The North Star: Your Lacrosse Team's Go-To Play Late in the Game

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The game is deadlocked 9-9 with 20 seconds left, and your team needs a go-to play to break the tie.

The "North Star" play is ideal when your team has possession and needs a quick goal, typically at the end of a quarter or off an endline restart. It's a play that requires two savvy attackmen and great timing.

The North Star begins with the players in a 2-3-1 offensive formation and the ball starting to the goalie's back left. Attackman A2 initiates the play with a dodge up the left side to goal line extended, where he then turns to make his way back around the cage toward attackman A1.

As A2 makes his move toward A1, A1 also makes his way toward A2. The dodging A2 underhand flips the ball to A1, cutting just outside of him. A1, now with the ball, cycles through his progression of looks:

1) Crease attackman A3 comes off a pick from ballside middie M2 for a quick shot
2) Inside to M2 who, after setting the pick, slips inside for a quick finish
3) Skip pass crossfield to middie M1 for a time-and-room shot or dodge down the alleyThe North Star Play for lacrosseAs the dodge takes place, the middies up top—M1 and M3—should switch and keep their defensemen obligated so they can't help out on the inside feeds.

This play works really well if executed properly; the key to success, as in all plays, is timing.

Ryan Rabidou is the co-founder of and a staff writer for Inside Lacrosse. He has served as head coach of the Thailand National Lacrosse Team and has helped develop lacrosse programs in New Zealand, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Collegiately, he was a four-year letter winner and senior captain at Loyola University, graduating in 2007.

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