USAFL Nationals Player Focus: Katie Klatt (San Francisco)
A WEEK ago the 2022 USAFL National Championships were run and won in California across six divisions.
In the Women’s Division One competition, the San Francisco Iron Maidens won their record equalling sixth consecutive title after they comfortably defeated the Minnesota Freeze in the Grand Final.
The MVP from that match was Iron Maiden Katie Klatt.
The defender, who spent a stint in the VFLW in Australia with Melbourne Uni in the past, was a crucial cog in the Iron Maiden defence, and this Player Focus seeks to take a closer look at her performance against the Freeze.
In the opening moments of the first half, the ball lived in San Fransico’s forward line so Klatt, who was playing as one of the last line of defenders, did not have too much to do.
Her first action in the quarter came on the far wing of Cooper’s Field, where she went for a mark, and although she missed it her second effort saw her tackle Connor Lewis and hold the ball up for her team.
The biggest highlights of her game in the first half were her intercept marks, and her ability to kick long out of defence to clear the contest.
She took an intercept mark on more than one occasion, and she is a strong mark too so the fact that the marks were taken in a contest was absolutely no problem for Klatt.
Klatt also has a really powerful kick on her, with her kicks able to go at least 50m.
With a kick comparable to former Arizona star and current AFLW Bomber Dani Marshall, Klatt’s kicks can relieve a lot of pressure for her team and it comes as no surprise that the Iron Maidens use her for kick in duties with an ability to kick as far as she does.
Scoring dried up for both sides in the second half, Klatt’s workload certainly did not dry up.
She also did not have to wait as long to get involved in the action in the second half. As the ball left the forward line for the first time in the half and started heading towards Minnesota’s goal, Klatt picked up the ball and delivered a really measured 10m kick out to the wing to teammate Nikole Mackenzie.
That would not be the last time the pair combined, as later in the quarter Mackenzie received another kick from Klatt after the latter pulled off a clever handball one-two with Sara Magallon.
She also combined a couple of times with Jessica Blecher, where Klatt would intercept the ball in defence and got the kick out to Blecher.
One of the absolute highlights of Klatt’s second half performance was when she sprinted towards the boundary, bumped Lewis with perfect timing and got the kick away.