2-3-1 Dodge from “X”
Dodging from behind the goal at "X" is one of the first plays you should run when your team has the ball on Offense. Use this simple play against Man-on-Man, Zone and Man-Down Defense!
Dodging from behind the goal at "X" is one of the first plays we run when we get the ball on Offense for several reasons. First, it makes sure the ball gets to X, so you don't turn it over in the middle of the field and give the other team a 4-on-3 Fast Break down at your own goal.
Second, most youth and high school teams will not know how to Slide to stop the ball when it comes from behind the goal. Most teams will send an extra Defender from Adjacent or up top, leaving one of your other players open in a good shooting position. Drawing an extra Defender down low creates a 5-on-4 situation for the players in front of the goal.
You can run this play with your Attackmen behind the goal at X, with a "Midfield Invert", or using the "Two-Man Game" with the Pick & Roll behind the goal. It gives you so many options to Dodge to score, and Dodge to Feed an open teammate when the Defense Slides. Most youth and high school teams are not disciplined enough to send a "Coma Slide" from the back side of the field.
HERE'S THE PLAY:
We usually run this play Dodging to the right side of the field (when looking out from the Goal or Goalie) since most of our players are right-handed, so that most of the passes and shot opportunities are also right-handed.
Figure 1.) Rotate the Attack "Triangle":This play is part of the classic 2-3-1 Motion Offense. Blue 4 on the wing will "Clear Through" to the Crease to create space for Blue 6 to Dodge. Blue 5 will get open on the back pipe and/or rotate behind the goal to back up shots.
Midfielders- Get High! Your Midfielders need to move up to the top of the box to create space for the Attackmen to Dodge and Rotate. Here, Midfielder Blue 3 clears out of the Crease up high into an "Umbrella" up top. You will basically rotate from a 2-3-1 Formation into a 3-1-2 or "3-3" Formation.
PRACTICE & GAME TIPS:
- Practice Dodging from "X": Give your players the chance to dodge against a Defender from X, just trying to get in front of the goal with the ball. Put two cones down so they know where "5-&-5" or "the Island" is.
- "Middie Invert!" Send your midfielders behind the goal with the ball to Dodge against a short-stick Defender. Push your Attackmen up high in the "Umbrella" to pull the Close Defenders out of position and confuse the Defense. Top college and high school coaches use this play all the time.
- "Draw and Dump!" Make sure all your players know how to "Draw" the Defense, then "Dump" the ball to the open man in settled and unsettled situations!
RELATED PLAYS & DRILLS:
- Navy Shadow Dodging & Defense Drill: We saw Navy using this simple warm-up Dodging drill before their playoff game this season to give all their players a chance to carry the ball and play 1-on-1 defense.
- 3-1-2 Alley Dodge: Run this variation of the classic Alley Dodge out of the 3-1-2 or 3-3 Formation after you Dodge from "X".
- 2-3-1 Alley Dodge with a Crease Pop: We see top college teams using this simple variation of the classic 2-3-1 Alley Dodge. We even saw Team USA use this in their exhibition against Canada last summer!
- Duke 3-1-2 "Inside-Out" Pick & Roll Offense: This is the Offense Duke used when they won the NCAA National Championship game a few years ago. Still one of our favorite plays!