GIRLS SOCCER TOP 50 TEAMS: Birmingham Marian begins as top-ranked squad, followed by Novi, Grand Blanc, Rochester Adams, Walled Lake Northern
BIRMINGHAM — What is one of the most consistent prep girls soccer programs in Michigan over the past two decades?
Hint: It does not come from one of the following soccer powerhouse communities — Livonia, Troy, Rochester, Novi, Northville, Portage, Grand Blanc or even Grand Rapids.
It is not even a Division 1 school.
Birmingham Marian, a Division 2 school nestled in the heart of talent-rich Oakland County, has been every bit of a model of consistency over the years, especially during the past two decades.
The Mustangs will again be a force to be reckoned with in 2019 and the reason why they are the the No. 1-ranked team in the 6th Annual State Champs Network Preseason Super 50 Teams.
Marian has more than earned it.
Since Barry Brodsky became head coach in 2002, the Mustangs have compiled a long list of CHSL-Central Division, CHSL league tournament, district, regional and state championships (Brodsky owns a 317-26-36 career coaching record). More noticeable, the program has marched to 12 Final Four appearances, captured seven state crowns, finished as the state runner-up three times and have posted three unbeaten campaigns.
Marian is the two-time defending state champion in Division 2, winning titles in 2018, 2017, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2004 and 2003. The Mustangs also finished runner-up in 2014, 2013 and 2002 and lost in the semifinals in 2016 and 2007.
The program has reached at least the district finals 15 times over the past 17 seasons, again solidifying itself as a consistent powerhouse system that is always capable of making a long run in the postseason.
There is a deep well of schools in Division 1 and Division 2 that are capable of reaching the Final Four this season, many of them here in the Super 50, while Division 3 and Division 4 both have a small pool of teams that could end up playing during the final week.
More than 200 coaches statewide submitted information and some 68 schools were given serious consideration for the Super 50.
Here’s a detailed look at this year’s top teams and a breakdown of the entire state:
1. BIRMINGHAM MARIAN (22-0-1): The Mustangs own unbeaten seasons in 2004 (25-0-0), 2017 (24-0-0) and in 2018 and appear primed for another run at a state title.
Senior F Jansen Eichenlaub (All-State Dream Team, Virginia) is also a state qualifier in track and field and a pure finisher on the pitch. Senior D/M Sara Stroud (All-State Second Team), senior D Neva Badalow (All-State Third Team, Michigan Tech), senior M Katie Sullivan (Western Michigan), junior M/D Anna Leonard, senior F Morgan Cochran, junior F Chloe Aberlarde, junior M/F Katie Hughes, senior G Megan Krause and sophomore G Annabelle Deines all started at times last season. Senior M Megan Dolan, senior M Shaney Petoskey, junior M Kate Bigilow, junior D Sophia Mancini, junior D Zoe Bryant and sophomore M Emily Rassel also gained minutes.
2. NOVI (19-5-1): The Wildcats captured the Division 1 state crown a year earlier an anticipated, and did so impressively by winning a string of games against fellow Top 20 powerhouse and upsetting heavily-favored Grand Blanc in the finals. There is a bevy of talent back, led by senior M Jessie Bandyk (All-State First Team, Ferris State), junior F Avery Fenchel (All-State First Team, Ball State), senior D Lauren Calhoun (All-State Honorable Mention), senior M Riley Balconi (Miami Ohio), senior F Julia Stadtherr, junior M Michelle Jecmen, junior D Nevada Larson (Indiana State) and sophomore D Eva Burns (All-State Honorable Mention). Sophomore Abbey Pheiffer was the understudy in goal last season but is respected as one of the better keepers in the state, while senior F Lexi Whalen and junior D Zoe Burrell also return. Novi is 4-0-0 to start the season with wins over quality sides Northville, Salem, Canton and Brighton.
3. GRAND BLANC (25-2-0): The Bobcats rode a 24-game win streak into last year’s state finals only to yield a late goal to Novi and fall in the finals for the third time in four years. There are four players gone via graduation now playing Division I college soccer, plus the program lost junior F Jenna Blackburn to the National Union Academy and junior F Faith Webber (Michigan State) to injury. Still the cupboard is far from bare. Senior F Paige Webber (All-State Dream Team, Michigan State), senior M Allyson Childers (All-State Second Team, Michigan State), senior G Madison McKay (all-State Third Team), senior M Isabella Sabo and sophomore D Cierra Trudeau are returning starters. Freshmen Cynthia Wedel (M) and Caitlyn Levander (F) have been impressive in the Bobcats’ 5-0-0 start.
4. ROCHESTER ADAMS (16-5-4): The defending OAA Red Division champions have won a district title in two of the past three years and could have one of their better teams since the Highlanders’ 1990s glory days. Adams reached the regional finals last season. Junior Justice Tillotson (All-State Third Team, Michigan State), junior M Madi Reiser, sophomore G Maddy Dolenga and senior M Emma McCahughtry are all returning starters. Sophomores Lindsey Bower (F) and Kate Stice (D) also return. Senior F Sara Smolinski (Saginaw Valley State) returns to Adams after competing for the National Union Academy last season, while sophomores McKenna Schultz (D) and Emma Ksoll (M) both played club last season. The Highlanders have also added a loaded freshman class with the addition of Remini Tillotson (M), Abbey Drahnak (F), M Cassidy Tomezak (M), M Allison Orsargos (M) and Lily Sacco (D). There are five other athletes at Adams playing in the Developmental Academy system.
5. WALLED LAKE NORTHERN (18-1-0): An early district exit, despite being the No. 1-ranked team in the final regular D1 season rankings last year, left a bitter taste in the mouths of those around Northern’s program. The Knights have goals of reaching the final week for the first time in their 17-year history. Northern boasts some big-time players, led by senior F Dani Wolfe (All-State Dream Team, Michigan), a top 50 player nationally. Junior F Ellie Rogers (All-State Second Team, Michigan State), and sophomore D Andi Wolfe (Michigan State), are big time players, as well. Junior G Alexandra Jerore is playing high school for the first time after competing with the Michigan Hawks last season. Senior midfielders Mara Cousino and Reilly Nessen and sophomore midfielders Lillie Ogle and Sophie Zawacki are returning starters.
6. BRIGHTON (14-2-3): The always-strong Bulldogs compete in arguably the state’s toughest league and district this season and might not record any championships to show for being a Top 10 program. Brighton owns wins this season over Saline and Ann Arbor Skyline. Junior D Man Ahsen (All-State Second Team) is a high-level player, while sophomore F Bryce Calka and sophomore M Tara Simon comes to the high ranks after playing with the Hawks Academy and Nationals Academy last season. Junior M Brooke Pietila, senior M Abbie Bowland junior F Isabel Stropich, junior D Gwen Kiilunen, sophomore F Madeline Wiktorowski, sophomore M Caiden Donabedian, junior M Kyla Vida, junior F Addison Carriere,
7. UTICA EISENHOWER (15-3-2): Eisenhower had not had a losing season and has won or shared the MAC Red Division title 15 times over the past 20 seasons. Gone is junior F Meike Ingles (Iowa, All-State Second Team), who recently opted to spend the spring training with the Nationals Academy, while senior F Lauren DeBeau (All-State First Team, Central Michigan) is out until late April with an injury. Still, Eisenhower is 4-0-1 to start with a 19-1 scoring edge. Junior D/M Megan Sidaway, senior F Taylor Stanley (Western Kentucky), senior M/F Sarah Faloon, sophomore M Nina Ferraro and sophomore D Grace Pabian all return. Sophomore M Maria Riggio, sophomore D Bianca Popovski, freshman D Alexis Morgan and freshman M Lillianna Arcari will also be keys.
8. MIDLAND (18-1-6): The Chemics came out of nowhere last season with their best campaign to date and their only loss came in the state semifinals to Grand Blanc. Senior Maya Etienne (All-State Dream Team) was voted the state’s top keeper last season and has chosen D-II Southern Indiana despite D-I offers. Senior M Sami VanSumeren (Grand Valley), senior F Ellie Wardell (Winona State), sophomore D Jackie Brown, sophomore M Chloe Rajewski, senior F Jorgia Nye and senior F/M Maya Albright all started in the march to the Final Four.
9. TROY (9-7-6): After a couple of up and down seasons, Troy turned the corner last June and made an unexpected run to the Final Four, its first appearance there since 2013. There is plenty of holdover talent, led by senior D Lauren Miller, senior F Tahra Brodbine, senior D Mila Palincas, junior D/M Sophie Bongiovanni, junior F Marissa Young, senior F Haley Stewart, junior M Ally Smolinski and sophomore D Anna Miller all return. Charlotte Sobotka (F) and Olivia Rush (M) lead a strong freshman class. Troy is 3-1-1 to start the season.
10. GRANDVILLE (18-3-2): The Bulldogs have emerged as a powerhouse during the past decade, and last year’s O-K Conference Red Division co-championship and Division 1 district title solidify that assessment. Grandville should be one of the top teams in the Grand Rapids area and capable of making a deep run. Senior F Lexi Dekam (All-State Second Team, Davenport) and junior M Savannah Herring (All-State Honorable Mention, Aquinas) lead the way. Senior D Regan Heintz (Davenport), senior D/M Jayne Vredevoogd (Aquinas), senior M Hannah Daane (Illinois-Chicago), junior F Kierson Korienek and senior M/F Megan Harrington are also back. Sophomore G Calls McCrumb. The Bulldogs started the season 5-0-1.
11. GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS NORTHERN (19-6-0): Will this be the year the Huskies finally end the season with a win after finishing as the D-2 state runner-up the last three years and four times total? Northern only graduated two players and lost another to the Midwest United Academy. Junior M/F Elyse DeSchryver (All-State Third Team) has multiple D-I college offers and gains a lot of attention. Senior M Carlye Fatum (Wheaton), senior F/D Sammi Blair (Northern Michigan) junior D Jenna Mustpha, junior D Paige Myers, sophomore F Grace Sayers, sophomore D Sophie Renucci, junior D Kali Mochel, junior G Parker Hutchinson, junior M/F Anna Biebel all played in the state title game last season. Sophomore F Emily Vanderhoff is the top newcomer.
12. RICHLAND GULL LAKE (20-1-1): Three state championships and another Final Four run in the past six years have solidified the blue Devils in the list of premier programs and a recent 3-0 shutout of 2017 D-1 state champion Forest Hills Central was a statement that nothing will change this season. Senior F Reagan Wisser (All-State Dream Team, Western Michigan) is a Miss Soccer candidate, while junior sister Rosie Wisser (M) is a threat. Senior D Lindsay Buckhout, senior D/M Maddie Rossen, senior D Mackenzie Wank, junior D Vanessa Scheel, and senior F Avery Cook are all stalwarts. Junior Gabby Bennecke and senior Sophie Tilbury give this side two quality keepers.
13. DEWITT (21-2-4): Even with a young roster and a talented freshman class a year ago, DeWitt made a deep run to the D-2 state semifinals for the second time in four years. Midfielder Isabella Gilmore (All-State First Team) is one of the state’s top sophomores, junior M Kendra Brown (All-State First Team), senior M Shelby Sims (All-State Third Team), sophomore F Teresa Ashbrook (All-State Second Team), sophomore G Kennedi Pugh (All-State Second Team), senior F Lily Stephan (All-State Honorable Mention) and sophomore D Riley Krause (All-State Honorable Mention) are all coming off stellar seasons. Senior D Kate Guillaume and junior M Abbey Dawes were also all-conference last season.
14. ROCHESTER STONEY CREEK (13-4-4): Three years removed from a state tile in D-1 and the Cougars could be another team capable of making a run if they can escape one of the districts of death. Junior F Isabella Paradoski (All-State Third Team, Elon), senior M Meghan Solek (All-State Second Team), senior D Lauren Orlando, senior D/M Amelia Kuntzman, sophomore M Christina Buca, sophomore F/M Morgan Carolan, junior D Ally Johnson and sophomore M Kayva Parikh all started games last season, with the three aforementioned seniors being four-year starters. Sophomore M/F Erin Benitez comes from the Hawks Academy, junior F Sarah DeGrendel and freshman M Kiera Hall will all contribute.
15. BIRMINGHAM DETROIT COUNTRY DAY (13-5-2): Over the years, Country Day has played in 10 state title games and features a talented roster this season. Bumping up to D-2 this season, the Yellowjackets find themselves in the same district as defending state champ Marian. Senior F Kennedy Bearden (All-State First Team, Grand Valley State) and senior M Elle Hartje (All-State Second Team, Yale for both hockey and soccer) give DCD to outstanding players leading the way. Junior G Lila Bienhold (All-State Third Team), junior D Grace Endrud (All-State Third Team), sophomore M Calihan Bearden (All-State Honorable Mention), sophomore M Made Salzenstein, senior M Erin Wycoff, sophomore D Olivia Sappingon and junior D Sophia Wiegers all return from a team that reached the regional finals. Sophomore M Jordan John played with the Nationals Union Academy last year.
16. MARSHALL (16-4-3): After reaching the D-2 regional finals two years ago, Marshall captured the Interstate-8 Athletic Conference regular season and league tournament titles to go along with a district title and top 10 ranking all season. This year Marshall will be one of the favorites with D-1 type talent. Senior F Kate Face (All-State Dream Team, Indiana State) is one of the state’s top 10 players, while junior M Katie Foster, junior D Olivia Zulewski (All-State Honorable Mention), senior G Maddie Reynolds and junior M Danielle Devine could wind up on college rosters. Senior F Lauren Terry (All-State Honorable Mention) is slated for big things, while sophomore M Abbie Schoepke, senior D Madi Russell, senior F Elise Walker, senior defenders Karlee Coddens and Onnah Dereski and sophomore D Grace Townsend all started games last season. Marshall started the season 4-0-0.
17. CANTON (11-5-4): The Chiefs won the KLAA Black Division last season and will be one of seven teams in the new KLAA West Division ranked her in the Super 50. The KLAA West will rival the OAA Red as the state’s super league. Canton will forge onward with several quality players, including senior M Katie Nestico (Ferris State), senior F Carly Schwinke, junior F/M Jayna Fraser, sophomore D Emma Morrison, senior M Marlee Taylor, senior M/D Lillian Lucas, senior F/M Kiera Savage, sophomore D Ari Onto, sophomore D Lindsey Zambon and junior M Alyssa Loll. Seniors Danielle Wilson and Katie Clark give the Chiefs two solid keepers.
18. PLYMOUTH (15-5-2): The Wildcats reached the D-1 regional finals two years ago and lost in the district finals last season. They fall into the KLAA West Division logjam this season and will be battle tested. Senior F Kennedy White (All-State First Team, Bowling Green), junior F Gabrielle McCaslin (Mississippi State), senior G Rebecca Przybylo (Eastern Michigan) are three future D-I college players sticking with their high school. Junior D Morgan Gooden, junior D/M Emma Lenning, sophomore M Brianna McNab, junior D Lindsay Melnick, senior D Eve Davis, junior D Morgan Buroker, senior M Emily Jucha and senior D Rivers Smyth are also back in uniform
19. BIRMINGHAM SEAHOLM (18-1-1): The Maples’ only loss was to Troy Athens in last year’s district semifinals and despite the loss of 2018 Miss Soccer Zoe Gafney to Liberty, this team will still have plenty of firepower with 11 seniors. Senior M Cate Brown (Grand Valley State), senior M Hannah Stone (Vermont), senior D Grace Harr, a transfer from Dallas, senior D Hailey Hartwig and senior D Ashley David (Georgia State) are all solid players for the Maples, who will jump up from the OAA White Division to the OAA Red this year.
20. PORTAGE CENTRAL (15-4-1): After being ranked in the top 10 all season, the Mustangs finished second in the SWAC and lost in the D-1 district finals. Portage Central is equipped to challenge for championships this season.Senior F/M Alainna Richmond (All-State First Team, Western Michigan) is one of the state’s best, while senior F Alana Hague, junior F Jaclyn Sibley, junior M Lauren McColley, senior F/M Mary Mitchell, sophomore M Sophie Bradford and senior D Sam Hawn combined for 57 of the Mustangs’ 80 goals last season. Freshman G Abby Areaux leads five ninth-grade prospects on the roster.
21. BLOOMFIELD HILLS (13-3-1): Since the merger in 2013-14, Bloomfield Hills has consistently played at a high level, finishing second in the OAA Red Division last year. Senior M Sydney Hutson (All-State Honorable Mention), senior F Sloane Marwil, junior M Molly Paulon and senior D Lilly Formanek are slated for big years. Junior M/F Isabelle Harper, sophomore M/F Sam Yamin, junior D/M Melissa Briggs and senior D Jenna Hart are all returning starters. Freshmen Kellen Fife (D/M) and Alice Spiegel (M) will fill in nicely as part of 10 newcomers.
22. HARTLAND (14-7-2): A fourth-place finisher in a loaded KLAA Gold Division and a D-1 district title last season proved that Eagles are here to stay amongst the state’s better programs. There are several key players back, led by senior F Olivia Foster, junior D Josie Huber, junior D/M Michelle Keranan and sophomore M Justin L’Esperance. Sophomore M Maria Storm, junior M Mary Storm, junior F Caitlin Trombley, senior F Lauren Way are also back. Senior G Cassidy Vaughn and sophomore Riley Grecke will share goalkeeping duties.
23. DEXTER (17-2-1): Even with four highly-touted athletes playing in either the Developmental Academy or ECNL system, Dexter will again be a top-tier team in D-2. Last season, the Dreadnaughts won the Southeastern Conference White Division and district title. Junior M Kylie Cabana, senior M McKenna Graham, sophomore F Abby Tamer, junior F Molly McCormick, sophomore D Carly Curry, sophomore D Faith Renaud and sophomore D/F Mia Stewart are returning starters. Multi-sport freshman Brianna Rodriguez is running the show from center midfield. Dexter is a combined 36-4-3 the past two seasons.
24. LIVONIA STEVENSON (13-6-3): Moved to the KLAA East Division this season after finishing fifth in the KLAA Gold a year ago, the Spartans could be the top team in the division. Junior F Abbey Werthman (All-State Second Team) is a tough player to mark, while junior D Sam Kuszynski, sophomore M Delaney Mills, sophomore F Adriana Mroz, sophomore M Mikayla Waranaukus, senior G Haley Demers, junior G Mackenzie Fifer, senior M Sarah Dressing, senior D Caitlin King, junior D Zelia Griffith and junior F Meredith Hage are all quality returnees. Freshman D Gabrielle Sapia fills a void in the backfield, as does classmates Morgan Bogacki (D/M) and Mackenzie Gregor (F).
25. GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS CENTRAL (17-3-0): Last season was tabbed as a rebuilding year, as several players graduated from the 2017 state championship team and six others departed for the Midwest United Academy. Last year’s new coach Ashley Ludtke still guided the Rangers to the OK Conference White Division title and a 17-win campaign. This season, sophomore D Whitney Currie, sophomore D/M Autumn Burns, senior backs Ally Fransisco and Chloe Grooters, senior F Ashley Ward (All-State Second Team), sophomore M Megan Clayton and senior M/F Grace Kline are all back.
26. MUSKEGON MONA SHORES (19-2-1): Over the past four years, Mona Shores has emerged as a top-20 program in D-1 and hope to do that again after posting a combined 40-3-1 record the past two years. Senior M/D Erin Powers (Hope College), senior F Nora Brown (Muskegon Community), sophomore F Bri Wade, senior M Julia Tierman, junior D Alexa Musk are coming off solid seasons. Senior D Madeline Eckerman is also back, while senior G Emma Lynn, sophomore F Riley Rosenthal, sophomore D Jami Mikesell and sophomore D/M Mia Bowers will inherit more prominent roles.
27. SALEM (13-5-2): Having more sophomores than junior and seniors combined may bode well for the Rocks in the future. This season, Salem must compete in a loaded league and district with its youth movement. Junior F Sydney Smith (All-State Second Team, Western Michigan), senior M Madison Servey (Madonna), senior M Chloe Parana (Central Michigan), sophomore D Leah Courtney, junior D Anna Araovitz and sophomore D Kennedy Hyde are some of the Rocks’ top players who hope to keep this team in the KLAA’s upper half. Sophomore Kelsey Zoli leads the talented cast of newcomers.
28. NORTHVILLE (12-6-6): The Mustangs, who will compete in a stacked KLAA West Division this season, featured a sophomore-heavy team last year and welcomes a deep and talented freshmen class this year. Junior F Sarah Noonan (All-State Honorable Mention), junior F Erica Toupin and junior D Haley Brass are standout players back, although junior F Tara Beason (All-State Honorable Mention) is one of three players whose return is uncertain due to ACL tears in the last year. Junior D Haley Brass and junior D Ariana Laba are also out. Junior M Lauren Fleming, senior D Jenna Lauderback, sophomore M Emma Bowman, senior F Karina Moore, senior D Dora Koski, sophomore F Sophia Jeromsky, junior G Ellie Thallman, and sophomore M Carmen Read will all play key minutes. There are also six freshmen on the roster who will vie for playing time.
29. ANN ARBOR SKYLINE (14-6-2): After Saline has dominated the Ann Arbor D-1 scene the past decade, is this the year the Eagles fly high past their rivals? Sophomore F Tai Tworek, senior F Gabby Ketola, senior D Madison Marsh, junior M Karen Maze, senior M Allison Steglitz and freshman F DiOnna Hill will lead the way.
30. SALINE (16-5-3): The Hornets have a new coach and must replace plenty of talent that has graduated the past couple of years. Junior D Sophia Wood, senior F/M Nora Udrys, junior M Erin Reilly, sophomore F/M Lauren Rubin, senior M Kathryn Wilkie, senior F Devin Reilly, and junior D Taylor Page are the key holdovers. Saline, winners of five straight Southeastern Conference Red Division crowns, reached the regional finals last season with a senior-heavy team.
31. PONTIAC NOTRE DAME PREP (15-6-2): Three years after winning their first D-2 state title, the Irish will look again to be a top 10 team in their division and challenge for a long run. Senior M Maura Kruse (All-State First Team) is still unsigned, junior F Itala Gemelli (All-State Honorable Mention, Dayton), senior M Stephanie Maniaci, senior D Bridgette Joslin, junior M Riley Williams and junior M/D Lauren Lopez are returning starters. Freshmen Michelle Piper (G) and Noraa Silver (M/F) have stepped in and made an impact.
T32. FLINT POWERS CATHOLIC (23-1-3): The Chargers have played in three straight state championship matches in D-3 and won the last two. Not only did eight players off that roster graduate, but would-be Miss Soccer candidate Rachel Rasins (All-State Dream Team, Pittsburgh) opted to forgo her senior season and train with the Michigan Hawks ECNL showcase team. Now up in D-2, Powers will forge onward with several quality holdovers that played in last year’s championship team. Junior G Natalie Dietering (All-State Second Team), sophomore D Kate Cardinal (All-State Second Team), senior M Kennedy Myers, senior M/D Camryn Murlick (All-State Third Team), senior M/D Emma Murlick, junior F Dominique Amato, junior M Katie Nutter and junior F Emily Lendzion form a solid nucleus of returning players. [EDITOR’S NOTE: This capsule was inadvertently left out of the original posting of the SC! Top 50. Rather than penalize another team for that omission, we’ve just added the Chargers in as a tie for No. 32.]
T32. ROCHESTER (11-9-4): Six years following its last D-1 Final Four run, Rochester is geared for a big season with many talented upperclassmen. Senior Katelyn Godwin (Indiana-Kokomo) is one of the state’s better keepers, and senior M Kaitlin DuCharme (Southern Illinois) has had a fine career. Senior M Kenzie Smith, junior D Sara Novak, senior M/D Jillian Lekosiotis, senior D Jessica Hegger, senior D Olivia Greenslave and junior F Sydney Stuart form a solid core of returnees. Freshman D/M Lizzie Jewell is the top prospect.
33. TROY ATHENS (13-5-2): By the school’s standards, Athens may be down somewhat from past years. But by the end of the season, never count the Red Hawks out. Senior M Skylar Gebauer (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) returns after playing with the Nationals Union Academy last season. Senior D Brooke Russell (Grand Valley State), senior F Jordyn Rauser, junior F Samantha Slimak and junior M Jessica McEachern are the top returnees. Senior D Allison Jiang, senior G Hadley Galczyk, sophomore M Meagan Lindgren and sophomore D Brooke March are also returnees. Freshman D Alyssa Carnes, sophomore D/Nalia Gebauer and sophomore M Lindsey Berschbach are quality newbies.
34. OKEMOS (13-6-0): After a slow start, Okemos gained some ground and won a district title last season when the Chieftains were not the favorites. Although Okemos lost its best player, junior M/FJackie Reilly (Oakland), to the Midwest United Academy, and three other players to graduation now on college rosters, they return most of their team and hope to be a top 20 team in D-1. Junior F Anya Dhar, senior M Sophie Alegi, junior M Savera Rajendra-Nicolucci, sophomore D Linsday Heise, sophomore D Tess Williams, senior F Zoey Williams, junior M Kelly Yan, senior F Amaeka Effort, sophomore Sarra Guggemos. Sophomore M Sophia Timm-Blow played with the Midwest United Academy last year, fellow sophomore M Lauren Stanley and junior G Sam Cooke are solid newcomers.
35. WOODHAVEN (18-3-4): Always a threat to win a league and district title, Woodhaven finished second in the Downriver League and won a D-1 district last season. Senior F Caitlin Brown (All-State Honorable Mention), senior M Elaina Hillman, senior D Jenna Martin, junior D Jackie Berceau, junior M Peyton Cheney, and junior G Ally Anderson all return for a program still searching for its first regional title. Sophomore D Morgan Hudgins played with the Michigan Hawks last season, while freshman F Parker Cheney, sophomore F Abigail Crispell and sophomore M Carlee Olsen are the top newbies. Woodhaven has won districts in nine of the last 11 seasons.
36. WARREN REGINA (15-7-0): The Saddellites reached the D-3 Final Four last season, losing to eventual champion Powers Catholic 1-0 in a shootout. With Powers and Country Day both moving up to D-2 and some of the other heavy hitters losing a lot of talent to graduation, Regina just may be wearing the favorite slippers. Senior M Marianna Muskovac (All-State First Team) has signed with CMU but is not the only weapon on this deep roster. Junior F/M Jordyn Collier (All-State Second Team), junior M/D Katy Feskorn (All-State Third Team), junior M Lauryn Collier (All-State Honorable Mention), sophomore M Madison Oakie (All-State Honorable Mention), senior M Haley Iacona, and freshmen Mia Iacona (F) and Jess Matayek (D) are a pair of high-level club players electing to play high school ball this spring. Senior G Olivia Desanto will take over the starting goalkeeping duties at the end of April when she returns from injury.
37. ROMEO (5-12-1): Not a traditional power, Romeo could be soon with several players back along with a deep and talented freshman class. The Bulldogs do play in one of the state’s toughest districts but have recorded some impressive results so far this season. Senor M Chloe Lucci, junior M Karia Johannes, senior D Jos Russo and sophomore G Emmy Rodger are solid players, while freshmen Samantha Springer (F), Sophia Zalucki (F), Bella Burke (M) and Sophia Baumann (M) all have high club soccer pedigree and should help Romeo be the turnaround program in the state this season.
38. MACOMB L’ANSE CREUSE NORTH (14-8-1): The past three years, LCN has emerged as a quality team and will again be one of the top teams in Macomb County despite five athletes playing for the Nationals Union Academy. Sophomore F Ashley Koch, sophomore D Emilie Clayton, junior D Isabel Kozicki, sophomore M Lexi Janas, junior M Andrea Weir and junior M Brianna Vultaggio form a solid nucleus. Three freshmen, F Haley Bennett, G Jillian Thompson and M Emma Kozicki, have filled in nicely.
39. NEW BALTIMORE ANCHOR BAY (18-3-1): Coming off perhaps its best season last year, which saw Anchor Bay win the MAC White Division and reach the D-1 regional semifinals, the Tars must fill in the holes of its entire defense that graduated. Senior G Ally Gaunt (All-State Second Team, 30 career shutouts) is the top returnee. Senior M Carlie Barone, senior M/D Isabella Hunter, junior M Briana Rumps and sophomore M Megan Buchan are the other holdovers.
40. MACOMB DAKOTA (12-4-1): The MAC-White runners-up could be more formidable later in the season as they work in several new players into the lineup. Senior M Sarah Fredrick (Saginaw Valley State), senior F Marcella Clark (All-State Third Team) and senior D Kaitlyn Maciejewski (Toledo) are solid down the middle. Senior M Katie Barraco (Rochester College), senior M Emily Pehils (Siena Heights), senior D Jena Stefaniak, sophomore D Brianna Cobbs and sophomore M Addyson Gorzelski all returning starters. Freshmen Kylie Cesarek (M/F) and Trista Walker (D) are contributing.
41. SPRING LAKE (19-3-0): The defending O-K Blue Division champions have also captured three straight D-2 district titles and reached the regional finals the past two years. Senior D Sara Gray, senior D Kate Gilchrist, senior M/D Madeline Zenas, senior M Keara Fritsche, senior M Phoebe Saunders, senior F Laney Peasley, senior F Taylor Colquitt, senior G Kamryn Lewkowski, sophomore Kate Lewkowski and junior D Lauren Hewitt are all back to aid the title quest. Freshman M Rann Gilchrist will make a name for herself.
42. HUDSONVILLE UNITY CHRISTIAN (18-4-1): Unity Christian, one of the state’s winningest programs over the past two-plus decades, has won 21 straight district crowns. Last season, the Crusaders were upset in the D-3 regional finals, but should be a challenger for state glory once again. Junior M/F Rylee Vruggink (All-State Second Team) and senior M Karly Michmerhulzen (All-State Honorable Mention) are the leaders of this band, while senior M Krystal Butterworth, senior F Claire Darby, senior D Lydia Glashower are also key returnees. Senior D Ally Hoekstra, junior D Emily Walters, and sophomores Sophia Bossher (D), Sarah Greers (M), Sophia Heyboer (F) and Bella Nagelkirk (M/D) will aid the cause.
43. GROSSE ILE (20-2-0): Perhaps with Country Day and Flint Powers moving up to D-2, Grosse le might break through and reach its first state finals. The Red Devils reached as high as No. 6 in last year’s rankings and lost in the regional semifinals. Senior M Lauren Naso was injured last season after earring All-State accolades two years ago. Junior M/F Roslyn Mehall, junior F Elizabeth Molnar, senior F Brooklyn Donkers, senior D Lindsey Jurecki and senior D Ava Napolitan, who was injured last season, are the top players. Two talented freshmen, D Alyssa Naso and G/F Veronica King hope to fill some graduation voids.
44. TRENTON (21-5-1): The defending Downriver League champs also won a D-2 district title and lost to eventual state champion Marian in the regional semifinals. Senior M McKenna Mascaro (Adrian), junior M Zoe Hornauer, junior F Brooke Honeycutt, junior D Hannah Martin, junior D/M Emily Smith, junior M Kelsey Montroy, junior M Raquel Fields and freshman F Sydney Anderson are the Trojans’ top players.
45. FENTON (15-5-1): The defending Flint Metro League champions boast 13 seniors and a key transfer on their roster of 23. Senior M Lauren Murphy (All-State Third Team) runs the show, while senior backs Chloe Wagner and Kirsten Foor, junior M Hannah Pozin, senior M Erin Controy and senior M/F Lauren Lamb are also back. Senior G Lauren Koscielmak, senior D Makayla Murphy, senior D/M Shelby Murphy and senior F Maggie Lutz will contribute. Sophomore M Callie Dickens is a transfer from Clarkston.
46. GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS EASTERN (13-2-6): Sitting in the shadows of district rivals Forest Hills Northern and Forest Hills Central, Eastern hopes to make some noise this season after finishing second in the O-K Gold Division last year. Senior F Riley Michaels (All-State First Team) gained a release from her Midwest United Academy team again this season and owns several school records. Senior M Liv Keller is solid, sophomore M Mary Dziuba is new coming over from the MUA and freshman D Allie Nembhard make this team strong down the middle. Junior M Alicia Kanai, junior M Adriana Latham, senior D Lydia Slater and senior M/D Emma Elmouchi are returning starters.
47. GRAND HAVEN (10-7-2): During a rebuilding season last year, Grand Haven fought for a third-place finish in the O-K Red Division. Senior F Jennifer Dear, senior F/M Alli Keyser, senior M Hannah Brackenbury, junior M Dahlia Jerosvek, junior F Miya Luckey. Freshmen defenders Ingrid Hentemann and Camille Berko will make an impact. Senior M McKenna Mascaro (Adrian) and junior F Brooke Honeycutt return.
48. LOWELL (11-4-4): A top-20 team in D-2 last season, the Red Arrows finished third in a deep O-K Conference White Division and lost in the pre-district to eventual state runner-up Forest Hills Northern. Senior F Regan Coxon (All-State First Team, Dominican for soccer and basketball) is hard to handle up top. Junior M Khloe Hayes, senior D Jaki Hayes and senior F Isabel Remar are all capable of postseason honors. Senior M Aly Holdridge and junior D Maddie Halfmann also return, while sophomore M Taylor Rank played with the Midwest United Academy last year and freshman D Madison Borelli will help keep this team relevant.
49. WALLED LAKE CENTRAL (11-8-2): The Vikings pulled the upset of the state tournament in an unusual fashion last season, upsetting top-ranked Walled Lake Northern in a morning district semifinal game, 1-0. Central is always a solid program and finished third in the first season of the LVC last spring. With junior D Jenna Ling injured and uncertain of return, junior D Jenna Jackson, senior D Elise Rodriguez, senior M Macy Robinson and senior D Mary Grimes are the Vikings’ top players. Sophomore M Abby White, sophomore F Abby Renner and senior M Ivana Perez-Diaz also started games last season. Freshman Mary Grimes has already been an impact addition.
50. NORTH MUSKEGON (21-1-0): The sole Division 4 school in the Top 50, North Muskegon put up some very impressive numbers last season only to lose in overtime in the state semifinals. The Norsemen outscored the opposition 147-5 and at one time had 16 straight shutouts. Senior D Ayia Pitts (All-State First Team) and junior F Sophie Mueller (All-State First Team) are two standouts that could lead this team to some postseason glory. Sophomore F Hope Johnson (All-State Second Team), junior G Bodie Collins (All-State Honorable Mention), junior F Gwenna Pitts (All-State Honorable Mention), senior F Abbey Grevel and senior M Grace Berends are also back.
BUBBLING UNDER (ALPHABETICALLY):
ALLEGAN (18-2-2): This program logged plenty of weeks in the D-2 Top 20 last season. The Tigers return several key players, including junior G Allison Bishop (15 shutouts) and sophomore F Myah TerAvest, both whom were All-State Honorable Mention. Allegan is 3-0-1 to start the year and is down in D-3 this year.
FREELAND (22-5-0): After back-to-back state runner-up finishes in D-3 and five straight rips to the Final Four, Freeland may drop a bit due to large graduation losses. Senior F/M Autumn Kloha (All-State Second Team, Saginaw Valley), senior F Erin Tyson, senior M Emma Lynch, junior D Tori Pilon, junior M Ashley Schmidt and sophomore F Sydney Herring return.
MIDDLEVILLE THORNAPPLE KELLOGG (13-7-2): Coming off back-to-back D-2 district titles, MTK is thinking big this season and cannot fly underneath the radar anymore. Senior D Kassidy Niles (Aquinas), senior F Maddie Raymond (All-State Honorable Mention), junior D Julia Curtis, senior M Ellie Adams, junior F Sierah Adams, junior D/M Savannah Bronkema and junior F/G Monica Bluhm (All-State Honorable Mention) all return. Four freshmen that will make this team even better F Ainsley Oliver, M Kiah Nichols, D Grace McNabnay, and G Tristen Cross.
PLAINWELL (12-6-1): A slight rebuilding year last season still saw Plainwell finish second in the Wolverine Conference. Junior G Rebecca Gibson, junior F Alivia TerMeer, senior M Maddie Pistion and junior F Paige Time are back for a program that last won a D-2 state title in 2011.
ROCKFORD (18-2-1): Gone are 16 players to graduation that aided the Rams’ run to a Division 1 district and the O-K Conference Red Division co-championship. Junior M Ashton Armock, junior F Natalie Hammer and senior D Elle Schneider are the three of the regulars back. Junior F Ally Coleman, sophomore F Avery Milo and junior M Kristina McDonald will see increased roles this season.
ROYAL OAK SHRINE CATHOLIC (13-5-2): A 6-0-0 start and with several club players and the D-4 Knights thinking big. this team should be a serious contender for a deep run in D-4 this season. Senior D/M Chloe Woodbeck (Purdue) can play all over the field and comes to the high shcool ranks after competing for the Michigan Hawks the past three years. Junior G Allison Lapoint (All-State Second Team), junior M Regan Robinson (All-State Second Team), sophomore F Ellie Plunkity (All-State Honorable Mention) and junior D Jess Reaume are solid.
UTICA FORD II (12-5-2): Reaching the D-1 state semifinals two years ago, graduation and Developmental Academy defections have taken its roll on the young Falcons. Freshman D Alyssa Romatz, senior F Kate Kaheel (Aquinas), junior D Jess Kole, junior D/M Jenna Vasquez, sophomore M Paris Retig, senior F Nicki Fiantaco (Moorehead State) and sophomore F Alexa Clampitt lead the charge.
WATERFORD MOTT (22-4-0): The Corsairs are another program knocking on the door after finishing second in the LVC last season. Senior F Kendra Lewis (All-State Honorable Mention), sophomore F Claire Breault, junior M Emily Dunn, junior D Avery Campbell and freshman F Katelyn Aiello are quality players.
WILLIAMSTON (11-6-2): The D-3 Hornets should thrive again this season after ranking in the top 20 all last season. Senior M/F Maison Fenech (All-State First Team), senior F Alexandra Alford (All-State Honorable Mention), senior M Hannah Each (All-State Honorable Mention) and senior G Erin Bowling (All-State Honorable Mention). Freshmen Elizabeth Bellinger (M) and Rochelle Maxson (D) will help make a difference.
MACOMB LUTHERAN NORTH (12-6-2): Traditionally one of the top D-3 programs on the east side, the Mustangs won another district title last year after reaching the state semis in 2017. Senior F Elaina Monroe (All-State Honorable Mention) senior M/F Carissa Carriveau (Ferris State), senior M Megan Starkey and senior M/D Anna Hebel are back to lead the Mustangs.
OTHERS TO WATCH
DIVISION 1 — Ann Arbor Huron, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Bay City Western, Caledonia, Clarkston, Clinton Twp. Chippewa Valley, Davison, Dearborn, Farmington, Fraser, Grosse Pointe North, Holland West Ottawa, Hudsonville, Jenison, Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix, Lake Orion, Midland Dow, Milford, North Farmington, Oxford, Portage Northern, Rockford, Saginaw Heritage, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore, South Lyon, Swartz Creek, Traverse City West, Utica, Utica Ford II, White Lake Lakeland
DIVISION 2 — Allendale, Allen Park, Battle Creek Harper Creek, Bay City John Glenn, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Byron Center, Cadillac, Charlotte, Chelsea, Dearborn Divine Child, East Grand Rapids, Haslett, Hastings, Fruitport, Goodrich, Grand Rapids Christian, Grand Rapids Northview, Holland Christian, Linden, Madison Heights Lamphere, Mason, Mattawan, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer, New Boston Huron, Ortonville Brandon, Parma Western, Petoskey, Riverview, St. Clair, St. Joseph, St. Johns, Stevensville-Lakeshore, Three Rivers, Wayland Union, Wyoming Godwin Heights, Zeeland West, Zeeland West
DIVISION 3 — Allen Park Cabrini, Alma, Almont, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Big Rapids, Birch Run, Brooklyn Columbia Central, Caro, Charlevoix, Clawson, Cheboygan, Frankenmuth, Gladwin, Goodrich, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Grand Rapids South Christian, Grand Rapids West Michigan Aviation Academy, Harbor Springs, Hemlock, Howard City Tri-County, Houghton Lake, Imlay City, Ithaca, Jonesville, Lansing Catholic, Lake Fenton, Lansing Catholic, Leslie, Ludington, Macomb Lutheran North, Marine City, Montrose, Muskegon Oakridge, Muskegon Orchard View, Otsego, Ovid-Elsie, Parchment, Paw Paw, Roscommon, Saginaw Swan Valley, Traverse City St. Francis, Wixom St. Catherine of Siena
DIVISION 4 — Ann Arbor Greenhills, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, Bad Axe, Birmingham Roeper, Burton Genesee Christian, Capac, Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Clinton, Dansville, Davison Faith Baptist, Elk Rapids, Elkton-Pigeon Bay Port-Laker, Grand Rapids Covenant Christian, Grandville Calvin Christian, Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett, Holland Black River Academy, Harbor Beach, Harbor Springs, Houghton Lake, Jackson Lumen Christi, Kalamazoo Christian, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic, Laingsburg, Lansing Christian, Leland, Madison Heights Bishop Foley Catholic, Manchester, Maple City Glen Lake, Marine City Cardinal Mooney Catholic, Marlette, Memphis, Midland Calvary Baptist, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, Muskegon Catholic Central, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian, Plymouth Christian, Ravenna, Rochester Hills Christian, Royal Oak Shrine Catholic, Saginaw Novel Catholic, Saginaw Valley Lutheran, St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic, St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran, Sterling Heights Life Summit, Southfield Christian, Sterling Heights Parkway Christian, Troy Bethany Christian, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes
DIVISION 1 — Defending state champion Novi brings back a fine collection of players and should be a serious challenger for a seventh crown in 15 years. The only problem for the Wildcats is that they are lodged in a brutal district that also includes top-25 programs such as Brighton, Hartland and Northville, while South Lyon is competitive as well.
That’s the story with a lot of quality teams in D-1, which will be forced to advance out of ridiculously tough districts in order to just play a regional game. There are realistically around 20-25 teams that have enough talent to get to the final week and play in the Final Four.
But certain loaded districts will cause for some tough battles come early June. Utica Eisenhower, Rochester, Rochester Adams and Rochester Stoney Creek are all together with upset-minded Romeo and Lake Orion.
Plymouth, Salem and Canton are grouped together with fellow power Livonia Stevenson.
Okemos or Portage Central should battle in the central and SW area, while Grandville, Muskegon Mona Shores, and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central are the top challengers on the west side.
Midland is the top team in the northern tier, while Grand Blanc is again clearly the top team from the Flint-Saginaw area.
Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, Macomb Dakota, New Baltimore Anchor Bay, Fraser, Grosse Pointe North and Utica Ford could emerge from Macomb County.
Walled Lake Northern and Bloomfield Hills will tangle in the same Oakland County district, while Birmingham Seaholm, Troy and Troy Athens have the talent to advance deep.
DIVISION 2 — While Marian has not lost a game since the 2016 state semifinals and is the No. 1 overall ranked team, buy no means are the Mustangs going to be unchallenged.
Detroit Country Day is now up in D-2 and in the same district which also includes Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook.
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern has been to the title game three straight years, with Spring Lake another strong side from that region.
Richland Gull Lake and Marshall appear to have the mettle to make deep runs from the southwest side, along with Stevensville Lakeshore.
DeWitt is the top team from the central area, Dexter is tough out of the Ann Arbor area, Flint Powers Catholic is up in D-2 and the top team from the Flint area.
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Dexter, Trenton, Plainwell, Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg, Forest Hills Eastern, Haslett, Fenton and Goodrich all have sights on solid seasons.
DIVISION 3 — With two-time defending state champion Flint Powers Catholic bumping up to D-2 this season and perennial power Detroit Country Day has migrated up to D-2 with a loaded roster as well, Warren Regina appears to be ready to carry the favorite tag this season with most of its team back.
The Saddellites were in the Final Four last season and competed in D-2 two years ago, reaching the regional semifinals.
One can never count out Hudsonville Unity Christian, which has captured 10 state titles with three state runner-up trophies over the past 17 seasons. The Crusaders were state champs last fall in boys soccer and have quite a bit of talent back.
The usual suspects which should fare well after that are the likes of Grosse Ile, Williamston, Freeland, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Grand Rapids South Christian and Allegan, which dropped down from D-2. Another team on the rise is Wixom St. Catherine.
Division 3 has seen only six programs over the past 20 seasons capture state crowns, but with East Grand Rapids, DCD and Powers Catholic now up in D-2 and Madison Heights Bishop Foley Catholic down in D-4, expect the remaining perennial favorites in D-3 to shine. Only five more schools have finished as the state runner-up in the past two decades — proving that this is a division truly dominated by powers.
DIVISION 4 — With two-time defending state champion Lansing Christian losing quite a bit of talent to graduation, there will be a new favorite in D-4 this spring.
The aforementioned North Muskegon appears to be ready to take over that role after returning a bulk of its talent from a team that lost only once last season.
After that, Royal Oak Shrine Catholic began the season 6-0-0 with a team that includes some future Division I colleges players. Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Ann Arbor Greenhills and Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett being the Detroit-area teams most likely to advance deep this season. Bishop Foley is 12-5 all-time in title game matches, while Liggett won in 2016 and 2005.
Kalamazoo Christian finished as the state runner-up the past two seasons and is 4-2 in state title games over two decades. Local rival Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic should be a quality side again in that region of the state.
Lansing Christian should still be the top team in Central Michigan area, while schools such as Burton Genesee Christian, Manchester, Monroe St. Mary Catholic, Greenhills, Elk Rapids, Holland Black River and St. Joesph Lake Michigan Catholic all have hopes of breaking through to the Final 4.
Only nine schools have captured D-4 state titles since the MHSAA split into four equal divisions back in 1998.
UPPER PENINSULA SOCCER
Since the court-ordered MHSAA season switch in 2007, the court order originally moved girls soccer to the fall and boys soccer to the spring for Upper Peninsula schools in order for the MHSAA to continue to host state tournaments for those schools north of the straits of Mackinac. At that time, high schools in that region had a choice to make.
Since there are only around 20 programs that sponsor boys and girls soccer in the Upper Peninsula, the administration and coaches of those schools have opted to keep their seasons in sync with the Lower Peninsula schools and have a coaches-sponsored U.P. tournament each October (boys) and June (girls) for teams in this region who still wish to compete in a postseason tournament.
The MHSAA does not sponsor the tournament, and U.P. schools can still play regular season games against teams from Lower Peninsula, Ontario and Wisconsin.
Marquette ‘A’ is the defending state champion in the U.P. girls soccer circles.
Schools that have sponsored girls soccer and boys soccer in recent years in the Upper Peninsula include Bark River-Harris, Bay Mills Ojibwe Charter, Beaver Island, Bessemer-Wakefield-Marensisco Unified, Calumet Copper Country Christian, Cooks Big Bay De Noc, Escanaba-Gladstone Bayside Unified, Gwinn, Houghton, Iron Mountain, Ironwood, Kingsford, Mackinac Island, Marquette ‘A’, Marquette ‘B’, Munising Baptist, Negaunee, Norway, Paradise-Grand Marais Unified, Rapid River, Sault Ste. Marie, and Wilson Hannahville Nah Nah Wahsh.
MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS
Since launching a state tournament for girls soccer for smaller Christian schools in the state in 1997, only four schools have captured a MACS state crown in girls soccer — Davison Faith Baptist, Troy Bethany Christian, Clinton Township Faith Christian and Midland Calvary Baptist.
Since first launching a program in 2015, Midland Calvary has captured four straight MACS titles and is one of the favorites again this season. Davison Faith, Rochester Hills Christian and Troy Bethany look to overtake the Bruins.
Midland Calvary will be postseason eligible in the MHSAA next season, and will likely do double duty, as the MHSAA tournament begins after the completion of the MACS tourney, which is competed in late May.
The MACS began a boys soccer state tournament in 1981, but has had a long assortment of winners in two divisions over nearly four decades of competition.
WEST MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN HOME SCHOOLS ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
For more than two decades, the WMCHSAA has hosted a State Cup for both boys soccer and girls soccer.
Although there are more than three dozen home school units in Michigan sponsoring high school varsity programs, only nine currently sponsor girls soccer — Lansing Home School Dragons, Hudsonville Home School Hornets, Sterling Heights Life Summit, Traverse City Home School Bulldogs, Lapeer Home School Lakers, Lapeer Home School Falcons, Grand Rapids West Michigan Heat, Howell HAACH Cougars and Flint CHASE Conquerors.
Life Summit (now just Summit) captured both the State Cup and Midwest Regional crowns in 2018, while qualifying for the National Christian Home School Soccer Championships, which will be held in Springfield, Mo., again this June.
Many of the home school programs play against MHSAA and MACS member schools, but have their own state, midwest and national tournaments for a wide variety of sports for boys and girls — soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, cross country, track and field, wrestling and even a few football teams.
Both Life Summit and Lansing Dragons have competed for national crowns in recent years.
Several athletes from these teams have wound up playing at the collegiate level, including at NCAA Division I and Division II colleges.
BY THE NUMBERS
Since the MHSAA began sponsoring girls soccer in 1983 with an open class tournament, a total of 58 programs have played in at least one state finals match. A total of 38 programs have captured at least one state title.
So what are the records in terms of finals appearances, state titles, state runners up, and most appearances without a state title? Check out below.
Most MHSAA State Finals Appearances (4 or more) — Madison Heights Bishop Foley Catholic (17), Hudsonville Unity Christian (13), Birmingham Marian (10), Birmingham Detroit Country Day (10), Flint Powers Catholic (9), Richland-Gull Lake (8), Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic (8), Livonia Stevenson (7), Troy (7), Plymouth Canton (7), Novi (6), Troy Athens (6), Kalamazoo Christian (6), Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (5), Northville (5), Brighton (5), Plainwell (5), East Grand Rapids (5), Grand Blanc (4), Rochester Adams (4), Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (4), Lansing Christian (4), Grandville Calvin Christian (4), Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes/Clarkston Everest Unified (4), Ann Arbor Greenhills (4)
Most MHSAA State Titles — Madison Heights Bishop Foley Catholic (12), Hudsonville Unity Christian (10), Birmingham Marian (7), Novi (6), Livonia Stevenson (5), Birmingham Detroit Country Day (5), Troy Athens (4), Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (4), Richland-Gull Lake (4), Kalamazoo Christian (4), Grandville Calvin Christian (4), Plymouth Canton (3), Northville (3), Troy (3), East Grand Rapids (3), Flint Powers Catholic (3), Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic (3), Lansing Christian (2), Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett (2), Okemo’s (2), Rochester Adams (2)
Consecutive MHSAA Titles (3 or more consecutive) — Hudsonville Unity Christian (6, 2005-10), Grandville Calvin Christian (4, 2012-15), Hudsonville Unity Christian (3, 2014-16), Richland-Gull Lake (3, 2013-15), Novi (3, 2005-07), Madison Heights Bishop Foley Catholic (3, 1993-95)
1.000 Percentage of MHSAA Titles in Appearances (2 or more appearances) — Novi (6-0), Grandville Calvin Christian (4-0), Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett (2-0)
Most MHSAA State Runner-Up Finishes (2 or more) — Flint Powers Catholic (6), Birmingham Detroit Country Day (5), Madison Heights Bishop Foley Catholic (5), Brighton (5), Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic (5), Grand Blanc (4), Troy (4), Plymouth Canton (4), Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (4), Richland-Gull Lake (4), Plainwell (4), Hudsonville Unity Christian (3), Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes/Clarkston Everest Unified (3), Ann Arbor Greenhills (3), Birmingham Marian (3), Bloomfield Hills Lahser (3), Utica Eisenhower (2), Freeland (2), Williamston (2), Lansing Christian (2), Kalamazoo Christian (2), Troy Athens (2), Livonia Churchill (2), Northville (2), Rochester Adams (2), Livonia Stevenson (2), East Grand Rapids (2)
Most MHSAA State Runner-Up Finishes Without A State Title (2 or more) — Brighton (5), Grand Blanc (4), Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (4), Bloomfield Hills Lahser (3), Utica Eisenhower (2), Freeland (2), Williamston (2)
(Photo courtesy of Birmingham Marian)