Evening Sun Report
Greene 1, Afton 0
AFTON – After finishing the regular season with a .500 record, Greene is back in the Section finals with a chance to win an eighth straight Section IV title.
Nearly a week removed from its opening-round playoff win over Sidney, Greene topped Afton by a single goal for the second time this season, and it scored the winning tally with just 16 seconds left in regulation.
Katherine Klecha went top shelf on a penalty stroke hitting the upper left netting to beat the Crimson Knights keeper. “There was no decision process at all on who would take the stroke,” said Greene coach Sue Carlin.
Carlin said her team had not practiced penalty strokes in the week of preparation for Tuesday’s game, and nearly had Klecha – and others – attempt some pre-game strokes just in case this very situation arose. “After the captains met at midfield before the game, I was about to have Katherine come back to practice (a stroke), but then I decided not to do it,” Carlin said.
Klecha, a longtime player on the varsity and a starter on last year’s state championship team, didn’t need the practice.
Klecha was part of the play that led to the penalty stroke. Kristy Haskell inserted a penalty corner to Klecha, who had the ball deflect to her right. Klecha drove forward and ripped a hard shot on goal that squirted behind Afton keeper Tori Went. As the ball dribbled behind the goalie and toward the goal line, an Afton defender reached down and made a save with her hands. The play saved a goal, but by rule, earned Greene a penalty stroke.