All the pieces came together for Lake Forest, which netted its first-ever girls soccer state championship on Saturday afternoon.
First, Lake Forest goalkeeper Ginnie Revenaugh made a key diving save in the penalty kick shootout. Then Paige Bourne delivered the game-winning kick, and the rest was history as the Scouts enjoyed a big postgame celebration in front of the goal.
Lake Forest got past Normal Community West 2-1, 4-2 in penalty kicks, in the Class 2A championship game at North Central College.
"It's tough every year, and it's not until you do it that you realize how tough it is," said Lake Forest coach Ty Stuckslager, who mentioned his team had worked on penalty kicks in 14 straight training sessions. "It all starts in practice. The girls took everything out of it. They are the ones that love the game."
When the match ended in regulation tied at 1-1, Lake Forest (19-6-1) and Normal Community (27-2) played an extra 20 minutes of scoreless soccer in overtime before deciding it with penalty kicks.
In the third round of kicks, Lake Forest had a 2-1 advantage when Revenaugh made a dive to her right, stopping the Wildcats' Allison Hieb.
"There's definitely a lot of pressure," Revenaugh said. " You can make it or break it. We have been practicing those all season. Almost every practice since the playoffs we've been taking those kicks. I have been getting more comfortable with them. I just stayed calm and tried to stay cool. I just stayed in there with my head. I think a lot of it was reacting to it -- just to be ready, wherever it may go. It's just picking the right side."
After a couple more kicks for each team, Paige Bourne converted the final kick in the lower right of the net to start start the celebration.
"It shows that we have a lot of dedication to the team," Bourne said. "We started off shaky with the season. We just grew as a team throughout the year. I think we had a lot of heart to pull though all these overtimes and PK's that we won."
DePaul-bound Lucy Edwards scored the first Scouts' goal off a deflection that was first touched by Kendall Hoke in the 20th minute.
Lake Forest's Adrian Walker saved a goal by clearing a shot off the goal line in the 30th minute after Rachel Sherman had a kick that was headed for the back of the net.
The Wildcats tied the game in the 53rd minute when Carloyn Peters scored after a flip throw-in from Tess Marcordes. Normal West had some other chances in the second half, but they went off the crossbar and the post.
Defensively, the Scouts were led by Edwards, Kendall Hoke, Walker and Sydney Johnston.
"Our defense has been our bread and butter," Stuckslager said. "Lucy (Edwards) was a one-of-a-kind player, and she's so smooth back there."