State playoffs have concluded and a mythical national champion has been crowned as Novi of Michigan finishes atop the Maxpreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Soccer Rankings.
The Wildcats claimed the top spot at the beginning of June and proceeded to win six straight matches from that point, not losing their grip on the top spot and ending the year as the best team in the country after winning Michigan's Division 1 title.
A feature story on the Novi squad will be posted Friday.
Novi topped the Colts of Troy 1-0, and because of their run to the state finals, the Colts end the year ranked No. 24 after entering the state tournament just outside the rankings.
A pair of states saw teams from lower divisions end up as the top team in that particular state, as both Virginia and Illinois saw 2A teams end the year ranked higher than 3A teams. Broad Run of Virginia won its fourth straight state title after ending the year on a 16-game winning streak, establishing itself as the top team in the Old Dominion. The Spartans jumped into the Top 10 after the win, becoming one of two new teams in the Top 10.
Also joining is Liberty, the former No. 1 team in the land. The Blue Jays recovered from a rough patch in the middle of the year to win 27 matches, ending with a 2-1 victory over Ursuline Academy in Missouri's Class 3 title game.
Cumberland Valley is the only team to crash the Top five, ending the year with 19 straight wins and pulling away from the pack in Pennsylvania and establishing itself as one of the top teams in the country.
Illinois had a wild finish to the season as Granite City came virtually out of nowhere to win the 3A state title as highly ranked teams fell by the wayside, but it is 2A champion Triad that finishes the year as the top team in the state thanks to a 3-0 win over Granite City earlier in the year.
Other state champions, Ankeny of Iowa, Appleton North of Wisconsin and McLean of Virginia, join the Xcellent 25 after chartering the dangerous waters of state tournament play and surviving.MaxPreps girls soccer state championships updateMAXPREPS XCELLENT 25 NATIONAL GIRLS SOCCER RANKINGS1. (Previously No. 1) Novi (Mich.) 22-0-2
The Wildcats finish the season as the top team in the inaugural Xcellent 25, claiming the top spot weeks ago and not letting it go by winning Michigan's Division 1 championship. Novi's run ended with a 1-0 win over Troy in the finals on June 18 as Wisconsin-bound Nikki Greenhalgh
scored the game-winning goal. The championship run included shutout wins over Fraser and over Utica Eisenhower, then a 2-1 triumph over Grosse Pointe South before reaching the finals.2. (2) Leesville Road (Raleigh, N.C.) 24-1-1
The Pride topped Ardrey Kell 3-0 to win the North Carolina 4A state title, claiming their third title in the last four years, and they hold on to the No. 2 spot.3. (3) Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.) 21-0-2
The Hoyas are the Georgia 5A champions.4. (4) Wando (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) 23-1
The Warriors are the South Carolina 4A champs.5. (6) Cumberland Valley (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) 27-1
The Eagles made their run to the state title, doing so without allowing a goal in the playoffs. They beat Donegal and East Lebanon County by matching 6-0 scores to move into the semifinals, then downed Manheim Township 3-0 before winning 1-0 over Penn Manor in the state finals thanks to Kelly Pizzingrilli's penalty kick.6. (17) Broad Run (Ashburn, Va.) 24-1
The Spartans, after winning the Dulles District title, were a force that couldn't be stopped, scoring five goals in each of their first state playoff games before beating Blacksburg 1-0 in the championship match to claim their fourth straight state title thanks to Erin Brady's
goal. Sophomore Haley Casanova
kept the Bruins off the board and Broad Run's four-year run saw the Spartans go 92-3-2. Broad Run beat Jamestown 5-1 and Jefferson Forest 5-0 in getting to the 2A finals.7. (19) Liberty (Mo.) 27-3
The Blue Jays needed overtime but got the job done in the Missouri Class 3 title match, topping Ursuline Academy 2-1 to claim the title. Shea Groom
scored 52 goals this year, saving her best one for last, a game-winner with one second left in overtime.8. (7) Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.) 25-3-1
The Jaguars won their third consecutive 6A state title.9. (8) Ardrey Kell (Charlotte, N.C.) 25-1
The Knights' only loss was a 3-0 setback to Leesville Road in the North Carolina 4A title game.10. (10) Bishop Kelley (Tulsa, Okla.) 17-1
The Comets beat Deer Creek 1-0 in the 5A title game.11. (11) Edmond North (Okla.) 15-2-1
The Huskies' season ended with a 3-2 win over Union in the 6A title game.12. (12) Davis (Calif.) 25-1-1
The Blue Devils clinched the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title, beating St. Francis 1-0.13. (13) Mountain Vista (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) 17-0-2
The Golden Eagles finished the season in fine fashion, downing Dakota Ridge 3-1 in the Colorado 5A state final on May 25.14. (15) Rio Americano (Sacramento, Calif.) 19-0
The Raiders won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title with a 2-0 triumph over Benicia.15. (16) Union (Tulsa, Okla.) 15-2
The Redskins' season ended on May 14 with a 3-2 loss in the 6A final.16. (18) Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 18-3
The Huskies beat Shawnee Mission West 1-0 in the Kansas 6A title game.17. (NR) Triad (Troy, Ill.) 21-2-1
The Knights figured out how to win close games in the Illinois 2A state playoffs, winning a 1-0 game and a pair of 2-1 contests, including the title game against Marian.18. (NR) Ankeny (Iowa) 21-1
With just one loss on the year, the Hawks proved to be the best team in Iowa after a win over Iowa City West in penalty kicks to win the 3A state title. Ankeny outshot ICW 16-2 but couldn't get a goal across before going to PK's.19. (23) Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) 20-2
The Mustangs won the Nebraska state title.20. (24) Conway (Ark.) 22-0
The Wampus Cats finished the season undefeated after winning the Arkansas 7A title.21. (NR) Appleton North (Wis.) 24-0-1
In what was a wide open bracket, the Lightning claimed the Wisconsin Division I title, topping once-ranked Waukesha West 1-0 in the state championship match.22. (NR) Granite City (Ill.) 18-6
In what was a wild 3A bracket in Illinois, the Wildcats were able to stay the course and seemingly come out of nowhere to win the state title. With teams such as Loyola Academy and Neuqua Valley bowing out early, Granite City seized the opportunity, winning one-goal games the entire way, which included a 1-0 win over Naperville North in the championship match.23. (20) Naperville North (Ill.) 18-6-1
The Huskies stayed hot after beating Neuqua Valley to advance to the 3A semifinals, where they beat Conant 1-0 to make the state finals. Naperville North lost by the same score to state champion Granite City.24. (NR) Troy (Mich.) 20-3-2
The Colts made a spirited run in the Michigan Division 1 state playoffs, reaching the title game after wins against Adams, Grand Blanc and Forest Hills Central. Troy ran into mythical national champion Novi in the state finals, losing 1-0.25. (NR) McLean (Va.) 17-4-2
The Highlanders got hot at the right time and took advantage of a wide open Virginia 3A bracket, coming from behind to beat Frank W. Cox 3-2 in the finals as Melissa Downey scored the game-tying and game-winning goals. McLean beat Grassfield and Battlefield in the state playoffs to reach the finals.
Dropped: No. 5 Deep Run (Glen Allen, Va.), No. 9 Neuqua Valley (Naperville, Ill.), No. 14 Loyola Academy, No. 21 Athens (Troy, Mich.), No. 22 Conant (Hoffman Estates, Ill.), No. 25 Green Hope (Cary, N.C.).