Beating the offside trap, Pt. 1
December 31, 2003 09:00 PM
There are five ways the attacking team can defeat the offsides trap. In Pt. 1 we will look at two such methods:
1. Dribbling through: The player who is in possession has time to control the ball and get positive forward momentum toward the defending team as they push out. If the player in possession is not quick enough to penetrate the entire defensive line, she will at least draw players toward her. This will create spaces behind the first defender for other attackers, too, which creates time and space to run at them.
2. Passing through: Again, the problem starts when the trapping team does not apply enough pressure to the ball quickly enough. The player who is in possession has time to control, get her head up, and find a runner and space where the ball can be played to.
The run can come from another area of the field, from a player whose starting position is deeper than the player who is in possession of the ball. This movement is a push-pull movement on the striker's runback towards the halfway line. At the same time, the runner (usually a midfielder or defender) from the deep position runs forward. The pass can be made on the ground, which is the easiest to control, or a short diagonal chip with backspin, which will hold the ball up as it bounces. A through pass can also beat a trap when the attacking strikers run parallel to the defending line and one looks to time her run as the ball is played, then darts behind the defending line. A runner can also start from a wide position and run inside.
© 2001 by April Kater and Robert "Butch" Lauffer
Article reprinted with permission from womenssoccer.com.