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A battle beneath the rainbows

In sports, there’s nothing more inspirational than a comeback win. 



Ok, throw in a double rainbow. Then there really is nothing more dramatic. 



Though Plants and Pillars Homeschool Co-op scored first and dominated most of the game, The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf scored with four minutes left in regulation during its championship game Tuesday at Highmark Stadium. 



After a stalemate in overtime, the teams advanced to a five player shootout. But it took a second round of kicks to finally snap the deadlock.

Thanks to dual threat Braden Elliott, who made dazzling saves and the sudden death goal, WPSD players celebrated their championship win with pandemonium.

“We can prove to the hearing people that we can do anything,” WPSD player Ryane Smalley said.

Head coach Valentine J. Wojton III acknowledged that “it is tough,” but the team has learned to rely on eye contact and trust with each other to communicate on the field.

“Probably my favorite thing about teamwork is I get to play with others, collaborate with others, communicate, play the game with each other,” WPSD player Antoine Hunter said. “Win or lose, we still have fun as a team. We go through things together as a team.”

Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf soccer players Danielle Fisher and Ryane Smalley pump each other up before a shootout during a championship game against Plants and Pillars Homeschool Co-op on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at Highmark Stadium. WPSD won in a shootout. (Steph Chambers/Post-Gazette)
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf soccer players Ryane Smalley, Danielle Fisher and Wade Dunbar react as their goalkeeper Braden Elliott allows a goal in a shootout during a championship game against Plants and Pillars Homeschool Co-op on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at Highmark Stadium. WPSD won in a shootout. (Steph Chambers/Post-Gazette)
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf soccer player Bernie Elliott reacts after the final save his brother Braden Elliott made during a championship game against Plants and Pillars Homeschool Co-op on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at Highmark Stadium. WPSD won in a shootout. (Steph Chambers/Post-Gazette)
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf soccer players cheer before their championship game against Plants and Pillars Homeschool Co-op on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at Highmark Stadium. WPSD won in a shootout. (Steph Chambers/Post-Gazette)
Plants and Pillars Homeschool Co-op soccer player Caleb VanderPlaats gives a thumbs up to Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf soccer player Kyle D’Amore as they exchange greetings before a championship game on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at Highmark Stadium. WPSD won in a shootout. (Steph Chambers/Post-Gazette)
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and Plants and Pillars Homeschool Co-op gather for a prayer before their championship game on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at Highmark Stadium. WPSD won in a shootout. (Steph Chambers/Post-Gazette)