HERSHEY, Pa. - Central Bucks West teammates Grace Bendon and Shae McCarty lined up next to each other to receive their gold medals.
Bendon enthusiastically and playfully shoved her friend.
McCarty shoved back.
Neither could believe what their team had just accomplished.
Two free kicks by Bendon led to both Bucks goals, as C.B. West rallied to win the PIAA Class AAA girls' soccer championship, 2-1, over Canon-McMillan in overtime Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium.
The Bucks trailed, 1-0, at halftime, and on their first goal, Bendon didn't get to see the whole play develop. She was too busy running back toward her goal.
That's the problem when you are the goalkeeper and take the free kicks for your team: You can't just watch and admire your service, or else an opponent can catch you off guard.
So when the senior hit a free kick from about 40 yards with a little less than six minutes to play, she had to race back to her end first. When she turned around, she saw her Bucks had tied the score.
History repeated itself in overtime, as a Bendon indirect kick led to the winner that gave the Bucks their eighth state girls' soccer crown.
The deciding goal was the result of a beautiful ball into the box that Lindsey Morgan got hold of and put on net. Jill Nolan followed the shot, and put it in the net.
"I was just running towards the goal, and Lindsey had a great touch and it was pretty much in. I just finished it," Nolan said. "It was all Lindsey."
The combination of Morgan and Nolan came up huge for the Bucks (20-6-1) in extra time, but it was McCarty, a senior forward, who continued her hot streak during regulation.
McCarty volleyed a McMillan defender's header and sent it high into the net, knotting the game at 1.
"This just feels amazing," McCarty said.
The goal was a huge lift for the Bucks, who had had trouble generating offense for much of the game.
"We are confident in ourselves," Bendon said. "I trust every single one of these players and I knew, even going down one goal in the first 30 seconds, that we were going to come back and win the game."
Canon-McMillan 1 0 0 - 1
C.B. West 0 1 1 - 2
Goals: CM-Sabrina Bryan; CBW-Shae McCarty, Jill Nolan.