How To Win
A Lacrosse Game
Score 10 times
Get scored on 8 times
65% at FO
1 Penalty per half
It’s easy to say that the above points will win you a High School Lacrosse game as a coach. The hard part is getting your team to achieve these numbers against a comparable team.
Score 10 times:
10 Goals are attainable when you break down how you are going to score these goals.
Score 6v6 once a quarter = 4 Goals
Score 2 Transition goals in the game = 2 goals
Score 2 man-up goals in the game = 2 goals
Score 2 goals in the ride = 2 Goals
10 goals become much more attainable when they are scored in different ways by different personnel on the field in a close game. The offense must rely on the FO unit to get them the ball 65% of the time to achieve this and they must also create extra opportunities to score through the riding game. Coaches should teach their O to find the best shots whiting 10 yards of the goal, dominate possession, and work hard in the riding game. UVA was able to create extra opportunities in the 2019 NCAA final with rides and they needed it because TD Ierlan at the FO X was dominant that year. The offense must also rely on the Defense to get the ball to them every time they make a stop. Good Defense fuels good offense!
Get Scored on 8 times:
1 goal per quarter = 4 goals
2 goals in transition = 2 goals
2 goals in man-down = 2 goals
A defense's goal should be to only give up 4 goals in a game, or one per quarter. But if we allow some wiggle room for transition and man-down, then the confidence going into the game is much less, especially when the defense only commits 2 penalties and is confident that the O will score 10. Going 100% in the clearing game will also decrease the opportunity to score in transition. The FO unit also plays a part in the number of possessing your defense has to play. If they can achieve 65%, your defense will play 15% less defense than the other team. That 15% can make a huge difference when the game is on the line in the 4th quarter.
Player’s should trust their coaches and the strategies that will get them to these numbers in high level high school games. Again, it’s easy to say this is how we win, the hard thing is getting the offense to possess the ball and the defense to play hard and have poise in the clearing game.
This is the recipe to win a lacrosse game at a high level. There are many ways to get there.
Your job as a coach is to figure out how with the players that you have.