Women’s Lacrosse Cradling Drills


Hannah Kumpf scored for the Cardinals during a quiet opening frame, while Ithaca managed three shots but only managed one that hit its target.

Ellie Masterpole broke Fisher’s shutout three minutes into the second quarter, but her goal could not bring the Hawks back into contention.


Women’s lacrosse goalies play a critical role. Unlike the defensive goaltender, who stands near the center of the field, the goalie must stay nearer the goalline while protecting her net and taking shots from opposing players. She must be quick in her reading and reaction times while possessing great reflexes for quick thinking in-game play.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) annually organizes three NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championships. This sport is one of few which offer separate competitions between men and women, though before the mid-1930s, women’s field lacrosse had almost identical rules as men’s except without protective equipment or stick thongs attached with strings.

St. John Fisher started fast in Saturday’s second Empire 8 semifinal at Growney Stadium and cruised to an easy 17-6 win against Hartwick, earning them the right to face top-seeded Nazareth for the championship game at noon on Sunday.

In the opening quarter, the Cardinals established a 13-4 lead as junior attacker Emma States scored twice, and senior defender Katie Metzler recorded both goals and assists. Hartwick’s Claudia Pollaro provided their only score until the final horn.

St. John Fisher outscored Hawks in the final two quarters by a combined score of 7-2 to capture their first conference title since 2016. Furthermore, St. John Fisher improved to 15-2 overall this season.

On Sunday at noon from Growney Stadium, the Cardinals will face Nazareth for a rematch of the 2021 E8 final. The victor will earn automatic qualification into the national tournament. Nazareth defeated William Smith in one semi before defeating them overall 10-7, with goaltender Allie Klestinec making 12 saves against William Smith in that semi-final loss.


Cradling is an essential lacrosse skill that allows players to carry the ball without being checked and may come naturally for some. However, beginners may find cradling difficult, and poor cradling can impede other aspects of her game. Luckily, several drills exist that can help develop this essential ability to carry.

A practical cradle begins with proper stick positioning. Your dominant hand should rest midway up the shaft between shooting and catching positions; your non-dominant hand should support its butt, taking most of the weight; the head of the stick should be 45-60 degrees from the ground with its open side facing forward.

A suitable cradle should not dislodge or loosen the ball from its secure place in its pocket while still allowing fast, swift playing with her stick and ball. To achieve this ideal scenario, place the ball so the rim of the bag sits just below the top of your head rim, deep enough to facilitate the rapid transition with the ball in her stick and deep enough so the player doesn’t become disoriented during fast play with the ball inside post; deep enough so as not to dislodge or dislodgement from inside its cradle.

Players should also practice rolling their hands to secure the ball within their sticks, keep it stable during direction changes, and dodge defenders more easily. Furthermore, practicing cradling while running is a good idea to understand how all the movements mesh together.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel recently approved several rule changes to women’s lacrosse. Of particular note changed to cross-check regulations, which will see any player who uses her crosse to intentionally hit, push, or displace an opponent with its shaft receive an unreleasable two-minute penalty as well as one-minute releasable penalties if contact occurs outside the critical scoring area; players receiving green cards will be immediately ejected from play and won’t be eligible to return for the remainder of the contest. These changes are scheduled to go into effect during the 2021 season.

Shooting Space

Women’s lacrosse players who fail to manage their shooting space carefully may incur penalties under specific rules that prevent injuries to themselves or other players – an especially crucial consideration since women’s lacrosse is such a fast-paced game.

The Shooting Space rule is one of many that seek to ensure players’ safety. According to this regulation, defenders cannot run directly into an attacker’s shooting lane to obstruct his or her shot on goal; instead, they should approach at an angle as this will help avoid being penalized and ensure they protect teammates as much as possible.

Emma States scored her second goal of the day to help Nazareth pull within four goals of 23rd-ranked Fisher, but Fisher ultimately prevailed 17-6 at NLPA Field on Saturday in an Empire 8 semi-final contest. Claudia Pollaro scored early in the 1st quarter, but that would be their only contribution during this Empire 8 semi-final matchup.

With her two goals scored today, States now leads her team with 51 points from 41 destinations and ten assists. In addition, she shares most of the faceoff wins (42) among all players on the squad and ranks second for groundballs with 56.

Fisher was instrumental in leading her teams to the NCAA Tournament every season as an assistant coach for Princeton Tigers from 2004 to 2006. As an All-American coach herself, Fisher also trained eight All-Americans and three Ivy League Rookie of the Year selections while recruiting successfully. Fisher is well-known as an excellent recruiter.

In 2013, the NCAA revised a rule that had previously allowed defensive players to remain within their penalty area (defined as an 8-meter arc and two pie-shaped regions on either side) until touching the ball, thus placing more of an emphasis on marking the ball carriers and keeping them safe shooting zones.


Lacrosse players can contact each other during a game, yet protecting their sticks from being checked by opposing teams is paramount. Cradling involves twisting the head of their posts back and forth to prevent their opposition from retrieving the ball as quickly.

Women’s lacrosse players frequently incur penalties for “checking,” which involves taking an opponent out of the shooting area and blocking her from shooting. This action, known as a shooting space violation, violates rules while being an unsafe practice that can result in severe injuries for the players involved.

ROCHESTER, New York – St. John Fisher women’s lacrosse handed Nazareth its first Empire 8 season loss Saturday at NLPA Field by winning 17-7. Emma States and Kate Metzler each scored two goals for St. John Fisher.

The Cardinals started strong in the first quarter, scoring thrice to build an early 7-0 advantage. Metzler scored his first goal for the Flyers during the second period, but soon after that, the Cardinals responded with four consecutive goals to make it 11-4 at halftime.

Montgomery continued dominating play following halftime, scoring her 74th and 75th goals of the year on a free position and shot, respectively. Additionally, Montgomery proved invaluable on defense – winning five draw controls and collecting one ground ball during her game-high performance.

Fisher was a four-year letter winner at The College of Wooster in field hockey and lacrosse, earning All-American accolades as a senior and being selected to the All-Patriot League team. Additionally, she started on squads that made NCAA Tournament runs both years and earned Academic All-Patriot accolades three times, two Patriot League Female Scholar-Athletes designations, and two times All-Shore Conference player/captain status.