Firestone hits milestone with 100th goal of her Dover girls' soccer career
When Brooke Firestone first tried out for the Dover High School girls' soccer team, her talent was immediately apparent.
Head Coach Bret Altimore knew, from the very beginning, that she was going to be a special player. But just how special could she become? That would play itself out over the course of her time as an Eagle.
Well, on Wednesday night, she hit a major milestone in her quest to go down as one of the greatest female soccer players in York County history. With Dover taking on Kennard-Dale at home, Firestone took the field with 96 career goals. Over the course of the next 80 minutes, she would add to that total. First it was goal No. 97. Then came goal No. 98 and, with about 30 minutes left in the game, she headed home the 99th of her career.
Already with three goals in the game, her fourth one — and final one — made history. She became the first soccer player in school history to score 100 goals in a career. Her four-goal night capped the milestone in grand fashion. She scored every goal in the Eagles' 4-0 victory.
"(My third came) with about 30 minutes left and then I felt like there was a lot of pressure on me to score my 100th," Firestone said. "Everyone was distributing the ball to me. I couldn't have done it without my teammates."
Notable career: The 100-goal mark was just the latest in a career for Firestone that is filled with accolades. Just a few games ago, she broke the school record of 93 goals, which was set two years ago by Maxine Herman. Herman now plays for the women's soccer team at York College.
As a freshman, Firestone displayed her brilliance by scoring 25 goals. A year later, she passed the 50-goal plateau with a 31-goal campaign as only a sophomore. A minor drop in her offensive production as a junior saw her only score 23 times, although you can hardly call that performance a setback. Through nine games as a senior, she's netted the ball 21 times, more than two goals per game.
"When she first came as a freshman, you could tell she was a special athlete," Altimore said. "... So you could tell her ability was there, and she just has this incredible competitive drive and you could see that was in place, but she hadn't yet developed into the player she is today."
When Firestone thinks about all she's accomplished, she still has a hard time viewing herself in the same class as some other Dover greats, including Herman. She had the opportunity to play with Herman her first two years, so she knows just how good Herman was. So even when Firestone broke Herman's record, she couldn't quite fathom the accomplishment.
"I remember coming in as a freshman and just wanting to be as good as Brooke May and Max and just dreaming of being that good," she said. "I still don't think I'm as good as they were because they're older than me and (I) think of them as better. But, I owe a lot of my success to Brooke and Max for helping me be the leader and player I am today."
All-around leader: Firestone's drive on the field has earned her a captain's role last year and this year. Altimore couldn't speak highly enough of the type of leader she is, on and off the field, exemplified by her being one of the top-ranked students in her class.
Firestone, who plans to play for NCAA Division III power Messiah in college, also realizes, however, that her milestone could never have happened without her teammates. After she broke Herman's record of 93 goals, Altimore said she told him what a great team accomplishment it was. And after reaching 100 goals on Wednesday night, she said the same thing.
"This 100 goals is because of them," Firestone said. "It's a team goal because I couldn't have done it without them passing me the ball."
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker