July 11, 2012

Your Edge: Alayna Markwordt's Lethal Inside Finishing Move

Presented by STX

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com

Alayna Markwordt, who became the all-time scorer in Ohio State women's lacrosse history this spring, offers four tips for success on free-position shots.
© J. Saraya

What I Do Off the Field

Have a Routine
I always have a pre-wrap headband. It has to be there. Before games, I shoot on my own before team warm-ups to get loosened up. It's good to have a routine when you set up for a free position shot too, and to practice that situation. Some shooters have different routines depending on the hash mark; I do the same thing at every hash.

Eat Healthy
I'm majoring in dietetics. I've always been interested in nutrition and health. My fridge is full of fresh fruit and vegetables, stuff like that. I like simple kinds of stuff on the road – carbs, protein, lots of water, bagels with peanut butter and fruit. I took a cooking class for my major this semester, which is good because I'm actually not a great cook. We were studying the different reactions of things when you cook them, and we had all these different experiments with different amounts of ingredients. There were definitely some trap recipes, ones that were supposed to be bad. But you learned from those.

Hit the Road
I took a road trip all across the country with [alums] Annie Carruthers and Jayme Beard. We started in Columbus and went up into Canada, then down the West Coast, and on to Arizona and Colorado. I'd never been to the West Coast before. It took six weeks. We camped a lot. The most amazing thing we saw were the sand dunes in Oregon. We went four-wheeling, and it was the most fun I've ever had. It's just a sea of sand and mountains.

My Team

Ohio State is such a huge athletic brand. We definitely get recognized everywhere we go on road trips. There are Ohio State fans everywhere. I love going to football games in the Shoe. The best ones I've been to are Iowa and Wisconsin, where we won on a last-second play and stormed the field.

My Record-Breaking Goal

I was aware that it was coming [the all-time lead in Ohio State scoring history], and when it happened it was exciting. I do feel very lucky and blessed to play four years and to be so healthy all that time. I'm really glad it came in a game in the Shoe, too. It's extremely exciting because Ohio State has so much tradition. It's great to play in a stadium like that, and to play with so much history.

My Free Position Tips

1. Look around you first. See the cutters and defenders. If you have a teammate near the crease, try a quick pass. If it's crowded, you might be better off stepping back from the hash and going into a settled offense.

2. If the shot looks good, move into the most open space. If the defense is stacked to one side of the field, put your stick in the opposite hand.

3. Put your dominant foot on the hash, putting your weight on that foot. When the whistle blows, explode off the mark, taking a step into the open space towards the cage. Don't take a stutter step with your back foot.

4. Always throw a fake before shooting.

A version of this article appears in the May issue of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

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