Glenbard East senior Katie Hansen spent about 30 minutes after practice Thursday working on free kicks with teammate Mattie Pusateri.
"I'm really glad that I did now," Hansen said with a laugh. "It worked out well."
Hansen's free kick in the second overtime period broke a scoreless deadlock, sending the Rams (12-5-4) on their way to a 2-0 victory and their second consecutive Class 3A regional championship Friday night in Lombard. Those two regionals are also the only two regional titles in school history, a streak the Rams are savoring.
"No, it's never going to get old," Hansen said. "It's awesome. Every time, it's just like a rush."
The Rams, who placed third in the state last year, advanced to the Downers Grove North sectional semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday against either Oak Park or Lyons Twp.
The stats show Glenbard East controlled the game, even when it went to overtime 0-0.
"We were getting a little nervous, but we were doing a good job of keeping it on their half and possessing the ball and really staying on top of it," Hansen said.
The Rams finished with 25 shots, forcing Morton goalkeeper Dayanna Gonzalez to make 10 saves. Morton got off just 6 shots.
"I thought their keeper played an incredible game," Rams coach Kent Overbey said.
"We were getting good shots off. They just weren't falling for us," Hansen added.
Hansen, a center back, is the Rams' second-leading scorer with 11 goals after her 91st-minute goal put the Rams ahead at long last. The team leader is Dana Plotke, who scored her 16th of the season in the 99th minute after receiving a throw-in from Alyse Donato. That goal was born of opportunity, not ambition.
"I'm screaming, 'Slow down, slow down,' trying to run the clock out," Overbey said with a laugh. "Alyse saw an opportunity, she picked the ball up and threw right over and then Dana's in."
Goalkeeper Faith Davies earned the Rams' 12th shutout of the season.
"I thought a very well-rounded game by our defense," Overbey said. "Paige Taylor pushing up on the left. Mattie covering it deep. Just very impressed. I was very impressed with Alyse Donato in the center of the park, defensive center mid. She did more work today, more time, than she's done all season. I thought top to bottom she did a great job. Same with Ali Liljestrand and Elizabeth Toledo in the center of the park."