FORT LAUDERDALE - American Heritage entered Saturday's Class 2A state final with an undefeated record (31-0) and the No.1 ranking in the nation, according to the NSCAA/adidas poll.
The Stallions left Lockhart Stadium, however, with its only loss, courtesy of a Tampa Prep squad that refused to be intimidated in its first state title game.
After playing to a 1-1 draw through 80 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime, Tampa Prep made all three of its attempts in a penalty kick shootout, while Heritage missed three straight to give the Terrapins a 2-1 (3-0) win and the school's first girls soccer championship.
"This is unreal, it hasn't sunk in yet," junior forward Paige Goodwin said. "This is great. We beat an unbeaten team that was No. 1 in the nation. It feels good."
Goodwin's kick in the third round of PKs gave Tampa Prep (26-1-1) a 3-0 lead. When Heritage defender Mandy Freeman sailed the Stallions' third shot over the goal, Terrapins players and coaches ran to sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Hatton to celebrate.
"When (Heritage) missed the second kick, that was a good feeling," Tampa Prep coach Pam Smith said. "The third (miss) was the best feeling."
Hatton saved Heritage's first attempt before the Stallions missed on the next two. Tampa Prep's Taylor Richardson set the tone by burying the Terrapins' first attempt, and Caroline Cheek and Goodwin followed with goals.
"We've been practicing (PKs) for two months," Goodwin said. "Our hard work paid off."
Tampa Prep sent shot after shot toward Heritage goalie Samantha Perretty in the first half before breaking through in the 13th minute. Megan Wall sent a cross in the middle of the box to tournament MVP Chelsea Klotz, who had her initial shot saved but scored on the rebound for an early 1-0 lead.
Heritage pressured the Terra pins from the first moment of the second half and got the equalizer when Alle Salerno scored in the 51st minute. The Stallions continued to attack, but Tampa Prep's defense held.
Both teams had chances in overtime but couldn't convert, setting up the dramatic finish.
"This is what the team has wanted the whole season," Klotz said, "and we finally got it."