Sunday, May 22, 2011

Youth Soccer: Goalie Facing an Opponent 1v1

As a dad of a soccer goalie, the 1V1 situation is the most exciting and the scariest. Scary because the goalie has to sacrifice their body to protect the goal for the team.

My daughter, CC, is particularly good at this. During the Final Four game of the Ohio State cup, CC made a great save and I caught it with my Nikon (below). The pictures prompted me to research and write this post about the 1V1 situation.

Top 15 things soccer goalies need to remember in a 1V1 situation
Read the situation - attacker breaking through

  1. The shooter has the advantage over you. 
  2. You need to leave the goal line. 
  3. If you sit back and wait, the striker will have the luxury of choosing the optimum time to shoot.
  4. Conversely, if you come out aggressively, the shooter will be forced to shoot under duress. This makes mistakes more likely.
  5. If the you sit back and wait, the striker will have more goal area to shoot at.
  6. Converstly, if you come out aggressively, you will cut down the angle and reduce the amount of exposed goal area.
  7. Once you leave the goal line there is no going back - you need to be decisive.
  8. You have one chance to secure or clear the ball.
  9. Many attackers like to dribble around the attacking goalie - come out aggressively but under control.
  10. Yell Keeper! Keeper! Keeper! Be confident and loud.
  11. As you aggressively attack the ball, watch the ball and keep hands low and wide.
  12. If you get in close range to the attacker, slide with arms stretched wide
  13. Be fast - speed intimidates
  14. Be confident in your decisions
  15. Be brave

When you decide to come out, do it aggressively
Cut down the angle - Yell - Keeper!
As the shooter plants foot to shoot - get in a ready position hands wide
Be brave and knock down the ball any way you can
Find the ball
Cover the ball up - Great save
Last fall, I used my Nikon to capture my niece play in the Woman's NCAA soccer tournament. She was under constant pressure and shut down several 1V1 attacks.

CC's Cousin - comes out aggressively but under control

Slides arms stretched

Slides arms stretched wide

The Main Point

If you are going to be successful as a goalie, you will need to be brave, decisive, confident and quick. And your dad and mom need to leave their nerves at home.


  1. Great 15 points! I have a couple points to add. Keep your body and center of gravity low as you come out at your attacker. You will appear wider essentially cutting off more angle and you will be quicker to react. Also as soon as the shooter pulls their leg back to shoot immediately set yourself on your toes and prepare to react. Most importantly be FEARLESS!

  2. Dineen was an all conference college goalie. She is the goalie in the last 3 pictures.

  3. Terrific summary. My daughter is a U-13 GK and has found herself in many of these situations. One additional point I would add, based upon my own highly amateur observations: the offensive player will almost always take a longer touch on her last touch before striking the shot; when you see that longer touch, that's when you know the shot is coming.

  4. Yes that happens quite often. Thanks for adding

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