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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mutz knows all the moves

    Freshman midfielder Mackenzie Mutz goes head over heels before a throw-in Sunday against Hawaii at Murphey Field. Mutzs stylish throw-ins actually result in longer throws, according to UA head coach Dan Tobias.
    Freshman midfielder Mackenzie Mutz goes head over heels before a throw-in Sunday against Hawaii at Murphey Field. Mutz’s stylish throw-ins actually result in longer throws, according to UA head coach Dan Tobias.

    So you are a new fan watching a soccer game when the ball crosses the touchline. As your team retrieves the ball, you are prepared for just a typical throw in: Feet planted, ball from behind the head and the usual straight launch into the field.

    But suddenly the player in-bounding the ball does what appears to be a flip, or so you think.

    “”Is this gymnastics?”” you ask.

    Well, not quite.

    In fact, it’s arguably one of the most exciting techniques in soccer. It’s called the flip throw, and only one member of the Arizona women’s soccer team can do it with ease.

    Mackenzie Mutz, a freshman midfielder, said she first learned how to do it years ago.

    “”I used to do gymnastics when I was younger, and I think at about sixth grade I saw someone else do it, so I decided to try,”” Mutz said.

    After that, she said, it only took her a few tries to get it right.

    “”I fell a few times,”” Mutz said, “”but it didn’t take me long.””

    Although the flip throw may look like an entertaining spectacle for fans to enjoy, it’s also a highly effective way of throwing in the ball, UA head coach Dan Tobias said.

    “”It becomes a weapon,”” Tobias said. “”Typically the ball is going to be thrown a bit further. It creates another dead ball opportunity for your team.””

    Tobias said the technique seems to have become more popular in the past decade.

    “”It’s been something that has kind of come into the college game and the youth game in soccer in the past maybe 10 years,”” Tobias said. “”If you learn that flip throw, it’s like a slingshot or a catapult because it’s got extra torque behind it.””

    And the 5-foot-9 Mutz can fling it in pretty good, Tobias said.

    “”It’s got a flare to it, so it catches people’s attention,”” he said. “”We look at it as another added piece to our attack.””

    So how do you do it exactly?

    “”It’s pretty basic,”” Mutz said. “”It’s just a front handspring.””

    But it’s easier said then done, said sophomore forward London King.

    King said she thinks the flip throw is one of the most difficult things to master in soccer.

    “”I think it’s pretty cool, actually,”” King said. “”I wish I could do it. It has more speed, and it goes further.

    “”It helps out a lot. It’s almost like a corner kick.””

    But it’s really dangerous, especially on wet grass. One false move and you could severely injure yourself.

    “”It’s pretty hard, and you have to be kind of confident because your hands could slip off the ball at any time,”” King said.

    So has she ever tried?

    “”I tried, but I am too scared to actually keep my hands on the ball, so I usually just let it go,”” King said.

    Mutz said she doesn’t think anyone else on the team can do it either.

    “”There are a few girls that can throw the ball pretty far without doing a flip throw, like (defenders) Claire (Bodiya) and Bri (Caceres),”” Mutz said, “”but I don’t think anyone can do it quite yet.””

    Tobias agreed.

    “”She’s the only one on the team that can effectively do it,”” he said, “”and it’s a nice weapon to have.””

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