Smarts and Speed: How Katie Haus Reads Her Defender


This article appears in the July/August edition of US Lacrosse Magazine. Don’t get the mag? Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.

Watch Katie Haus with the ball.

One second, she’s surveying the defense and landscape in front of her. The next, she’s got a one-on-one with the goalie in front of the goal mouth.

Did you blink? Then you may have missed one of the smoothest operators in the game.

Haus, a member of the U.S. team since 2010, broke down for us how she sees what’s in front of her and takes it.

See the field.

Every time you catch the ball, check the 8-meter and the lane in front of you to determine if it’s a good time to go or to move the ball. “The most important thing I think about while dodging is my spacing in relation to the goal and my defender,” Haus says.

Look at the defender’s hips.

If they are turned, identify the clearest path to the goal. If they are square, pick a side to attack to force her to open her stance.

Look at the defender’s feet.

If they are wide, a face, split or pull dodge will get her off balance. If they are close together, it means she’s more upright and could probably be beaten with a speed dodge.


An explosive first step is the key.

Turn the corner.

Generate power from your legs and seal off the defender from your stick side.

Look for the slide.

If a second defender comes, pass the ball to an open teammate and keep the defense rotating.


Pull your stick close to your body as you dodge past the defender.

Stay big.

Use your shoulders, keep your head up and finish the play. “My head is always up, even if I am leaning forward to gain speed and power throughout the dodge,” Haus says. “A good dodger has the ability to focus on many things at one time.”

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