An opponent running in, about to shoot on the goalie as defenders try to collapse on her

A goalie's primary job is to keep the ball from going in the net behind her. She does this by stepping to the ball and saving the ball with her stick or her body.

She must always be aware of where the ball is on the field. She must try her best to anticipate where it is going next. Most goalies are very vocal, yelling out where the ball is on the field and directing their defenders on where they should go in case they are unaware of an open girl.

Agility and speed are key in saving the ball because the quicker she can step to the ball, the more likely she will save it.

In live game situations there will most likely be defenders on the girl who is trying to shoot the ball. However, sometimes there will be no defense, resulting in a "one-on-one" sitution where it is simply the girl with the ball versus the goalie.


A diagram of the eight meter arc and its hash marks An opponent shooting on the goalie at an angle

As a shooter is running towards the goal, it is important for the goalie to cut off the angle at which the opponent is aiming to shoot. By doing this, the goalie is not only more intimidating, but she is able to cover a greater surface area of the goal.

Goalies often use the orange poles on either side of the goal as a position marker. By feeling the pole or tapping it with her stick, the goalie is able to tell where she is in the goal without loosing sight of the ball and the shooter.

The 8-meter arc in front of the goal has five hash marks on it that act as a guide to the different angles from which a player can run in and shoot.

During penalty shots, the offensive player is placed on any of the hash marks on the 8-meter and all players must clear the arc. Because it is difficult for the defenders to get to the shooter in time, goalies usually find themselves in those "one-on-one" situations during a penalty shot.


A goalie making a mid shot save and a high shot save
  • High Shots and Mid Shots

    A high shot is aimed towards the top left and right corners of the net and is usually above the goalie's shoulders. A mid shot is aimed in the middle, near the goalie's hips.

  • Low Shots and Bouce Shots

    A low shot is aimed below the waist, towards the goalie's shins, however, it does not touch the ground. A bounce shot hits the ground before it reaches the goalie. They either save it as the ball hits the ground, or after the bounce, as the ball bounces back up.

Watch Marissa Higgins, who previously played on the University of Florida Division 1 Women's Lacrosse team and currently plays on the UF Women's Club Lacrosse team, talk about saving the ball.