Three sports remained constant in the first 13 years of Emma Klein’s life: basketball, lacrosse and soccer. But after making the Amherst Central (New York) High School varsity soccer team in eighth grade, the sport started to “click” for her, she said.
As the youngest player on her varsity team, Klein started in every game, including the 2016 sectional championship. The five-year varsity center back has earned all-county honors in the Erie County Interscholastic Conference every year since 2017. Now, Klein is preparing for her freshman year at Syracuse, a team in which two of the four defenders from the 2020 season are graduating.
“I’ve been coaching for 24 years, and I’ve never had an Emma Klein,” said JoAnna Fildes, Klein’s high school coach in all three sports. “I’ll probably never have another Emma Klein in my time as coach.”
Klein, who finished with over 1,000 points in her five-year basketball career at Amherst Central, played basketball and lacrosse all throughout high school to take a break away from soccer and maintain her endurance in the offseason, she said. The overlap between the skills needed for all three sports helped her excel, she said. The extra sports help improve her agility, movement, speed, power and thought process.