How To Calculate Lacrosse Goalie Save Percentage + A Calculator | Lax Goalie Rat

How To Calculate Lacrosse Goalie Save Percentage + A Calculator


Happy Memorial Day everyone! In just a few hours the national championship game between Ohio St. and Maryland is going down but first I wanted to get you this week’s post.

I’ve previously written about how save percentage isn’t a perfect specimen when it comes to judging a lacrosse goalie’s performance.

The reason it’s not ideal is because the same goalie playing with a young, inexperienced defense will have a lower save percentage compared to playing with a dominant defense in front of him/her. Thus save percentage is more of a team statistic than it is an individual goalie statistic.

However, it is one of the metrics we have to evaluate a goalie’s performance and in this post I’ll discuss how you can calculate your own save percentage.

While us goalies want to count everything as a save to boost our stats, unfortunately some situations do not count as official saves. We’ll discuss those.

We’ll also take a look the current save percentages of the top 10 goalies in the MLL, NCAA, and High School levels so you can see how your own save percentage compares to theirs.

At the bottom there’s a simple lacrosse goalie save percentage calculator for you to calculate your own save percentage.

Lacrosse Goalie Save Percentage

The basic calculation for save percentage is this:

  • Saves / Shots on Goal

13 saves / 25 shots on goal = 52% save percentage.

Now let’s talk definitions.

The basic definition of a Save is any time a shot is stopped or deflected, with any part of the goalie’s body or stick, and does NOT go into the goal.

Shot off the head, shot off the hip, shot off the shin, shot off the shaft, shot into the pocket of the stick. As long as it doesn’t go into the goal, that’s a save.

Shots that hit the post are NOT considered saves unless the goalie deflected the ball prior to it hitting the pipe.

Shots that miss the goal are NOT considered saves, again unless the goalie deflected the ball prior to it sailing high or wide.

Shots on Goal is this calculation: saves + goals.

That means a shot that sails wide or hits the pipe without being touched by the keeper does not count as an official shot on goal.

A shot that hits the pipe (not deflected by the goalie) does not count as an official shot on goal.

A shot that hits a defender and never makes it to the goalie does not count as a shot on goal.

According to the official NCAA definition of a save, a shot that is headed wide of the goal but stopped by the goalie should not be counted by a save.

But I’ve never seen this. If a goalie makes a save, even if it appears that the shot is headed a little wide they are almost always get credit for that save. As they should be. Let’s not deny saves from the one of the hardest positions in sports to make a save.


Specific Scenarios: Save or No Save

Here are a bunch of specific game scenarios and the official save or no save ruling that should be applied statistically.

A shot that hits the pipe, rebounds off the goalie’s body and would go into the goal if not stopped by the goalie is credited as a save.

A shot that hits the pipe, rebounds off the goalie’s body and would NOT go into the goal before picked up by the goalie is credited as a ground ball.

During a botched clear A1 shoots from midfield and the goalie B1 makes the save at the restraining box. Credit B1 with a save. Goalies get credit for saves even if they’re outside of the crease.

Player A1 takes a shot, goalie B1 stops the ball from going in the goal but does not control the ball, and A2 picks up the loose ball and scores. Charge A1 with a shot, credit B1 with a save, and then credit A2 with a ground ball, a shot, and a goal.

The goalie intercepts a pass or shot that otherwise would not have gone into the goal while standing in the crease; credit the goalie with a ground ball but no save.

The goalie makes a save, but doesn’t control the ball. However, the goalie is uncontested and picks up the ball again; credit the goalie with a save, but no ground ball. If the ball would have been contested in that situation, credit the goalie with both a save and a ground ball.

The goalie is in the crease, and a defenseman is also in the crease; the non-goalie defenseman stops the shot. No save is credited.

Player A1 passes the ball to teammate A2; A2 does not catch the pass, and the ball rolls toward the crease and would roll into the goal, but goalie B1 stops it. Credit B1 with a save and charge A1 with a shot.

Defenseman B2 passes the ball to teammate B3, who does not catch the pass. The ball then rolls toward the crease and would roll into the goal, but goalie B1 picks it up. Credit goalie B1 with a ground ball, but not a save.

Player A1 kicks the ball toward the goal in an attempt to score.The ball then rolls toward the crease and would roll into the goal but goalie B1 stops it.  Credit A1 with a ground ball and shot. Credit B1 with a save.

Save Percentage of Current Goalies

Just for reference here are the save percentages of the top goalies at the various levels for both the men’s and women’s game. Source of the data is linked.

Men’s High School

Women’s High School – What’s going on with these top 3 goalies? Must have some absurdly dominant defense.


Men’s NCAA D1 


Women’s NCAA D1

MLL – These % are skewed by low samples size since they’re only 1-2 games into the young season. Like the time I lead the MCLA in save percentage after just switching to goalie.

2016 MLL Stats – Here are the previous year’s save percentage leaders in the MLL.

Lacrosse Goalie Save Percentage Calculator

Here’s a simple calculator you can use to calculate your own save percentage:

Lacrosse Goalie Save Percentage Calculator


While not an ideal metric to calculate a goalie’s worth, save percentage does have some value.

The same exact goalie will have a different save % when playing with a young defense that struggles and constantly gives up 5 yard shots vs. playing with an experienced defense that only gives up low angle shots or shots from 13 yards out. Hence the flaw in save percentage.

But it something to compare performance from goalie to goalie so if you want to learn how to calculate your own save percentage check the rules, scenarios and calculator in this post.

Until next time! Coach Damon

Anything I missed when it comes to a goalie’s save percentage? Let me hear it in the comments below. Thanks! 

Visited 1 times, 1 visit(s) today

P.S. - Whenever you're ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

1. Lax Goalie Rat Academy - The Lax Goalie Rat Academy is a premier membership program that gives you the tools and skillset to level up your goalie game. Technique, drills, mental game, lacrosse IQ and direct coaching from Coach Damon to turn your goalie into a leader and a confident save machine. Join 400+ goalies inside.

2. Lacrosse Goalie Super Mom/Dad - Some call lacrosse goalie the hardest position in sports. That's not true. It's the goalie Mom or Dad. I put together this course specially for the parents who know nothing about lacrosse but still want to help their son or daughter be the best they can be. Learn how to train them but more importantly learn how to support them on this emotional rollercoaster.

3. Promote yourself to 11,000+ subscribers by sponsoring my newsletter.

19 thoughts on “How To Calculate Lacrosse Goalie Save Percentage + A Calculator

  1. What are some drills to throw the ball farther? I can throw it 45 yards on target and 50 in a general area, but want to be able to throw it farther.

  2. I’ve recently found myself getting stuck in situations where I can’t use my left hand anymore. Its usually because i’ve beaten the attackman, but i’m running to the right and can’t throw because if i do he’ll check my stick so i’m stuck walking the dog. Do you reccomend learning to throw with my right hand, or try learning canadian.

  3. As a small girl goalie, I find myself in the correct position (at least what my coach says) but I’m always hesitating or can’t see where the ball went. The seeing the ball problem is the main problem. Any advice?

    1. I have trouble with seeing the ball if the attacker shoots directly over my head. I do not know why this happens but I readjusted my helmet so I look out the middle “slot” of my helmet instead of the top row of my helmet. This has helped. Also if you are really short, you may not need to squat as low as other goalies that are taller than you. Also, if you have a problem seeing the ball all the time, I would not hurt to get your eyes checked! And after all that I would recommend drills that are specific for reaction time. Such as a drill where you stand facing the wall and a shooter shoots from behind you and you have to react. Hope this helped!

    1. In terms of save percentage, yes. Free position shots are scored the same way. I would track free position shots separately though so you can measure that aspect of a goalie’s game.

  4. You can enter the marks in the total subject field you want and edit the full marks accordingly, then calculate the percentage of the total marks.

  5. If coach has goalie come out of net at end of game to cover an atttackman so the D can double the ball and the offense scores while goalie is playing D does that count against goalie save percentage and goals against stats?

  6. How is the save percentage reported on a game where the goalie didn’t see any shots on goal? therefore none were saved either.

  7. Those high school girls statistics seem too good to be true. I’m curious about the high schools they play at and the level of competition they are facing. 90%+ is absolutely absurd.

    1. Very absurd. But at high school you typically do find more discrepancy between the good teams and bad teams. They also probably track their own stats no?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • LacrosseMonkey Ad

    Free Ship
  • Nutty Buddy

    NuttyBuddy Protection
  • Universal Lacrosse

    Universal Lacrosse Goalie Gear
  • Sticky

    Lacrosse Goalie Book
  • Want virtual goalie coaching sessions from the best  coaches in the game? Look no further...

    The Lacrosse Goalie Summit replays give you access to best goalie coaching out there. Coaches like Ted Bergman, John Galloway, Matt Deluca, Brian Phipps, Kyle Bernlohr, Liz Hogan, Caylee Waters, Lyndsey Munoz, Chris Buck, Taylor Moreno, Sean Quirk, Goaliesmith, Meg Taylor, Drake Porter, Emily Sterling, Brett Dobson, and so many more. These sessions give your youth the confidence and the tools to be amazing in the crease!

    arrow right

    Click an event to learn more about the goalie coaching sessions included! 

    arrow left
    Lacrosse Goalie Summit 1
    Lacrosse Goalie Summit 2
    Lacrosse Goalie Summit 3
    Lacrosse Goalie Summit 4
    Lacrosse Goalie Summit 5
    Lacrosse Goalie Summit 6
    Lacrosse Goalie Summit 7

    Join The

    Lax Goalie Rat Online Camp

    Full Goalie Education

    The only lacrosse goalie training that covers ALL of the areas necessary to be dominant: technical, physical, and mental.

    Over 80 Videos Yours For Life

    Revisit the drills and mental inspiration every season! Plus new videos added to the camp are yours for free.

    Supportive Community

    Access to private forums to interact with other goalies, coaches, and Coach Damon on a personal basis.