Addison Dunn might have an elite status among current high school girls’ soccer players in West Tennessee, but she isn’t satisfied.
Dunn, a senior for University School of Jackson, is the only current player to have won a state championship in her high school career.
She wants one more, though, to finish out her career with the Lady Bruins.
“I am not satisfied at all,” Dunn said. “It has been five years now, and each year that we have lost at state made me a little more hungry to win.”
Dunn was an eighth-grader for the Lady Bruins when they won their second Division II-A state championship in 2011. She was the third leading scorer on the team that season.
But 2015 was not the year USJ was expected to be ready to win a third state championship. The Lady Bruins lost six starters from last year’s team, so there was inexperience all over the field.
“This year, we had no chance at first,” Dunn said. “But we have come a long way since the start of the season. We now have a good shot of getting to state and actually winning.”
As the season began, there were holes on the defense left by graduation, and Dunn volunteered to move back to help anchor the defense.
“I wanted to do whatever I could to help my team,” Dunn said. “If that meant moving to defense and not getting chances to score, I was willing to do that. I just wanted to see my team succeed this season.”
Dunn thinks it is the mental push from this group of players that makes this USJ team different from the last couple years.
“We have a lot less talent, but we have more drive,” Dunn said. “Last year, we were kind of like, we are going to get to state, and it was given to us.
“We have worked really hard to earn it this year.”
There have been two standout points to the season. One was the 1-0 win over St. George’s to secure the Lady Bruins the No. 1 seed in the Division II-A West region tournament. Dunn scored the goal with 25 seconds remaining in regulation.
“In the St. George’s game, we could have given up, but we decided that we had to keep going,” Dunn said. “And that helped us come out on top.
“That goal really inspired me because I had almost given up, but I saw that in less than one minute, the whole game can change. For the team, it gave us hope. That was not our best game against St. George’s, but we still came out on top.”
But for Dunn, the turning point in the season came the week that USJ played Jackson Christian and Lexington, two of the top-ranked teams in West Tennessee.
“Those weren’t district games, but we weren’t No. 1 in Jackson at the time,” Dunn said. “And we didn’t see ourselves as No. 1. We went into those games knowing that district wasn’t on the line, but this would put our place in Jackson for sure.
“We got a good win in both, and that really encouraged us.”
Dunn has now tallied 98 goals and 59 assists in her career, and that goal total is good for fifth in USJ history behind Jessie Metcalf, Beth Metcalf, Katie Hayes and Honeye Heydari.
“That is a cool thing to be able to say, but I would love to win a state championship,” Dunn said. “That is my main goal. A state championship is something that I will always remember.
“I am more interested in the three assists needed to become No. 2 on top assists. I think that would be cool, too.”
Michael Odom, 425-9754