It only took four weeks for there to be a new top team in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Soccer Rankings, as Liberty of Missouri relinquishes the top spot to Neuqua Valley of Illinois.
The Wildcats are the top team in Illinois, which is arguably the top girls spring soccer state, now control their own destiny to end up as the top-ranked team in the country, and according to a rival coach, this team can do just that.
"They are absolutely legit," Lyons head coach Bill Lanspeary said. "They've played the best of the best in Illinois, which I think is a very good soccer state, and come out on top. Their scores might not show it because teams tend to pack it in against them to keep it close, but they've outplayed nearly everyone big time."
Behind top-notch talent like Zoey Goralski
and Megan Oyster
, Neuqua Valley has the ability to end the year as the best team in the country, but will need to hold off teams like Wando, Harrison, Ardrey Kell and Union, who are looking to win a state title and at the same time claim the nation's top spot.
Liberty hit a rough patch recently, sliding out of the Xcellent 25. After getting past Incarnate Word in penalty kicks, the Blue Jays lost to St. Joseph's Academy 6-1 and then lost 2-1 to Blue Valley North of Kansas.
Liberty wasn't the only team to fall out as six others fell by the wayside, making room for seven new teams to debut at the tail of this week's rankings. Huntley of Illinois comes in to represent the top soccer state, while Shawnee Mission West replaces Blue Valley Northwest in the poll after a 2-1 win over the Huskies, claiming the top spot in the Kansas coaches poll.
Burke enters the Nebraska state tournament as the top seed, Padua has established itself as No. 1 in Delaware, while Broad Run of Virginia has continued to win and pops back in.
Wisconsin's Waukesha West and Waukee of Iowa bring up the final two spots as they have stood tallest recently in states where parity certainly exists.MAXPREPS XCELLENT 25 NATIONAL GIRLS SOCCER RANKINGS1. (Last week No. 2) Neuqua Valley (Naperville, Ill.) 21-0-0
The Wildcats didn't limp into the top spot, instead taking it by storm by winning four games in a week by a combined score of 24-0. A pair of recent 6-0 wins over Lake Park and South Elgin put an exclamation point on the week.2. (3) Wando (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) 18-1-0
The Warriors started the state 4A playoffs the same way they ended the regular season… by winning. Wando topped Spring Valley 5-1 in the first round.3. (4) Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.) 20-0-2
The Hoyas knocked out highly touted Walton from the 5A state playoffs, winning 2-0 on Tuesday to continue marching towards the goal of a state championship.4. (5) Union (Tulsa, Okla.) 16-1-0
The Redskins answered questions about themselves, and about Mustang, beating them 2-1 to advance to the state finals against Edmond North. Anastasia Robinson
and Anna Beffer
had goals in the win, while
Oklahoma State-bound Miriam Rinehart
scored the lone goal in a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Owasso.5. (15) Ardrey Kell (Charlotte, N.C.) 21-0-0
The Knights have taken over the top spot in North Carolina, and have stormed into the top five. They started the state 4A playoffs with a 3-1 victory over Page, only after ending conference play 14-0 with a 2-1 overtime win over Providence and a 5-1 victory over Rocky River.6. (11) Novi (Mich.) 8-0-1
The Wildcats jump another five spots after leaping six spots last week. A team regarded as easily one of the best in the nation has been rolling lately. Novi avenged its only tie with a 3-2 win over Northville behind two goals from Erin Dirks
and two assists by Nicki Caruso
. It also beat South Lyon East 5-0 and Saline 2-0, recently.7. (6) Green Hope (Cary, N.C.) 17-1-0
The Fighting Falcons head into the 4A playoffs on a roll, notching a pair of shutouts with a 4-0 win over Holly Creek and a 3-0 win over Athens Drive.8. (7) Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.) 19-0-3
Another game, another shutout for keeper Carly Stevens
, who now has 20 shutouts on the season.9. (8) Cumberland Valley (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) 18-1-0
The Eagles started the Mid-Penn soccer playoffs with a 9-0 win over Northern York, as Elise Krause and Kelly Pizzingrilli had two goals apiece. Cumberland Valley won its previous four games by a combined score of 28-2.10. (9) Bishop Kelley (Tulsa, Okla.) 16-1-0
The Comets marched into the Oklahoma 5A finals, topping Booker T. Washington 5-0 in the quarterfinals and then getting by a very good Bishop McGuiness team 1-0 in the semifinals.11. (10) Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.) 23-3-1
The Jaguars face Hoover on Friday in the Alabama 6A semifinals as they are on a quest for a third straight state title. Two very good wins, 2-0 against Mountain Brook and 1-0 against Huntsville, have put Spain Park in a position to do just that.12. (17) Deep Run (Glen Allen, Va.) 12-0-0
The Wildcats finally got some games in, and made the most of it, winning four times in a week. First was a win over a highly touted Cosby team, a 2-0 victory behind goals from Tori Fubara
and Haley Sinclair
. Christina Corbin
and Elizabeth Ball
scored goals in a 2-0 win over Midlothian, then came big wins, 8-1 over Patrick Henry and 9-0 over Tucker. Corbin and Ball have 14 goals on the year.13. (19) Edmond North (Okla.) 13-2-1
The Huskies have reached the state finals where they will face Union for the 6A crown, getting there after beating Broken Arrow 2-1 in the semifinals thanks to Zelle Garman's
25-yard volley to break a 1-1 tie in the second half. Carleigh Wood
scored the first goal in that game, and Brittany Dike
had two goals in a 4-0 win over Yukon in the quarterfinals.14. (16) Leesville Road (Raleigh, N.C.) 19-1-1
The Pride got it going again, winning 10-0 over Northern Durham in the first round of the 4A playoffs. A tough match awaits this Friday against a Panther Creek team that has already beaten highly ranked Green Hope.15. (14) Davis (Calif.) 21-1-1
The Blue Devils are looking to get it going again in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs as they start with Will C. Wood of Vacaville on Friday.16. (18) Rio Americano (Sacramento, Calif.) 16-0-0
The Raiders ended the regular season with a 4-0 win over Cordova as they did not allow a goal this season in Capital Athletic League play.17. (22) St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.) 24-2-1
St. Mary's finished up the regular season with a 6-0 win over Tokay. The Rams appear to be on a collision course with Davis in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, starting with Tracy on Friday.18. (24) Mountain Vista (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) 13-0-2
The Golden Eagles, led by the playmaking of Gabby Miranda
, picked up two more wins. A week after getting by Rock Canyon 1-0, they came out and beat George Washington 6-0, doing so on Tuesday night.19. (NR) Huntley (Ill.) 14-1-1
The Red Raiders join the rankings for the first time this year as the defense now has 11 shutouts in 16 games. Huntley beat Grayslake North 5-0 last week, then more recently beat Dundee 3-0.20. (NR) West (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 13-1-1
The Vikings debut in the rankings at No. 20, replacing Blue Valley Northwest after beating the former No. 20 team 2-1 in a battle of teams that could very well meet again for the state title.21. (NR) Burke (Omaha, Neb.) 19-3-0
The Bulldogs enter the state tournament as the top seed, winning their district after a 2-0 win over Lincoln-Northeast. Burke starts the state playoffs with Lincoln Southwest tonight.22. (NR) Padua Academy (Wilmington, Del.) 11-0-1
The Pandas have taken the reins as the top team in Delaware, doing so with some very convincing wins recently. In the last week they have beaten Ursuline Academy 3-0, then beat A.l. duPont 3-2, followed with a
big 10-0 win over Delaware Military Academy.23. (NR) Broad Run (Ashburn, Va.) 13-1-0
The Spartans clinched the Dulles District championship with a 2-1 win over Loudoun County. Ellie Zoepfl scored the first goal and Cassie Smith scored the second goal as they held on from there. This is the fourth straight district title for the team, led by seniors Zoepfl, Whitney Church, Kacey Kelley and Brook Collins. That senior group has gone 81-3-2 over that span.24. (NR) West (Waukesha, Wis.) 11-0-1
Wisconsin is a state that has had a lot of parity, with a new top team in most weeks. But now the Wolverines seem to have taken control with a five-game winning streak after a 2-0 win over Mukwonago on Tuesday.25. (NR) Waukee (Iowa) 6-0-0
It's musical chairs in Iowa as Dowling Catholic knocked off Ankeny, which had just appeared in the rankings last week, and now the Warriors debut at No. 25 by knocking off Dowling Catholic.
Dropped out: No. 1 Liberty (Mo.), No. 12 Centreville (Clifton,Va.), No. 13 Lyons (LaGrange, Ill.), No. 20 Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.), No. 21 Fellowship Christian (Roswell, Ga.), No. 25 Troy (Mich.).