June 23, 2009

This article appears in the "Your Edge" section of June's Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Your Game: Access Denied

by Matt DaSilva | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Zac Jungers’ chicken-wing hold (“Ain’t No Thing,” September 2008) was so popular, we decided to publish two more holds that the Denver Outlaws’ defenseman demonstrated for us last summer.

Use these holds to turn away opponents at goal line extended. For d-poles, GLE is the red zone, where the goal line would be if it stretched the width of the field.

If you’ve got a good goalie behind you, he’ll yell “hold” or “drive.” That’s your trigger.

Weak Side: V-Hold at the Island

When a right-handed dodger goes against a right-handed defender from behind, or vice versa for lefties, it’s the defender’s weak side. Use this backhand stick technique. For right-handers:

• Bring your right glove to your sternum and stick your right elbow out 45 degrees from your body. Your stick should also be 45 degrees out from your body in the opposite direction. Your stick and left forearm now form a “V.”

• Gradually make contact with the ball carrier so that by the time he reaches GLE, contact has been made.

• Maintain a strong, balanced base by crouching with feet offset. When the goalie calls for it, drive your opponent away from the goal, generating power from your legs.

• Use this hold to neutralize a “J” dodge or question-mark dodge. Be careful. A sharp change of direction or inside roll dodge dodge can offer leave you exposed to the cage with your stick behind. Know your opponent.

Strong Side: Deodorant Stick

When a left-handed dodger goes against a right-handed defender from behind, or vice versa, it’s the defender’s strong side. Here’s one strong-side hold of questionable legality, so use it sparingly. Jungers credited Boston Cannons defenseman Chris Passavia with this jewel:

• As the ball carrier reaches GLE, he’ll throw his inside arm out to protect the stick that’s in his outside hand.

• When the “hold” or “drive” call comes from the goalie, close off his top-side access by jutting your stick out in front of you and perpendicular to him.

• Pull your bottom hand down and push your top hand up like a lever, and lift under his armpit.

• Follow through, and it should jolt the ball carrier off balance, opening the window for a ward, stick check, double team or reset. Most importantly, he’s no longer a threat to the goal.

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