Katie Mastropieri didn't make a big deal about her behind-the-back goal against Presbyterian.
Her specialty shot might not be considered out of the ordinary to the hardcore lacrosse fan, but it captured a loud pop from the crowd, including students watching from the fence just outside the complex.
"We call them BTBs," the Vanderbilt sophomore attacker pointed out at practice Thursday, one day after the Commodores routed the Blue Hose, 19-5.
Midway through the second half, Mastropieri broke from the eight-meter arc and took Alex Priddy's pass going toward the middle of the crease. Mastropieri cut back and caught Presbyterian's goalie hugging her left post, and launched the low-angle shot into the opposite side of the net. (Watch)
Mastropieri's goal came as no surprise to Head Coach Cathy Swezey. Swezey, a prolific scorer herself as a three-time All-American at Trenton State, knew the skilled shooter was capable of making the play.
"I thought it was sweet. It was just a beautiful shot," said Swezey. "Some people may look at it like a showboat move, but it's actually a great shot for the attackers who have the skill set to accomplish it. She couldn't have made that shot by turning around; she would have had the defense crashing on her. That was really the best shot to take."
Swezey noted that a couple of former players have pulled off the move in her 15-year tenure at Vanderbilt. "You might have a player once a season actually have the opportunity to do it."
Mastropieri, who is second on the team with 16 goals this season, hadn't scored from behind-the-back in college until Wednesday, but did so during her prep days at The Collegiate School in Richmond, Va. Her Commodore teammates work on the shot in practice from time to time, making it more natural for game situations, but no less impressive.
"Around-the-worlds and behind-the-backs are something Gary Gait and legends in men's lacrosse try to use," Mastropieri explained. "It's always more fun in women's because it's not as easy to do it with lower pockets. It's just a good way to get your team excited."