Sitting in their postgame circle Thursday night, the USJ girls’ soccer team received an unwelcome visitor in the form of a bug.
One player grabbed her cleat and made the bug pay, paused a couple times as a teammate laughed “No mercy!” and then smacked it a couple more times to make sure the job was finished.
That’s the kind of week USJ soccer has had. The Lady Bruins followed Monday’s 8-1 rout of Jackson Christian and Tuesday’s 10-0 win over Madison with a 5-1 defeat of Lexington on Thursday.
Addison Dunn scored three times and had an assist, while Nour Nabhan and Anna Pearson each added one goal. But plenty of Lady Bruins contributed.
“I like to look at the collective, and I think the collective is what’s pleasing for me,” USJ coach Paul Conway said. “The collective has been so good and so strong, so to single out one player I think would be unfair to the group.
“I know we’ve got the individuals, but we’ve got a team spirit and a team shape that we really like, and I think it will serve us well going forward.”
USJ, entering the week ranked third in The Jackson Sun’s soccer Elite Eight, has made a case for No. 1 with blowouts of the No. 2 Eagles and No. 1 Tigers.
USJ reached the Division II-A state semifinals last year, but that team’s senior class was influential.
“We came into this season knowing that people were seeing us as more of an underdog this year,” Dunn, a senior forward, said.
The Lady Bruins (5-2) have won five straight games, but Conway and Dunn both noted USJ can be better.
“It makes me really hopeful, honestly,” Dunn said. “I was a little nervous this year losing all those seniors. But I think we have a really good chance of returning to state.”
Nabhan scored 13 minutes in for USJ, scoring off a corner that was set up by Abbey Fleming’s slick pass downfield. Dunn scored off a pass from Pearson about 20 minutes later.
Chandler Holmes, denied earlier in the game, scored a quick response for Lexington (5-1). She had another solid chance in the second half, but Williams made the save.
Conway said Lexington coach Kirk Childers will have the Lady Tigers in good shape by the end of the year.