Guardians of the gate, enforcers, pain-givers… the lacrosse defense. If you want a goal, you’re going to have to get around these beasts with sticks ready to deliver some pain. It’s not all muscle and size, that could be easily dodged with speed. A defense unit with size, muscle, speed and good lacrosse IQ is unstoppable. Always being where they are suppose too, in the offenses face and making it hard for them to even breath. These are fundamentals of defense.
Lacrosse Defense – Field
In Field lacrosse there’s a lot of space to run. The offense can get creative, but on the other hand defensemen have their long poles. They can take up more space, cover a player very well if nearby or tangle their hands up from a distance. Some advice, if there’s no thought behind every action then the opposing team will get a goal. A defensive unit must all be on the same page and lead by the goalie.
Field Lacrosse – Defensive Styles
A field lacrosse defense can be in a zone, pressure defense or somewhere in between both of those.
Zone defense basically covers every inch of area in front of the goal. If the ball is not moved around quickly it is very hard to get by the zone.
Pressure defense keeps the attack on their toes at all time but can also give up some space in front of the goal. A way around that is to have your defense in top shape so they can run the attack into the ground. A perfect blend would be a defense which is both. A pressured defense with awareness of a certain zone per player that must be covered.
Sounds easy but for all 6 (7 including goalie) to be on the same page and in top shape is a rare thing. If so though, probably going to be a championship team.
Lacrosse Defense – Box
In Box Lacrosse, not so much space and the defensemen can cross-check. Makes things difficult but not impossible. There’s a lot of contact so sometimes defensemen can get caught up in the mess and get out of position. They can also get caught ball watching so for the whole 30 seconds the defensemen must give it and be on their toes.
Some teams play a full out zone and cover the front of the net like there is no tomorrow. Anybody that even tries to get through the middle is given a cross-check to make them think twice. Passing lanes blocked with sticks, now that’s a solid defense.
Other teams will do a man on system. This is where you stick to your player like glue and help your defensemen beside you if needed. This is efficient because all attackmen on the floor will have their hands tied up or being cross-checked. That makes it hard for them to score.
These are both the main, basic defense set-ups for box. A good blend of them both would be best. In box it depends on what kind of team you have and also what team you are playing against. You want to make sure that everyone is helping each other, calling out if a pick is coming. Most of all, delivering pain so that the offense thinks twice about trying to score.