When Dover girls' soccer standout Brooke Firestone first played the sport, she cried, unsure if she would continue playing.
Her father insisted she give it another chance. Years later, Firestone was nearly in tears again, but for a much different reason.
The Eagles' senior scored four goals in a victory over Kennard-Dale Sept. 30, including the 100th of her career.
"I think I almost started crying," Firestone said of the 100th goal. "As soon as I saw it go in, my hands went over my face and I covered my eyes, and as soon as I took them down the Kennard-Dale goalie (Megan Halczuk) came over and shook my hand and congratulated me — which was really cool.
"The whole bench came over and hugged me. Coach Altimore took me off the field and I was able to go into the stands and take the ball to my parents and everyone was crying. It was cool because my whole family and extended family got to be there."
During that 4-0 victory over the Rams, the Eagles were continuously trying to get the ball to Firestone.
"People were feeding me the ball more than I could count," Firestone said. "It was incredible. I think they were more excited than I was. I wasn't even the first one to say, 'Lets get a team picture.' I said that's good, because I didn't do this alone."
Firestone even signed her first autograph following the contest on some game-worn ankle tape for Dover trainer and assistant athletic director Dave App.
"In the athletic room there is a wall where he puts pictures and things. It's on the wall in a plaque in the athletic office," Firestone said.
The highest she has ever scored in a game is four goals.
"I didn't think I would get to 100 this soon," Firestone said. "I was surprised."
Her career goal total is a Dover record.
"I cannot speak enough about her character. She's an outstanding human being," Dover coach Bret Altimore said. "But, she's not afraid to make mistakes. At least one time during a practice and one or two times during a game, she will completely trip over the ball. She's not afraid to fail. She's going to give everything she has. She's a take-charge kind of girl."
Maxine Herman held the school record of 93 goals prior to Firestone breaking it. The two were teammates for Dover and will be rivals in college as Herman is a sophomore at York College and Firestone will attend Messiah College.
"She texted me and said how proud she was of me," Firestone said of Herman, who set the record in 2013. "She said she was so happy for me. I didn't know if she would be mad at me for doing it. It was really nice hearing it from her."
It wasn't until Herman set the school record that Firestone realized she could rewrite it.
"She's the reason why I pushed myself so hard," Firestone said. "I owe a lot of the player I am to Maxine. She pushed me."
Both Herman and Firestone have been a part of some excellent Eagles teams the past six seasons. Their offensive numbers are eerily similar. Through Dover's game on Thursday, Firestone has scored 106 of the 302 Eagles' goals during the past four seasons. That is 35 percent of the team's goals.
During Herman's four years, she scored 93 of 301 goals, nearly 31 percent of the squad's offensive production.
Firestone started off her career with 25 goals in her freshman year. She followed that up with 31 her sophomore year before posting 23 in her junior campaign. So far this season, she is at 27.
"My freshman and sophomore year, Maxine was scoring about as much as me," Firestone said.
The Dover girls' program has been on a roll since Altimore started in 2010. Not including this season, the Eagles have compiled a 78-34-1 record, including a pair of division and league titles, under Altimore. Dover also appeared in its first District 3 semifinal and PIAA state tournament game in 2013.
"It's weird to think now that everyone is looking up to us and playing their best games against us, like we're the ones to beat," Firestone said. "I think my sophomore year when we were undefeated until the semifinals of districts is when we thought we were the team to beat now."
Even though the Eagles teams of recent memory have had great goal scorers and stars in Katelyn Wilt, Abigail Patterson, Payton Miller, Maddy Miller and Brooke May they have all meshed well together.
"We are not the most talented team, but what makes us so successful is how we work together," Firestone said. "We see ourselves as a family, and our team chemistry is really unique."