By: Cam Moyer
When it comes to lacrosse, most teams are built around having a powerful attack capable of finding the cage multiple times per game or a strong defense that can lock down the opposition. Where the game is truly won, however, is in the trenches of midfield.
Midfielders in lacrosse can be compared a lot to offensive linemen in football. They’re the guys who don’t get much notoriety, but are some of the most crucial players on the field. A good midfield corps can mean the difference between truly being a contender, and just another team.
In lacrosse, possession times are often the key to victory. Whichever team holds onto the ball for more time usually comes out on top. In the biggest possession battle of the game, a face-off, midfielders are the only ones even allowed to go for the ball, as attackmen and defense are forced to stay within the restraining box (once the ball is either possessed or it enters the box, all players can then go after it).
Those face-offs proved to be key during Kennesaw State’s most recent games against North Dakota State University and Grand Valley State University. The Bison of NDSU were able to control the face-off game therefore controlling the tempo of the game as whole, and it led them to the victory over the Owls. Against GVSU, however, the Owls were able to see the ball a lot more often thanks to stronger play at the face-off X from their midfield and were able to pull off the upset.
Not only are midfielders essential for face-offs, but also during the transition game. Midfielders are often some of the fastest players on the team, and often use their speed to clear the ball to the other side of the field. Again, it doesn’t show up in the stat book, but it helps drive teams to victory.
The midfielders are the hardest workers on any lacrosse team. They’re charged with doing all the dirty work for the good of the team, which makes it that much sweeter when they are able to get the glory of finding the back of the net.