Night 2 of the LILJ Girls College Bound Experience was just as successful as Night 1. Maintaining the same mission of coaching passionately to inspire, and teaching persistently to develop, the college coaches in the Stony Brook University Indoor Facility were so excited about getting another opportunity to coach the future stars of Long Island lacrosse. Read up on the drills, the action, and the stand-outs below.
Part I Intros and Skills Training
After some inspirational words from Coach Spallina (Stony Brook), the girls at camp immediately broke up by position to execute skills training with their coaches. Kicking it off with the attack, Coach Ohlmiller (Team USA) led the girls through an awesome star ⭐️ passing drill. Making a star shape out of five cones, the girls passed and caught everything on the move. This concept was stressed as Coach Ohlmiller emphasized how lacrosse is not played “standing still.” I’ve seen a lot of coaches run a traditional star ⭐️ passing drill before. However, Coach Ohlmiller created some amazing modifications to the drill that made it more challenging and more applicable to the attack position. For example, before the girls threw the ball to their teammate and advanced to the next line, they worked on behind-the-back fakes, split dodges, and double split dodges. Coach Ohlmiller also advanced the drill to include two, three, and sometimes four balls at one time. The reps, the skills, and the creativity displayed by the girls doing this drill was eye-opening.
The midfield coaches including Coach Van Dyke (Arizona State University), Coach McCaffrey (University of Virginia), and Sydney Pirecca (Syracuse) created a really interesting zig zag passing drill. This drill forced the girls to pass and immediately cut, which is very synonymous with real game situations. Similar to our attack group, this midfield drill included some interesting variations that included roll dodges, cross handed passes, over the shoulder catches, dodging variations, and quick sticks. This zig zag set-up had over 8 balls going at one point. The college coaches were pushing the girls to advance their skills, get through the drill quickly, and work on their weaknesses throughout.
The defense, led by Coach Miceli (Stony Brook) emphasized the importance of being able to escape pressure. Coach Miceli’s drill included a ground ball, a head turn towards an oncoming attacker (in this case Coach Miceli acted as the attacker), a ball fake, a roll away from pressure, a switching of the hands, and a pass on the run. It was great to see Coach Miceli emphasize the detail included in picking up a gb, escaping pressure, and successfully throwing a pass to a teammate. Such a common occurrence for defenders in a game.
The goalies used the skills phase to focus on stick-work and foot-work. Coach Giacolone (Furman) put the goalies through a rigorous speed ladder workout that challenged the goalies in a variety of ways. The goalies were crossing their feet, hopping, skipping and sprinting through the ladder. After some footwork, the goalies worked on a variety of partner passing variations to develop their skills. Passes included weak hand, strong hand, lever passes, long passes, and shovel passes.
After the skills portion, the girls in the camp advanced to station work by position.
Part II Positional Training
- Coach McCaffrey (UVA) ran an awesome shooting gauntlet station that included several dodging variations. Each rep, included two players simultaneously attacking the goal from top center. Coach McCaffrey would instruct the girls on what dodging variations they should execute prior to getting a shot off on the run. Some of the dodging variations the girls executed included splits, hesitations, bounces into re-dodges, and double-splits. Coach McCaffrey also threw in some interesting variations prior to the girls shooting which included fakes to draw shooting space, dropping hands, and head/shoulder fakes.
- Coach Van Dyke (ASU) ran some awesome two-man shooting drills in order to teach the middies box lacrosse concepts that apply to the field game. Coach Van Dyke taught the girls how to effectively get to the cage when attacking from the corner of the eight meter. Before dodging and attacking the goal, Coach Van Dyke had the player who passed the ball to the dodge, set a seal and slip. The best part about this shooting drill: it gave the girls an understanding of how to use the picker to your advantage as a dodger, and find ways to attack the goal in order to get the picker open for a shot. This station didn’t just include dodging/shooting, it incorporated creative passing variations in the two-man game. I love how Coach Van Dyke got the girls to think about how being a great dodger/passer is just as important as being a great dodger/shooter.
- Lastly, Coach Pirecca (Cuse) was working on double moves. The purpose of her drill was teaching players to use double moves to get to the middle of the field. The go-to move she taught in order to do this was executing a hard split from top center down the alley, and rolling back to the middle for a shot on the run. Coach Pirecca wanted the girls to not only get to the middle, she was having the girls get shots off with their sticks to the inside. Similar to Coach McCaffrey’s station, Coach Pirecca had two dodges attacking the goal simultaneously in order increase each players rep count.
- Coach Giacalone (Furman) ran an awesome drill with her goalies that got her players to think, step, finish the save, and re-position after a potential rebound. The drill included 5 disk cones set-up in an arc in front of each goalies. Each cone, had a ball placed on the top. Depending on the number sequence Coach Giacolone called out, would depend which ball the goalies attacked first vs second vs third etc. The goalies would start in a ready position before each step, and would always have to bend, step with both feet, and pick-up the ball in front of them with their top hand before advancing to the next cone. This drill incorporated so many great concepts in one. As the goalies worked through their personal arch, Coach Giacolone walked around and corrected the goalies technique, speed, positioning, and corrected what she felt were bad habits.
- In the first station, Coach Ohlmiller taught the girls a few moves when dodging from low wing below goal line extended, that made her successful as a young attacker. Some of the moves Kylie taught the girls included inside rolls, rocker steps, re-dodges, and how to legally shoot around your defender. Before giving the girls an opportunity to rep out these low wing dodges, Kylie taught the girls and stressed the importance of finishing in front of the goal and moving the goalie when coming around the crease.
- Coach Majorana (Nova) was teaching the attackers how to win your one-v-one match-up from behind the goal. The unique twist Coach Majorana taught the girls was using double moves in order to get a step on your girl. Some of those double moves included, split-rolls, roll-splits, finalizers, and double-rolls. After teaching and repping double moves from X, Coach Majorana taught the girls how to score goals above goal line extended if you haven’t gotten a step on your girl when dodging from X. Some of these moves include rockers, inside rolls, and question marks.
- The last station that Coach Sabella (Stony) ran included S-Dodges from the high wing into a precision shot to the far pipe. S-dodges refer to the girls making a move underneath their defender on the high wing, keeping their stick to the inside, and turning a low angle shot into a high angle shot on goal by releasing the ball with their stick in the inside of the field. Coach Spallina had a really cool contraption built into the goal that gave the girls an opportunity to not only shoot to score, but shoot to hit medal rings placed just inside the pipes. Ultimately, the medal rings inside the goal gave the girls an opportunity to develop precision shooting.
- Coach Miceli (Stony) dove into defending odd-man situations during station work. Creating a box and putting four defenders on each corner of the box, Coach Miceli then placed three defenders in the shape of a triangle inside the box. Acting as the goalie, to create some context, Coach Miceli then communicated to the 7 girls in the drill which corner of the box the ball is “located.” Depending on where the ball went, would dictate how the three defenders inside the triangle would rotate. Besides teaching his defenders how players should rotate when down a girl, Coach Miceli did a great job teaching the girls how to approach the girl with the ball when in transition. Some of the details he communicated included: how to hold your stick when approaching ball, where your feet should be positioned, which foot should be higher or lower, where your toes should point, and where your body should be in reference to the head of ball-carriers stick. This type of detail was communicated consistently to the young defenders for their personal development.
Part III Winning Your Match-ups
Piggy backing off of Night 1, after the positional training, the coaches at camp set-up Dosey Doe 1v1s by grade and position. Again, this drill was done from 4 different dodging locations between the 8 and 12 meters to work on attacking and defending from game-like locations on the field. The girls at camp picked up right where they left off in Night 1. Players worked so hard to win their match-ups, and eventually use their teammates to be successful as the drill evolved from a 1v1, to a 2v2, and eventually built up to a 4v4 situation.
After the camp got a water break and came together once again on 1 half of the facility, Coach McCaffrey took the girls through an awesome odd-man build-up drill. Lined up at the top of the boys restraining box, Coach McCaffrey created a line of offense and a line of defense. Starting with a 2v1, as soon as a shot is taken at the goal, Coach McCaffrey immediately released one offensive and one defensive player who was closest to the middle of the field. Adding two players created a 3v2. The drill eventually built-up to a 6v5. Taking the concepts from Night 1, the girls had to quickly think on their feet and make good decisions with the ball. This drill also forced players to think/react quickly because the ball never sat in a players stick for longer than 3 seconds. The finer teaching points in this drill came as Coach McCaffrey discussed the different formations players can get into depending on whether or not it’s a 2v1 or 3v2 or 4v3. On the defensive side of the ball, Coach Miceli reiterated the concepts discussed in his 4v3 drill. This allowed the defenders an opportunity to rotate correctly, stop the ball appropriately, and get their body/stick in a position to make the offensive group’s job more difficult.
Part IV Small Sided Play
Coach Spallina incorporated a ton of fun into the camp by setting up 4 small area fields. The camp was broken up evenly by position and age, giving the girls an opportunity to take all that they learned and compete in small sided non-contact scrimmages. The reason the last couple minutes of camp were so much fun, all of our coaches split up and got a chance to coach up the 8 teams at camp, AND, Coach Spallina cranked up the music creating a lively atmosphere.
After the small sided scrimmages, each coach working the camp gave a piece of advice to the girls. They opened up the dialogue by expressing how much they appreciated the girl’s efforts over the two-day camp experience. It was such an amazing site to see, as girls flocked to these amazing coaches after the camp; taking pictures, asking questions, and building relationships with women who are so influential in our sport.
LILJ College Bound Night 2 Stand-outs
Take a minute to read-up on our Night 2 stand-outs, who are being recognized for their efforts, IQ, intangibles, and/or skill. Players mentioned in Night 1 aren’t featured in the list below:
Olivia Palleschi, Lynbrook
Lila Callahan, Mt. Sinai
Emma DiMaio, Shirley
Giselle Dipietro, Cos Cob
Caroline O’Connell, Bethpage
Julie Shaughnessy, Syosset
Sam Van Gelder, Kings Park
Tessa Matozzo, Bayville
Angie Efstathiou, Miller Place
Meaghan Lynch, Garden City
Kathryn Monaco, Garden City
Payton Noack, Center Moriches
Kiera Schwartz, Ridgewood
Fiona Vu, Sound Beach
Kady Keegan, Shoreham
Anabel Keegan, Shoreham
Lila Archer, Roslyn
Maddie DiRusso, Kings Park
Lilly Silveira, Syosset
Maya Torgalkar, Mamaroneck
Macy Zeilman, Ballston Lake
Jill Kobel, Huntington
Shannon Carney, Bayport
Addison Bettencourt, Farmingville
Julia May O’Conner, Plainview
Emma Batter, Port Jefferson
Maribella Marciano, Smithtown
Megan Caputo, Farmingdale
Amelia Ferrante, Lake Ronkonkoma