MURFREESBORO – Temperatures hovered in the low upper 40s. Rain constantly fell and the occasional wind gust sent shivers through those gathered at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.
Perfect soccer conditions, right?
It didn’t seem to bother the Brentwood girls much. They just had fun and at the end of Thursday’s Class AAA soccer match, the Lady Bruins were sliding in the mud belly first and all smiles.
For the first time since winning it all in 2012, the Brentwood girls will play for state championship on the pitch. The Lady Bruins blasted into the final with a 6-0 win against Maryville Thursday.
“At the end of the day, if it's not fun for them, then it's not really worth coming out here in the rain to play,” Brentwood coach Kersta Mello said. “So we might as well have as much fun as we can in these conditions.
“We can’t do anything about the rain, so we decided to just embrace it and love it.”
Shivers and all, Brentwood endured the sloppy field conditions as six different Lady Bruins scored.
Hayley Howard converted first on a free kick from about 20 yards out in the 12th as it stayed 1-0 the rest of the opening half. Brentwood, which was coming off a 3-0 shutout win against Siegel in the first round Wednesday – under much sunnier skies – opened up the match in the second half. After Emma Majors scored unassisted on a cross deflected off a defender for a 2-0 lead in the 53rd, Brentwood scored back-to-back goals in the 69th.
Morgan Greene blasted a rebound in and just 20 seconds later, Saba Kent rocketed another tally past the Maryville keeper for a 4-0 advantage.
“The girls just came through in big fashion,” Mello said smiling. “I guess you could say this isn’t their first time pretending to be ducks playing soccer, but these girls had the mindset and they came into this game ready for anything.”
Elle Scott scored on a header off a ball from Meghan Lee in the 72nd and Haley Hannah had a rebound shot trickle into the back of the net as well in the final two minutes.
Senior keeper Kate Devine had the best view of the match hanging in goal. Her team dominated possession and out-shot Maryville 22-2 despite the conditions. Devine made one save following a Maryville corner kick in the 57th, but spend much of the match playing coach and trying to stay warm.
MURFREESBORO – Carrying an unbeaten record, playing for the first time in 10 days and simply…
“I had so much fun out there,” said Devine, one of six seniors who have advanced to the state tournament three consecutive seasons. “It was almost painful because it was so cold, but you had to have fun with it.
“It was pretty funny watching everyone slip and slide out there.”
Devine, along with back line defenders Kate Boring and Meghan Lee, have allowed just three goals all season as the Lady Bruins improved to 16-0 overall.
The last team to score against them was Ravenwood in the District 12-AAA championship – a 2-1 Lady Bruins win on Oct. 17.
Brentwood will face the Lady Raptors for the championship Saturday. Ravenwood used a late goal to up-end two-time defending champion Houston in the other semifinal Thursday. The Lady Bruins have won all three matchups this season, including a 1-0 win in the Region 6-AAA championship on Oct. 24.
“It’s going to be the fourth time playing them and this is going to be so different because we’re playing for the state championship,” Devine said. “We’ve come up short two years in a row of making it to this game. Being a senior, this feels so incredible.
"We’re going to come out and work hard and have fun, again.”