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Playing defense in women’s lacrosse is no walk in the park. You really never get the glory of scoring, and your job is normally a thankless one. Women’s lacrosse defense may, at times, appear to be one of the easier positions; however, in a lot of ways it’s the toughest to perfect. Defense is also the most crucial part of the game because if they can’t score they can’t win! The position takes a great amount of athleticism, technique, skill, and field awareness too. We’ve broken down the key elements to mastering defense in a few simple steps,


  • APPROACH the girl coming down the field with the ball. You must take the initiative on defense.
  • Go to the player rather than waiting for her to come to you. This gives you more control to direct the player and it also limits the moves she can make.
  • Waiting for the player to get to you will result giving the opponent time to make a better offensive decision.


  • This step is where some fine-tuned footwork comes into play. You must BREAKDOWN your steps to direct the player and control her direction.
  • Breaking down your motion into smaller steps allows the ability to change direction quickly, cut when needed, and be ready for any immediate movements.


  • Without pushing or creating an illegal play, we make physical CONTACT with our opponent.
  • Be sure to remain linked to the other player’s body with either your forearm or stick. Actually touching gives us a big advantage knowing where to and how the player is moving.
  • This not only helps us control body movement, but also greater awareness of direction the ball may be thrown in.


  • Lastly, we can completely control our opponents DIRECTION of movement by the way we are set up.
  • If we know a player, for example, has a strong left shot, then we can position our hips and body in a way that doesn’t allow the player to set up for their ideal shot.
  • To do this you must be strong in your stance, not giving any room for the opponent to get by in the way they want.

Combining these 4 steps will ensure a successful approach to defense. Ultimately, the defensive players work as a unit and if all teammates implement these steps, your defense can be unbeatable!

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