Girls Soccer Top 50 Teams Preview: Forest Hills Central has sites set on first title in nine years
Grand Rapids - Upset last season in the state tournament, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central steadily built fuel to the fire preparing for this season.
The Rangers look to play with vengeance, and a chip on their shoulders, after their goal of capturing their first state title since 2008, and fourth overall, came to a halt.
Forest Hills Central was ranked No. 1 in Division 1 for the final month of the 2016 regular season, but dropped a 2-1 decision to Canton in a state semifinal.
Most of its roster remains intact as Forest Hills Central is ranked in the top 20 nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (No. 16 in early April) and the No. 1 ranked team in the State Champs’ preseason Top 50.
The Rangers are capable of reaching the final weekend and winning the title. Forest Hills Central captured state titles in 2005, 2007 and 2008, all in Division 2.
The Rangers are paced by Miss Soccer candidate in senior Bailey Kohorn, a Dream Team selection last season after scoring 26 goals with 19 assists. Kohorn played both midfield and forward, and has signed with Cincinnati.
The Rangers’ potent offense also features junior forward Madeline Becker (Grand Valley State commit) who had 27 goals and 11 assists, and was named to the second team all-state. Sophomore Stephanie Currie is also a returning starter giving Forest Hills Central one of the top offenses in the state.
Junior transfer Madison Donley and sophomore Abigail Irving, a pair of newcomers, add even more depth to the midfield and forward positions.
As much firepower as the Rangers boast, this team is also staunch defensively. Junior Emma Yoder (Slippery Rock commit) is one of the state’s top goalkeepers. Sophomore Avery Tack, junior Natalie Lunt, and seniors Katie Clay and Maddie Everin, a pair of four-year varsity players, unite to form a stingy backfield.
2. ROCHESTER HILLS STONEY CREEK (18-3-3): The Cougars captured their first Division 1 a year later than expected with a young team in 2016. If Stoney Creek repeats it won't be a surprise as this team is ranked 23rd nationally and are off to a 5-0-0 start. The Cougars graduated three players, two of whom were starters, and had three players defect to club soccer. The roster remains deep and talented. Senior goalie Gina Cerny, senior center back Amanda Harvey, sophomore backs Lauren Orlando, Amelia Kuntzman and Megan Solek, senior F/M Truly Hoenig (Oakland), senior midfielders Lindsay Schupbach and Emily Solek (All-State First Team) are all returning starters. Seniors Nicole Eichberger, Sofia Zambrano and Shelby Howe and 6-foot-1 junior D Isabella Ubaydai have moved into starting roles and all can play defense or in the midfield. Freshman Isabella Pardoski and junior Nicole Leone are new starters up top.
3. BIRMINGHAM MARIAN (16-3-2): Marian has five state titles and three more state runner-up finishes in the last 15 seasons. The Mustangs lost in the semifinals to Pontiac Notre Dame Prep last season (1-0). The roster is loaded with college recruits and Marian is ranked No. 1 in the first Division 2 coaches’ poll for a reason. Senior M Elaina Eckert (Marquette), senior D Maria Kaschalk (Troy), senior F Ellie DeConinck (Washington-St. Louis) and senior D Olivia Zardus are all four-year starters. Junior M Claudia Schilling (Virginia) and junior F Annie Bruce (Cincinnati), sophomore D Jansen Eichenlaug (Virginia) and sophomore M Katie Sullivan (Western Michigan) add to the loaded roster. Sophomores Morgan Cochran and Neve Badalow and freshman Anna Leonard are the newcomers that add depth.
4. BRIGHTON (18-2-3): After losing in the regional semifinals last season to Novi, Brighton is back in the fold and the Bulldogs are capable of bringing home a state title. Junior F Meghan McCord was the leading goal scorer last season and F Emma Shinsky (All-State honorable mention) has signed with Colorado State. Juniors F Alicia Shatrau, midfielders Alexis Shatrau and MacCulley Barry and D Sydney Ivers are returning starters. Juniors Emma Gould and Kayla Foran, senior midfielders Grace Vankannel and Sarah Caldwell, senior D Emily Brown, junior D Lexi Vandemergel and junior M Ellie Saladin also have plenty of experience. Freshman D Mia Hansen leads a talented cast of newcomers.
5. CANTON (17-3-4): The Chiefs put together a string of upsets in reaching the Division 1 final last season before being outmatched by Stoney Creek. This year there are 16 returnees and 12 seniors. Senior F Hannah Lapko (25 goals, Ferris State) earned All-State first team honors last season. Senior forwards Jen Richmond (All-State honorable mention), Raquel Church and Monica Newton add to a quality attack. Seniors Abigail Heyde, Megan Williams and Sydney Schembri, along with sophomores Carly Schwinke and Marlee Taylor and Katie Nestico anchor a deep midfield. Seniors Nicole Doucet, Kaleigh Mahaz, Sarah Willette and Nicki Giodano form the backline and senior Marine Kennedy is the new goalkeeper.
6. UTICA EISENHOWER (20-1-0): After opening the season with a surprising loss, Eisenhower is back to form with a No. 5 ranking in Division 1 behind another loaded roster. This club lost in a district final last season to Stoney Creek. Senior M/F Gabriela Jodzis (Michigan State, Dream Team), senior F Jillian Winarski, sophomore forward Lauren DeBeau, junior D Holly Morris and freshmen F Meike Ingles are the highly-touted players on the Eagles’ roster. Junior G Elizabeth McConkie, senior M Sofia DiMercurio, senior D Jenna Pettke, senior F Sabrina Raveane, senior D Rylie Tengler and sophomore D Emma Campbell are returning starters. Freshman D Megan Sidaway is another quality prospect.
7. UTICA FORD (12-3-1): Back-to-back runner-up finishes in the MAC Red Division will serve as motivation for another highly-talented team looking to contend for a championship at all levels. The Falcons boast senior F/M Cecilia Steinwascher (Grand Valley State), a Dream Team pick last season, and junior M Darline Radamaker (U-23 Haitian National Team) in their deep lineup. Sophomore D Alana Wood, junior F Julie Ann Piechocki, senior M Chloe Chatzis (Eastern Michigan), senior F Salena Speagle, senior D Olivia Parra (Detroit Mercy), sophomore Shyla Peters and junior G Maddie Vick are also returning starters. Freshmen Jessica Koje (D) and F Jenna Vasquez (F) and sophomore G Emma Boutorwick (Toledo commit) are newcomers, with Boutorwick coming over from ECNL Vardar club soccer.
8. NOVI (16-2-6): The sting of a shootout loss to Stoney Creek in the state semifinals lingers and the loss of two Dream Team players, and two other All-State selections, will limit the star power. Nevertheless the Wildcats, ranked No. 8 in Division 1, are still in the picture. Sophomore midfielders Jessie Bandyk and Emma Takata, senior D/M Jacalyn Schubring, junior D Riley Schultz, sophomore Lauren Calhoun, senior D Grace Backus, and senior forwards Annie Fisher and Bailey Baumbrick will pick up the slack. Junior G Callie Rich and freshmen Avery Frenchel and Michelle Jecmen are key additions. Novi has won five state titles in the past 12 seasons.
9. FLINT POWERS (21-3-1): Despite its fine play last season the Chargers still fell 2-1 to Hudsonville Unity Christian in the Division 3 final. This season the top-ranked Chargers have bolstered their non-league schedule and own a victory over defending Division 2 state champ Notre Dame Prep. Powers boasts two of the state’s top players in versatile senior D/M Rachel Philpotts (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and sophomore F Rachel Rasins (Columbia commit), a pair of All-State first team selections. Senior backs Abby Clothier and Sydney Wilhoite (All-State third team), senior D/M Emilee Pechette, junior M Maddy Cardinal and junior D Sophie Bubner (All-State second team) are all back. Senior M Sophia Dubiel is another four-year starter. There are several new players up from a 16-1 junior varsity squad. The Chargers started 5-0-0 and outscored the opposition, 24-5.
10. PONTIAC NOTRE DAME PREP (21-1-3): The Fighting Irish put together a memorable run last season in winning a state title. That included a come-from-behind shootout win over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern in the final. Although a slow start in April dropped Prep back to fifth in the rankings, this team is still formidable. Senior D Nadia Burbank (All-State honorable mention), sophomore M/F Celia Gaynor, senior backs Eileen Haig and Payton Williams, sophomore F Justice Gaynor, senior M Olivia Mears and sophomore midfielders Maura Kruse and Stephanie Maniaci will all be key players this season.
11. PLYMOUTH (11-7-5): Ranked No. 7 in Division 1, Plymouth appears to be ready to challenge fellow KLAA powers behind an experienced group and a number of talented freshmen. Junior M Haley Melnick, sophomore D Eva Davis, senior F Alexis White, junior M Breanna Pfeiffer and sophomore G Rebecca Przybylo are returning starters. Freshman G Ashley Bowles will be one to watch. Seniors Rachel Rubio and Eva Davis anchor the backfield. The Wildcats began the season 6-0-0.
12. GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS NORTHERN (16-4-4): A defensive minded squad, Forest Hills Northern rode that stingy backfield play to the Division 2 final last season. Junior D Emily Ashby (Michigan, All-State first team), senior M Natalie Belsito (Central Michigan, All-State second team), senior G Amanda young (Michigan Tech, All-State first team), junior D/G Lauren Kozal (Michigan State) are all big-time players. Senior M Sophi Terzes (Bellemine, All-State third team), senior D Krystina Dunston (Davenport) are two more college-ready players. Addie Brown (M/F) and Paige Myers (D) are among five freshman on the roster.
13. GRAND BLANC (17-3-6): A state finalist in 2015 and a regional semifinalist in 2016, Grand Blanc is always capable of a lengthy run and this year will be no exception. Senior backs Chelsea Clark and Lexi Childers are team leaders. Juniors Morgan Metzger (F, Valparaiso), Morgan Jewell (D, Northern Kentucky) and Ashton Cassel (M, Toledo) are all experienced players. Senior Maddie Fox and sophomore Madison McKay will share time in goal, and junior F Laura Wheeler is a capable goal scorer. Freshmen Faith Webber, Jenna Blackburn and Isabelle Walker, and sophomore Ally Childers are four newcomers that will have an impact. The Bobcats are ranked ninth in Division 1.
14. TROY ATHENS (16-4-2): The Red Hawks are right where they have been for most of the past three-plus decades - one of the top programs in the state. Athens reached a regional final last year and the state semifinals in 2015. Senior F/M Ashley Leonard (Western Kentucky, Dream Team) is one of the state's top players and tops the six returning starters. Senior F Lindsey Boots, senior midfielders Aubreigh Wachowski, Alexis Rogers and Hayley Rauser and senior Kelsey Malven are also back. Senior D Jenna Pena, junior D Emma Haggarty, senior M Heidi Berschbach and junior G Julia Lower move into starting roles. Sophomore M Skyla Gebauer, sophomore D Brooke Russell and freshman M All Leonard all are impact players. Junior D Kaylie Peake (Oakland commit) will miss most of the season to injury.
15. DEWITT (21-1-0): Despite being ranked No. 1 in Division 2 for a bulk of last season, DeWitt lost in a regional semifinal to eventual state champion Notre Dame Prep. Senior M/F Danielle Stephan (Dream Team) is in the ODP National Pool and the leading candidate for Miss Soccer. Senior G Brooklyn Holley is coming back from an injury, senior D/M Jessah McManus, senior M/F Mackenzie Dawes, senior D Madelyn Dickens, sophomore M/F Lily Stephan, senior M/D Lauren Payne, senior M Made Tiemann, senior D Katherine Locher and junior F/M Taylor Bishop all started at times last season.
16. ROCHESTER ADAMS (12-4-5): Despite having only two seniors and finishing fifth in the OAA Red Division last season, the Highlanders managed to win a district title. Senior D Ryann Owusu (Western Michigan, All-State second team)), junior M/F Hailey Wetzloff, junior M Tami Smith, senior M Anna Heath sophomore F Sara Samonski, senior M/D Hanna Smimard, senior D Kara Bronni and junior M Ava Bronsetti. Freshmen Justice Tillison (F) and Sara Bridenstein (D) and sophomore M Emma McCaughty are three newcomers who should make an impact. Senior newcomer Maggie Rogers in a Division I recruit in goal.
17. BLOOMFIELD HILLS (12-5-2): Ranked 10th in Division 1, the Blackhawks won the OAA Red Division title last season and reached a district final. Senior M/F Sam Ferry (Bellarmine University, All-State third team), junior F Christina Hickson, sophomore M Sydney Huston, junior D Bridget Paulon, junior G Becca Hancock, senior D Claire Beresford and junior D Lyric Sykes are returning starters. Freshmen midfielders Melissa Briggs and Molly Paulon will help the cause.
18. PORTAGE CENTRAL (12-7-1): Injuries sidetracked Central last season and the Mustangs were bounced in a district semifinal. There are 14 returning letter winners and eight players that have signed or committed to play in college. Ranked No. 12 in Division 1 in the first polls, Central has two highly-touted players in senior D Devin Jaqua, who has signed with Michigan State and was injured most of last year, and sophomore F Alana Richmond (All-State honorable mention), who has committed to Western Michigan. Senior D Tylor Maystead (Adrian), senior D Audrey Haines (Sienna Heights), junior D Madison Strayer (Adrian), junior M Morgan Wright, junior M Kayla Mathieu, sophomore Samantha Hawn, junior F Emily Mergener, senior F Josie Sibley. Senior Jennifer Warnicke (Kendall) and junior Macie DeWyse give this team two quality goalkeepers, Three freshmen forwards, Jenna Little, Lauren McColley and Jaclyn Sibley, add pop to the forward line.
19. LIVONIA STEVENSON (15-5-3): The Spartans, a powerhouse in previous decades, made a move back into the Division 1 top 20 and are ranked No. 13 this season. Junior F Audrey Kopitz (All-State honorable mention) is on an offensive tear to start the season. Senior M Megan Verant (All-State third team) and junior F/D Kennedy Thurlow (All-State honorable mention, Central Michigan) are fine players. Senior D Alyssa Benvenuti, sr. D Yasmine Jaafar, junior M Kayla Gacioch, senior F Maria Bayyouk, sophomore M Sarah Dressing and sophomore G Haley Demers all started games last year. Senior D Emma Werthman, senior F Sarah Monte and freshmen Abby Werthman, Meredith Hage and Mackenzie Fifer will contribute.
20. HUDSONVILLE UNITY CHRISTIAN (22-2-1): With 10 state titles since 2004, this program has done everything to assert itself annually into the top 50 despite being a Division 3 school. There is still plenty of holdover talent for the O-K Green Division and defending state champions. Led by senior backs Katrina Goebel and MaKenna VanKoevering. Junior D Gracie DeYoung, senior M Emily Orr, senior M/D Alaina Van Zalen, junior M Lexi Ponstein, senior M Grace Visser, senior F Katrina Goebel and senior G Emily Ponstein all return, and Christian is strong once again. Freshman F Rylee Vruggink will be one to watch.
21. MUSKEGON MONA SHORES (13-4-3): Here’s a statistic. No Muskegon-area school has reached a Class A/Division 1 semifinal. The Sailors hope to change that and won't be the biggest kept secret for long. They opened ranked a school-best No. 6. Sophomore F Reagan Cox is a rising star and on an offensive tear, scoring six goals with seven assists as Mona Shores is off to a school-record 5-0-0 start. Senior M/D Isabel Grace, junior F Sara Miesell, senior midfielders Nora Brown and Payton Emptemen, junior D Haley Garlan and junior G Megan Swanker help form a talented cast.
22. SALINE (13-4-3): Two years removed from a 22-0-3 season and the school’s first state title, the Hornets hope to make another strong tournament run after losing to Ann Arbor Pioneer in a district semifinal. Junior Morgan Jones and senior F Hannah Bird both earned All-State second team status last season, and seniors Bella Petrock, Maeve Skelly and Sydney Jarvela all return to the midfield. Senior D Emma Wright, junior M Tate Robinson, sophomore Devin Reilly are also back. Junior F Anika Dahlmann has made an immediate impact after competing on the club side with the ECNL Michigan Hawks.
23. LINDEN (16-3-1): For a program that has chalked up as many wins in the past decade as the Eagles, Linden is still seeking its first state semifinal appearance. This year’s 5-1-0 start has been led by senior midfielders Maddie Zayan and Alia Frederick. Senior G Madison Paige, senior M Taylor Acox, sophomore F Audrey Steiert, junior F Emily Waltrip, senior D/M Erica Breitling and senior D Samantha Hawkins and junior M Hannah Abel are all key players. Linden had 13 shutouts last season and outscored its first six opponents this season, 19-5.
24. EAST KENTWOOD (15-3-1): Led by senior G Maia Perez (All-State first team, Hartford), who has over 40 career shutouts, the Falcons will be tough to score upon this season. Senior D Madison Mohr (Grand Valley State, All-State honorable mention), senior F Janelle Quinn (Ferris State) and senior M/F Chloe Quinn are all college-bound players. Senior M Emily VanGorden and senior D Lindsay Juzwiak, senior M Emily VanDuinen and senior D Gwen Hoeksema are all seasoned veterans. East Kentwood lost in a district final last season in double overtime to Forest Hills Central after reaching a state semifinal in 2015.
25. TRENTON (21-3-0): Six consecutive district titles, two straight Downriver League championships, a regional semifinal appearance last season and a state semifinal appearance two years ago are some of the achievements this Downriver League program has earned in recent years. Last season the Trojans allowed 10 goals in 24 games (a 0.42 goals-against-average). There is plenty of college-level talent on the roster led by senior M/F Angie Davis (All-State first team, Grand Valley State), D Marla Cobeto (Eastern Michigan), M Maddie Knaggs (East Carolina) and M Lauren Pifer (Madonna). Senior D Elyssa Moody, senior G Christina Wynn, junior F McKenna Mahoney, junior D/M Kate Olzsewski and junior F/M Sara Vince are also returning starters. Sophomore M Makenna Mascaro is also a fine player.
26. DEXTER (20-2-1): Reaching their first state semifinal since 2008, the Dreadnaughts enjoyed a lengthy postseason run and have big plans for 2017. They’re ranked No. 7 in Division 2. There are 16 returning players that have contributed to a 3-1-1 start. Senior M Emily Zeitunian (Michigan Tech) earned All-State first team honors last season. Senior F Morgan Esoh (All-State honorable mention), senior G Caitlin Micaleff (All-State third team) and junior M Sammi Corcoran (All-State honorable mention) are also back. Senior M/D Claire Ketzner and senior D Louis Judge are solid in their own right. A mainstay in the top 20 since the early 2000s, Dexter seeks its first state final.
27. WOODHAVEN (20-4-3): Perhaps the most successful downriver Division 1 program, Woodhaven is still seeking its first state semifinal appearance. Senior F Katie Varney (Davenport, All-State third team), senior M Taylor Hudgins, senior M/D Sydney Acosta, senior D Sarah Cislo and senior G Kerstyn Williams (All-State honorable mention), junior F/M Samantha Clinton, junior D Becky Both, junior Natalia Milanowski, junior D/M Nicole May and sophomore M Caitlin Brown are all key returnees. Woodhaven recorded 18 shutouts last season and is ranked No. 15 this season.
28. RICHLAND GULL LAKE (19-3-0): After winning three consecutive Division 2 titles, the Blue Devils took a step back in 2016 and lost in a regional semifinal. Holding down the No. 9 spot in the state rankings, Gull Lake appears primed for another quality season and long playoff run. Owners of 103 wins over the past four seasons, Gull Lake welcomes back sophomore M/F Riley Wisser, an All-State first team pick and a Division I recruit. Sophomore G Sophie Tilbury, senior D Autumn Hoyt, junior D Nicole Miller, senior F Grace Clancy, sophomore F Avery Cook, junior M Taylor Wesley and sophomore F/M Emma Hanna are returning starters.
29. GRANDVILLE (21-2-0): Despite losing five players to the college ranks, including Miss Soccer Sydney Blitchok, this team will still be highly competitive, though young. Senior F Merin McDermott and freshman M Jen Blitchok lead the way. Sophomore F Alexa Dekam, junior D Erin Walski and junior G Erika Gabriel also return. Grandville has won five consecutive district titles and lost in a regional final to Forest Hills Central (4-1) last season.
30. OKEMOS (13-6-2): Division 1 state champs in 2012, Okemos looks to become a top-level team again this season after reaching a district final a year ago. The CAAC Blue Division champs last season return nine starters. Senior D/M Anne Major is a lockdown-type defender, senior M Hannah Hughes, junior M/D Lauren Southworth and junior M Angelica Davis give the Chiefs four solid players. Junior D Veronica Gawarecki, junior F Sara Lee, sophomore Sophie Alegi, senior F Skylar Westfall and sophomore F Zoey Williams are also back to the starting lineup. There are four freshmen who have made an impact and they are M/F Jackie Reilly, D Julia Money, M/D Anya Dhar and F Clara Van Wieren.
31. GRAND RAPIDS NORTHVIEW (13-5-2): This side has steadily climbed the Division 2 rankings the past couple years and debuts at No. 8 this season. Led by junior forwards Morgan Otteson (All-State first team) and Alicia Hall, this team packs plenty of offensive punch. Amongst the team’s nine returning starters are senior G Grace Wildeboer, junior backs Ellie Haveman and Ashley Robinette, senior M Lauryn DeShane, junior M Olivia DeShane, senior D/M Ryleigh Spetoskey and senior backs Chloe Warmukerken and Chloe Steffes. The Wildcats captured their very first O-K Conference Gold Division title last year and now will move up to the White Division.
32. SALEM (8-6-7): Another talented team from the ultra-deep KLAA, the Rocks will be another talented team capable of making a postseason run with 15 returnees. Senior D Gabby Teodorescu is one of the better defenders around. Senior G Skylar Brant, junior D Rhonda Nicol, junior D Gabriella Mazzuca and junior D Brittany Simpson make for a rock-solid backfield. Senior Olivia Harkins, sophomore M Jaclyn Deprez, senior F Nikki Pilot, senior F Jayna Lemers, junior F Ari Finn and junior F Katie Coleman are also key players. Freshman F Sydney Smith will help.
33. NORTH FARMINGTON (12-4-4): The Raiders return 13 players from their side that finished second in the OAA Red Division. Junior G Patel Tcholakian is a sturdy presence in net. Seniors M Olivia Elby (UD Mercy) and M Abby Hegarty(Lewis College) are key standouts. Senior D Bethany Wood, senior D/M Sam Bandel, junior F Gabriella Scambati and senior backs Jacquelyn Farquhar, Emily Peroski and Linn Granoo also make this team solid once again.
34. NEW BALTIMORE ANCHOR BAY (14-4-2): A 5-0-1 start is turning some heads in Division 1 and the Tars might sneak into the rankings soon. Sophomore newcomer Ally Grunt is a quality goalkeeper and junior F Rachel Russo is already putting up numbers. Senior M Mackenzie Rahn and junior D Bella Hunter are also solid players.
35. NORTHVILLE (8-8-5): Although the Mustangs went unbeaten in 2014 and captured the Division 1 title, Northville is not at that level, three years later. Despite a slow start in 2017, expect the Mustangs to be a tough opponent down the stretch. Senior F Megan Williams (All-State honorable mention), senior F Sydney Schembri (Xavier), junior D Kendall Dillon, sophomore D Jenna Lauderback, junior G Carlie Castiglione, junior D Morgan Osaer, sophomore M Nina Chimienti and junior M Megan Krygier all started games last season. Junior M Abby Gardiner (Michigan State commit) comes over from the Michigan Hawks ECNL club team. There are seven freshmen on varsity led by M Sarah Noonan, D Ariana Laba and F Erica Toupin.
36. GROSSE ILE (23-2-2): This is a squad that has been steadily rising the charts during the last decade. Grosse Ile finally broke through with its first appearance in a state semifinal last season. Three players that earned All-State honorable mention honors are back, senior F Kelsie Krauss, junior M Lindsay Miles and junior M Catherine Masserant. Senior D Alyson Lemerand, senior M Logan Gladowski, junior M Nina Auto and senior D Haley Labadie are returning starters. Junior G Chandler Donckers takes over starting role. Freshmen Lexie McNeil and Lizzie Molnar are forwards to watch in the future. The Red Devils started the year 6-0-1.
37. WARREN REGINA (16-4-2): The Satellites have joined the Division 2 contenders in recent years and should be able to be a threat this season and are ranked No. 10 in the opening polls. Junior F Betsy Luck (All-State first team), senior D Audrey Fleming, senior M Alexis Finazzo, and junior G Cecilia Musovac are all quality players.
38. WILLIAMSTON (16-4-1): Although the Hornets, ranked No. 6 in Division 3, lost a key player to injury, they inherited one of the state’s best when senior G Madison Clem (Michigan State) opted to play at the high school level after competing for the ECNL Michigan Hawks. She is ranked amongst the top 25 keepers in the nation. Junior Alexis Russell (All-State honorable mention), senior F Paige Lonier (All-State honorable mention), junior F Isabelle Herb, senior M Kenzie Seaman and senior D Brittney Daly are all returning starters. Freshman M Abigail Tuggle has joined the fold as a key starter. There are 14 players back from last season’s regional finalist squad.
39. DETROIT COUNTRY DAY (14-4-2): A perennial powerhouse program, the Division 2 Yellowjackets still have some quality talent, most noteworthy is senior G Isabel Nine (Michigan). Senior D/M Dagny Hill is another college recruit, and senior M Lauren Alshab (All-State honorable mention) is another solid player in the down the middle. Sophomore F Kennedy Bearden (All-State third team) is another quality striker.
40. MACOMB L’ANSE CREUSE NORTH (13-6-1): The Crusaders turned some heads with a 2-1 upset over Eisenhower in the season opener, as senior goalkeeper Erica Preer stood on her ground with 15 saves. Cailin O’Malley, Julianna D’Agostino, Mya Olekslak, and Tori Janas are all part of the attack. Sissy Novak anchors a talented backfield, along with Jenna John, Tracie Jegla, Elite Laporte and Kassie Witherspoon.
41. WALLED LAKE NORTHERN (12-4-2): There is still plenty of holdover talent that could keep the Knights relevant this season despite many of their top players graduating the past two years. Senior F Kamryn Szalay (Florida Southern), senior D Michayla Szalay (Florida Southern), senior midfielders Lauren Mangin and Nicole LaFrance, senior D Nani Walker, sophomore F/M Dani Wolfe (ODP national pool), senior M Sophie Fisher (Michigan State commit) and senior M Sarah Kadajsz form a solid contingent.
42. FREELAND (18-3-1): Three straight trips to a Division 3 semifinal and a No. 3 ranking has the Falcons dreaming big. Senior F Michelle Herring (All-State first team, 100-plus career goals), senior M Jessica Piper, junior M Mackenzie Stroebe and sophomore D Autumn Kloha are some the keys cogs in Freeland’s push for a state title.
43. LANSING CHRISTIAN (21-2-2): Ranked No. 1 for most of last season, the Crusaders lost in a Division 4 semifinal last season after reaching the final in 2015. This season Christin resumed the No. 1 role in the first rankings and are every bit as capable of winning the title with 10 returning starters. Junior F Kasey Jamieson (All-State first team) is arguably the top talent in this division and has committed to Liberty University. Senior D Abby Krueger (All-State first team), sophomore D Kealeigh Usiak (All-State first team) and senior M Juliana Figueiredo (All-State second team) are college prospects. Sophomore M Abby Lyon, senior D Lydia Sprague, sophomore M/F Eliza Lewis, sophomore F Rilyn Ross, junior M Jessie Kruger, sophomore D Natalie Krueger, junior M/G Alex Hanks and junior G Lynn Cullens help make this side one of the state’s most experienced squads.
44. MACOMB LUTHERAN NORTH (16-6-1): The Mustangs made a run to a Division 3 regional final and have enough talent to do it again. Junior F/M Mackenzie Reuber (All-State first team, Bowling Green commit) and freshman D Emily Mathews gives this team two highly touted players. Senior backs Megan Williams and Sydney Martens both earned All-State honorable mention status last season, while senior G Abby Dubak was All-State third team. Senior Emily Shoemaker, junior D Hailee Gore, sophomore D Kendall Carlin, sophomore F Elaina Monroe, sophomore M Anna Hebel and sophomore M/F Carissa Carriveau are also returning starters.
45. CALEDONIA (12-6-1): After finishing second in the O-K Conference White Division last season, Caledonia looks for a breakout year. This team will be hard to score upon with senior D Ashley Potsma (Oakland), senior G Lorin McCarty (Davenport), and junior backs Grace Avery and Macailin Rodriguez playing on the defensive side. Sophomore M Macy Wieringa, junior M Sam Williams, junior F Alexis Cook and junior M/F Kirsten Leek provide the offensive punch.
46. STEVENSVILLE LAKESHORE (13-5-2): Senior midfielders Sarah Dubbert and Victoria Bower return with goals to earn the school’s seventh district title in eight years. Ranked No. 11 in Division 2, the Lancers are led by junior M Natalie Stampfly, sophomore M Cassie Pallett, junior forwards Karna Johnson and Kelley Yack, junior G Kyra VanAntwerp, and senior D Grace Glowacki.
47. MIDDLEVILLE THORNAPPLE KELLOGG (14-4-2): This team has come out of nowhere the last three years and is ranked again this season in Division 2. Junior M/F Haley Dehaan (Grand Valley State, All-State second team), senior D Alyvia Thorpe (Spring Arbor, All-State honorable mention), senior F Alexus Barnes (Lawrence Tech) and freshman F Sierah Adams are all key players in this surging program.
48. LIVONIA LADYWOOD (13-6-3): The Blazers reached a Division 2 regional final last season before falling to Marian and are ranked No. 14. Junior M Emily Babon (All-State honorable mention), senior D Brianne Rogers (Ferris State), senior F Taylor Bullard (All-State honorable mention), senior F Clare Kelley (Albion), junior G Abbey Reppen, senior M/F Shannon Wolfe, junior F Catherine Charron, senior M Kate Money and junior D Gabrielle Tulley all return to the lineup.
49. LOWELL (13-5-2): Much like boys program, Lowell’s girls team has emerged in recent years and is capable of beating quality teams, and making a run. The Red Arrows return 13 players, 11 started games last season. Lowell started 4-0-1 and did not trail in any of those games. Junior M Darby Dean (All-State third team) and freshman M Khloe Hayes is an ODP national pool player. Sophomore F Regan Coxon, junior M Riley Conlan, senior D Christy Lyon junior M Maura Fitzpatrick, senior D Darby Fuller, sophomore M Jake Haes, senior M Amber Curtis, senior G Bridget Garter and junior D Hailey Hoevenaar form a solid nucleus. Freshman D Molly Frederickson has cracked the starting lineup.
50. SPRING LAKE (16-3-2): Spring Lake has a new coaching staff but remains in the Division 2 top 20. Spring Lake is always a quality side from state’s west side. Senior M Kaley George, senior F Laney Peasley, sophomore M Keara Fritsch, senior M Grace Thornley, senior D Phoebe Summers, senior D Maday Wright, sophomore G Kamryn Lewkowski, senior M Becca Bush and sophomore G/D Gracie VanLanceverde will lead the way.
OTHERS TEAMS TO WATCH
DIVISION 1 — Ann Arbor Huron, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Bay City Western, Dearborn, Farmington Hills Mercy, Fraser, Grosse Pointe North, Grosse Pointe South, Hartland, Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix, Lake Orion, Livonia Churchill, Macomb Dakota, Midland, Midland Dow, Portage Northern, Rochester, Rockford, Romeo, Saginaw Heritage, Traverse City Central, Traverse City Central, Troy, Utica, Walled Lake Central, Waterford Mott, White Lake Lakeland.
DIVISION 2 — Allegan, Bay City John Glenn, Berkley, Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Charlotte, Chelsea, Clio, Coldwater, Dearborn Divine Child, East Grand Rapids, Fenton, Fruitport, Grand Rapids Christian, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern, Haslett, Holland Christian, Madison Heights Lamphere, Marshall, Mason, Mattawan, Mount Pleasant, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer, Ortonville Brandon, Petoskey, Plainwell, Riverview, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore, St. Johns, St. Joseph, South Lyon, Three Rivers, Zeeland West.
DIVISION 3 — Allen Park Cabrini, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Birch Run, Brooklyn Columbia Central, Clawson, Cheboygan, Frankenmuth, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Grand Rapids South Christian, Hemlock, Lake Fenton, Lansing Catholic, Leslie, Ludington, Marine City, Marshall, Midland Bullock Creek, Muskegon Oakridge, Muskegon Orchard View, Otsego, Ovid-Elsie, Paw Paw, Pinconning, Roscommon, Saginaw Swan Valley, Traverse City St. Francis.
DIVISION 4 — Ann Arbor Greenhills, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, Bad Axe, Big Rapids Crossroads Academy, Birmingham Roeper, Charlevoix, Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Clinton, Elk Rapids, Grandville Calvin Christian, Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett, Harbor Beach, Harbor Springs, Holland Black River Academy, Jackson Lumen Christi, Kalamazoo Christian, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic, Leland, Madison Heights Bishop Foley Catholic, Manchester, Maple City Glen Lake, Marlette, Midland Calvary Baptist, Montrose, Muskegon Catholic Central, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian, Plymouth Christian, Quincy, Ravenna, Riverview Gabriel Richard, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest, Romulus Summit Academy, Royal Oak Shrine Catholic, Saginaw Nouvel Catholic, St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic, Sterling Heights Parkway Christian, Troy Bethany Christian, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, Wixom St. Catherine of Siena.