The state finals this past weekend were littered with local girls high school soccer teams. Four out of the five title bouts featured teams who hail from the area with one matchup including two squads from the same league pitted against each other.
All of it was just another example of exceptional soccer to come out of the region this year, making this final Top 10 rankings as hard as ever and loaded with top-tier teams.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Hingham (1)
Coming up just one win shy of the ultimate goal in the top division won’t bump the Harborwomen from the top spot, which they held all season. Despite having their 30-game unbeaten streak snapped with a loss to Natick in the Div. 1 state final Saturday, Hingham put together an absurdly successful season and has suffered defeat only twice since Sarah Dacey took over last year.
Eastern Mass Girls Soccer Coaches Association All-American Sophie Reale along with Claire Murray should have Hingham looking to complete unfinished business next year.
2. Whitman-Hanson (4)
The Panthers endured so much heartbreak in the state tournament over recent years, but it was replaced this season with the joy of claiming the Div. 2 state title in thrilling fashion. Whitman-Hanson topped Silver Lake, 3-1, for the crown as the Panthers scored three goals in the final 12 minutes.
The Panthers are year in and year out amongst the state’s elite and this time they have the hardware to prove it.
3. Norwell (5)
Allison Jenkins didn’t have to put on a cape to be the hero for Norwell as her overtime goal in a 2-1 victory over Dedham lifted the Clippers to a Div. 3 state title. For Norwell, it was its second state championship since 2018.
After a season-opening loss, the Clippers won 20 out of their final 22 games with the other two results being ties. It’s starting to become hard to track all the state titles coach Kara Connerty has won as she now has seven total while being at the helm of the soccer and girls lacrosse teams at Norwell.
4. Silver Lake (7)
The Lakers came agonizingly close to making history by winning their first-ever state title, but had to settle for the runner-up spot to Whitman-Hanson. It still doesn’t take away from the magical season Silver Lake engineered and the success they ultimately achieved to reach that point.
Silver Lake’s star-studded trio of Shea Kelleher, Lauren Dwyer and Mckenna Sylvester were the catalysts to its terrific run.
5. Cohasset (8)
The Skippers were certainly worthy of coming away with a Div. 4 state crown, but were denied in the title bout due to a sensational individual effort from Hamilton-Wenham’s Claire Nistl, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime.
Cohasset finished the campaign with a 16-3-2 record and tore through its first four postseason opponents, outscoring them, 16-1. The Skippers will lose eight seniors to graduation, but will remain ready to make another run with Cat Herman and Tess Barrett, who was the only freshman named to the EMGSCA All-State team, back leading the charge.
6. Plymouth North (6)
The Patriot League flexed its muscles this postseason and Plymouth North was a part of that. The Blue Eagles earned the top seed in the Div. 2 field and won three state tournament games in convincing fashion.
Plymouth North’s loaded senior class, led by Megan Banzi and Carly Schofield, changed the direction of the program after the Blue Eagles failed to make the postseason from 2015-2018.
7. West Bridgewater (NR)
Man, did the Wildcats make me look foolish for having them on the outskirts of these rankings all season. West Bridgewater dominated the Mayflower Athletic Conference, but really showed its mettle by making a run to the Div. 4 state semifinal, where it fell to eventual champion Hamilton-Wenham.
Arianna Georgantas starred for the Wildcats, whose excellent campaign ended with a 19-3 record.
8. Oliver Ames (2)
The Tigers didn’t have the postseason success many imagined, bowing out in the second round of the Div. 2 state tournament in an overtime loss to Westwood after going 13-1-2 in the regular season.
However, Oliver Ames can take solace in the fact that it won the Hockomock League Davenport crown this year, not an easy feat by any stretch given the number of quality teams in the league. Camryn O’Connor, who will play next year at Boston University, earned EMGSCA All-New England honors after leading the Tigers in scoring.
9. Hanover (3)
The Hawks had many similarities to Oliver Ames, including suffering the same postseason fate with Hanover falling in the second round of the Div. 3 state tournament. The Hawks were still able to celebrate claiming a divisional crown by winning the Patriot League Fisher title by five games.
Molly McGlame got the most out of her return to Hanover this season, leading the Hawks in scoring and finishing second in the Patriot League with 33 points in the regular season.
10. Carver (NR)
It was a cinderella run of sorts for the No. 15 Crusaders as they beat two higher seeds en route to a Division 5 state semifinal appearance. Carver was battle-tested playing in the South Shore League and that formula should work again next year, especially with the Crusaders only graduating two players from their roster.
On the bench: Notre Dame Academy, Scituate, East Bridgewater, Marshfield.