USJ reaches state title game to conclude 2020 season

JACKSON, Tenn. — Each season, multiple teams represent the West Tennessee area at the high school girls soccer state championships in Murfreesboro. Unlike recent years, one local team was on the brink of bringing back a title.

Over the weekend, USJ entered this year’s Division II-A final four as one of the underdogs. However, the Lady Bruins were able to prove several doubters wrong by knocking off an unbeaten CPA team in overtime on Saturday. USJ then went step for step with the defending champions, Battle Ground Academy, before eventually falling in a very close 1-0 ball game.

While it wasn’t the result they were looking for, it was a historic season for the Lady Bruins, finishing the year as both state and region runners up with an overall record of 17-4 and the only local team to reach the state final.

“Even though we didn’t know what was going to happen, every day at practice we went as hard as we could, and we just prayed and hoped that despite what was happening in the world that we were going to have a season like we did,” said senior Emma Richards.

“I always challenge our seniors to make sure that they leave the program in a better place,” said head coach Paul Conway. “Four years ago we weren’t in a state final. This year we were.”

“I’ve always dreamed of making it to the championship, and even though it didn’t end the way we might have wanted to, I can easily say it was probably one of the best weekends of my life,” said Richards.

This USJ group was led by 5 seniors this year, a class that helped bring the Lady Bruins back to Murfreesboro for the second straight year.