This week’s Coaches Corner is written by FCL Founder Deemer Class, 2016 graduate of Duke University, current Women’s Offensive Coordinator at University of Southern California, and midfielder for the PLL Chaos.
After taking a look at a big slate of Saturday’s games, Ohio State’s early start vs Hopkins stood out to me. I wanted to take a look at where they had success from in their offensive sets. I’ve always kept an eye on OSU in recent years, especially having played for Coach Crane with Gotskillz and forming a friendship, as well as having coached several of the OSU boys with Coach Kasemeyer at our Net Return sessions.
They came out firing, and went hard at the middle of the field with their 4 out set from up top. Let’s take a look!
On this first initiation, you see the 4 out look. This feels very similar to a high pairs look or umbrella look. Isolating off the high wing, the dodger can go under or over. The adjacent teammate, while still in the way, could be ready to mirror / pick. Mitchell makes a nice rollback, gets his hands free and scores before the slide arrives late.
Underneath dodges that don’t create a quality shot can be transferred, or carried through X. Notice the low pair exchanging. After the ball swings a few times back through the X carry, LeClaire takes his opportunity to sweep topside, bearing downhill and turning the corner. Get the middle!
Here, Mitchell attacks the top foot and sweeps topside. Both inside pairs players cut down, getting to a mirror and inside spot. An On the Run Hitch causes a poor approach, and Mitchell turns the corner for a shot.
As the ball swings back up top, notice the ballside forms a true “mirror” giving the dodge the option to take topside, turn the corner, and get to the net with no slide.
Early in the 2nd quarter, Mitchell cashes in on a LH sweep in this same look. Both high players press down, no slide comes, and he bears down on a sweep after a LH carry. The one hand cradle and change of speed is subtle! High percentage looks come in the middle of the field!
On another wing initiation, Mitchell’s dodge underneath displays a quick forward through X, with a transfer to the wing. After a shot out of bounds, Terefenko attacks his matchup on the low wing. A flat approach allows Terefenko to turn the corner on a late adjacent slide. Getting to the middle was the name of the game!
Here is one of the few possessions early on that resulted in a low percentage look for the Buckeyes. Here, you can see the settle on the underneath shot. Early in a possession, this could be a great opportunity for a rollback after a topside effort (see Mitchell’s first goal), or a transfer through X to get the party started and work for a better look!
Lastly, don’t sleep on the Buckeye attack and operation from behind the cage. Jack Myers is a special player, one I’ve been lucky to work with a few times. Note this razor pick for the shortstick, causing an advantage and a turn-the-corner opportunity for his teammate on the other side of the cage. A simple wrinkle out of a predominantly 4 high look!
We hope you enjoyed this thread, and are excited to keep watching the Buckeyes are other top offenses and defenses this spring!
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