TJ Buchanan | @usltjbuchanan
In a recent post, we illustrated how the Two-Down Ride can generate extra possessions for your offense. Now we will show you how to counter it with the Deuces Clear.
This clear forces the riding team to change its strategy. Opponents no longer can cover three players with two riders in an east-west progression. Now, they must cover four with three in a north-south progression--a much more difficult riding scheme.
The Deuces Clear is designed to open up the middle of the field, creating space for players to move and allowing you to overload on one side. Additionally, you can exploit 1-on-1 matchups and create fast-paced transition offense out of this set. A clear turns into a 5-on-4 or 5-on-3 fast-break scoring opportunity.
Should the riding team choose to not play the goalie, he can run down the middle of the field uncontested.
There are numerous adjustments you can make from the Deuces Clear. Experiment with picks, substitutions patterns and repositioning players in practice to find out what works best for your team. You never know what the opponent will do to counter this on game day, so prepare several options to have ready as needed.
- Two close defenders break out into the alleys below the restraining line, and the third goes to the end of the wing line on the box side of the field.
- One midfielder goes to the offensive end of the wing line on the box side, while the other is diagonal to him on the defensive side of the field.
- The long-stick midfielder goes to the far end of the wing line opposite the box side of the field.
- The goalie carries the ball toward the low defensemen opposite the box, drawing the attackman. This overloads one side of the field.
- As the low defensemen carries the ball up the field, the long-stick midfielder clears into the middle of the field to create space for the next stage of the clear.
- Once a riding midfielder jumps to the ballcarrier, he passes the ball to the clearing midfielder.
- The long-stick midfielder steps onto the defensive side of the field, the defender closest to the box steps off the field and a fresh midfielder releases from the box, breaking toward the ball.
- The ball is now cleared, and there’s a good chance you’ll have a 5-on-3 or 5-on-4 transition opportunity.
- Players: Draw and dump; occupy riders.
- Coaches: Try different players in various positions and scenarios.
TJ Buchanan is the coaching education content manager at US Lacrosse. Suggest topics for future coaching blog posts in the comments section.
An edited version of this story appeared in the January 2014 edition of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse. To start your subscription, become a member of US Lacrosse today.
Photo Credit: Jim Cowsert
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