the off-ball attacker to get free for a feed from over the cage and a quick-stick goal.

2. Throw back; pick and drive.
* Follow the first four steps as above.
* This time, as the on-ball defender follows close to the crease, the now off-ball attacker activates a pick at the top of the crease.
* The ball carrier behind the goal drives off the pick and into a one-on-one with the goalie on the side of the net.

3. Throw back; pick and roll with a dump.
* Set up as you would for Option 2.
* Instead of taking the shot, the ball carrier looks for a cross-crease feed to the attacker who set the pick on the two defenders.
* The picker rolls off the pick and to the opposite side of the goal, where the goalie is not.
* This cross-crease connection allows for an open net and easy finish.

Chris Snyder, a former assistant women’s lacrosse coach at Millersville University, is the coaches education and training manager for US Lacrosse.

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