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Harpeth Hall soccer and cross country earn 2023 state runner-up titles

Harpeth Hall soccer and cross country earn 2023 state runner-up titles
Harpeth Hall soccer and cross country earn 2023 state runner-up titles

The Harpeth Hall soccer and cross country teams know well the commitment and effort it takes to shine in state competitions. 

In the last three years, the two teams have combined for three state titles — back-to-back wins in cross country and a soccer championship.

This fall, the teams continued their success, collecting a pair of 2023 state runner-up trophies and showing once again that Harpeth Hall is among the very best in Tennessee.

“Reflecting on a memorable season, our team showcased resilience, thrilling goals, an unyielding defense, and the indomitable spirit that defines us,” Harpeth Hall head soccer coach Meggie Lucas said.

Soccer sets up state final rematch

The Bears advanced to the 2023 DII-AA state soccer championship after clinching the top spot in the region and earning a hard-fought semifinal win over familiar Middle Tennessee opponent Ensworth.

Harpeth Hall junior Quinn Erim, who has committed to Northwestern, started the semifinal scoring in the seventh minute of play when she knocked home a pass from junior teammate Helen Ghertner. Ensworth evened the match at 1-1 in the 45th minute, but the Bears bit back as Helen — who has committed to South Carolina — struck the game-winner in the 54th minute off an assist from 8th grader Olivia Grace Akatue.

Goaltender Jenny Lott made nine saves for Harpeth Hall, advancing the Bears to the finals and setting up a state title rematch against Baylor.

Two years earlier, in the 2021 tournament, the Bears held Baylor scoreless and claimed Harpeth Hall’s second state soccer championship. This year, with Baylor vying for its 10th state soccer title and Harpeth Hall its third, the Red Raiders took the 3-0 win.

“Though we fell short in the final game, the Bears versatility shone through adversity, a testament to the dynamic and adaptive nature of our team,” Coach Lucas said. “At the heart of our success were three remarkable seniors: Jenny Lott's steadfast goalkeeping, Taylor McCall's unwavering defense, and Mary Dillon's dynamic attacks. Their leadership was pivotal. As we regroup for the next season, their influence will undoubtedly linger, a testament to their indelible mark on our journey.”

Runners set the pace

In cross country, two Harpeth Hall runners finished in the top 10 to lead the team to a Division II-AA state runner-up finish behind Webb School in a competitive field at Sanders Ferry Park. Junior Lily Bowen earned a third-place finish with a time of 18:03.11 and junior Anna Bacchetta finished 6th overall in a time of 18:18.33.

“I feel really lucky to be in such a competitive division,” Lily Bowen told TennesseeRunner in an interview after the race. “I feel like I get pushed to do my best every time I race teams in this division.”

Also pushing Harpeth Hall forward were Maggie Baker (14th), Lula Lowrance (19th), Clara Scott Harden (20th), Suki Junge (23rd), and Elizabeth John (30th).

“We gave it all we had,” Lily said. “And I am really proud of how we finished.”