How to Hold Your Ground with Team USA's Gussie Johns

PHOTO BY SCOTT MCCALL


As the women’s game advances in equipment and rules, so do the skills of its players. 

At the highest level of play, Team USA goalie Gussie Johns has witnessed the gamut of moves attackers have learned to try to deke their defenders and make the keepers bite on shots. 

“As a goalie, it is important to always play the ball and not the body or the stick of the attacker,” Johns said. “Because at the end of the day, the ball is the only thing you really care about.”

Johns reacts only to the release of the ball and ignores any extra movements. As a goalie, the less you move, the harder it is for attackers to score with limited visible space.







The Fake Out

1. As the shooter is coming into your field of vision, line up your belly button to the ball in your stance. 

2. Maintain that stance when the attacker inches closer and attempts a fake.

3. Bend your knees to change levels, but make sure your hands stay up and set. 

4. Watch the ball and the head of the attacker’s stick. As her cradle begins to break and sets up to shoot, set your feet.

5. Explode to the ball. React to the release point by thrusting your hands and stick head into the path of the shot. Follow with your body and feet to complete the save.

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