Bradshaw Mountain High's Lady soccer Bears made history this past frigid Thursday night when they downed Prescott 2-1 in overtime.
"I think they were a little bit shell-shocked. It took them a second to realize they won," Bradshaw head coach John Sterling said.
The Lady Bears never had scored first against the Lady Badgers in regulation, and have won only once - in a 1-0 shootout early in the decade.
This time, senior forward Brianna Carroll scored both goals for the Lady Bears. She took a long pass from Hannah Madler downfield to hit the initial goal, capitalizing when Prescott's keeper came out to clear and bobbled the ball, with just over 26 minutes gone in the first half.
Bradshaw's defense kept the Lady Badgers scoreless until only about a minute-and-a-half remained in regulation, when Prescott tied it up.
The knot came undone about a minute-and-a-half into the overtime period, when Carroll scored the winning goal.
"I just don't know what to say, these girls are awesome," Sterling said. "I'm so proud of them. They won that game with heart and passion."
Sterling said a total team effort garnered the win.
"They all played so well," he said.
But he had special praise for some of his veterans, especially senior goalkeeper Delaney Prestia, who has been putting in extra time with assistant coach Mike Green, to serve as an 11th player, rather than simply a goalkeeper, Sterling said.
"Delaney just played an awesome game," Sterling said, adding, "She made a stop in the second half off a free kick that was amazing. Her body was going one way and she stuck her foot out to stop the ball in a split-second reaction."
He noted the play of another pair of seniors, saying Nicole Pino controlled the game well from the middle of field, while Mikela Whorton made sure her teammates stayed on task.
"Mikela always surprises me because she just quietly goes about the business of playing soccer. I gave her the job to make sure everyone does their job, and she's always right there in the thick of things," Sterling said.
And, he said, Heidi Madler did a great job keeping the defense organized.
"When you play, it's about heart," Sterling said. "I don't think Prescott expected us to just squeeze the field down, and attack and attack. They're not used to that kind of pressure."
He credited Prescott coach David Wilson with keeping control of the game.
"He did an excellent job," Sterling said. "It could've gotten ugly the last 10 minutes, but it was fine."
The Lady Bears have added to their schedule the Arizona Soccer Showcase, a 24-team high-end tournament in Scottsdale, to stay sharp over the holiday break. Chandler Hamilton High School hosts the showcase in association with the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission.
Sterling said the showcase - where college coaches come to look at high school's top players - added a bracket for smaller schools this year. He also said he will take advantage of the bracket to give several junior varsity players varsity experience.
Bradshaw's bracket includes Page, NW Christian and Marana Mt. View. The Lady Bears first face Page at 11 a.m. Thursday.