Girls Lacrosse Positions
There are 12 players per team on the field. At the start of the game they’re stationed around the field from one goal to the other, similar to the start of a basketball game. Players start the game matched up next to a player from the opposing team.
The traditional names for the three defense and three attack positions are not very intuitive so we’ve simplified them to First Defense, Second Defense, etc. The traditional position names are in (Italics). The 12 positions, from defense to offense are:
Goalie First and foremost, goalies protect the goal and lead the defensive communication. A goalie is always telling her defenders who to mark and letting them know when someone is open, or when someone should slide over and double team an offensive player. Within the goal circle, or crease, the goalie uses any part of her body to stop the ball from going into the net. Goalies also must be aggressive and at times come out of the crease to go after a wide shot or possibly to intercept the ball. Goalies have good stick work, quick reflexes, and a no-fear attitude.
First Defense (Point) First defense marks the opposing team’s first attack. She is great at marking and checking. She also works hand in hand with the goalie and must be a good communicator. Aside from the goalie, she is the most defensive player on the field and has a good view of what’s happening.
Second Defense (Cover Point) Second defense marks the opposing team’s second attack player. The second defense is excellent at marking and has great footwork. She also works with the goalie and receives clears from the goalie. She plays smart defense and moves the ball away from the goal to the offense for a transition play.
Third Defense (Third Man) The main responsibility of the third defense is to mark the opposing team’s third attack. She must be quick to intercept passes and have excellent footwork and speed to stay with her mark. A third defense has great reflexes and often jumps in front of her mark to intercept passes.
Left & Right Defense Wings Defense wings mark the opposing attack wings and try to keep them out of the play. A good defense wing can mark her opponent out of the game by never allowing the opponent’s teammates a chance to pass to her. Because she is marking an attack wing, a defense wing does a lot of running. Defense wings have speed, endurance, and an intimidating attitude.
Center The center takes the draws (at the start of the game and after a goal is scored) and controls the middle of the field. She plays both offense and defense, and is always on the move. Centers are integral in transitioning the ball down the field. This is another position that requires speed, endurance and authority.
Left & Right Attack Wings Attack wings transition the ball from the defense to the attack. Because they have to support both ends of the field and link the defense and offense, they do a lot of running and they have to be excellent passers. Their primary job is to distribute the ball but they must also be good shooters, capable of scoring from anywhere inside the 8-meter arc.
Third Attack (Third Home) Third Attack helps transition the ball from defense to offense and supports the offensive attack. She often assists in the goal scoring and, like the Attack Wings, must also be a good shooter, capable of scoring from anywhere inside the 8-meter arc.
Second Attack (Second Home) Second attack makes things happen. Statistically, she has a lot of assists. She must be comfortable working behind the goal cage, passing to teammates who are cutting through the 8-meter arc toward the goal. She must also shoot well and be capable of scoring.
First Attack (First Home) First attack is the most offensive position on the field. Her first priority is to score. She starts the game closest to the offensive goal. First attack has superior stick work because she is often in high-traffic and high-pressure situations. She must be a creative shooter, able to beat the goalie from in close.