With high school boys soccer teams ready to start the season Monday as practice kicks off across the state, two-time defending WIAA Division 1 state champion Milwaukee Marquette will do so as one of the nation's top-ranked teams.
The Hilltoppers, who finished 19-2-0 last fall en route to winning their WIAA-record 11th state title – all in the past 16 seasons – are ranked fourth in the USA Today-National Soccer Coaches Association of America Preseason Super 25 and 11th in the Top Drawer Soccer Fall Preseason Fab 50.
Defending Division 2 state champion Whitefish Bay (23-2-1 in 2015) checks in at No. 24 in the USA Today-NSCAA Super 25 rankings.
Marquette lost striker Alec Philippe, the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association Co-Player of the Year who now is at Wright State, and a pair of second-team, all-state selections in defender Jack Bradford (UW-Green Bay) and midfielder Michael Russell to graduation.
However, senior Ben Leas is back – the University of Wisconsin commit was the lone defender named to the WSCA first-team, all-state team last fall – and midfielder Dominic Lambo returns after earning honorable mention all-state honors in 2015.
Coach Steve Lawrence's Marquette side also is ranked second in the TDS Great Lakes Region preseason rankings, behind only Ohio's Cleveland St. Ignatius, and tops the website's Wisconsin rankings ahead of Hartland Arrowhead (21-2-3) and Whitefish Bay. The Hilltoppers beat Arrowhead 5-2 in last year's state final.
|Team||Previous coach||New coach|
|Ashland||Anne Whiting||Danny Cheever|
|Brookfield Central||Jon Mroz||Dan Makal|
|Cedar Grove-Belgium||Josh Kohls||TBA|
|Germantown||Todd Fisher||Patrick Morris|
|Kettle Moraine||Greg Prospero||Andrew Kolokoski|
|Menasha St. Mary Central||Gary Kruger||Sean Johnson|
|Milwaukee Lutheran||Jim Van Dellen||Bryan Oechsner|
|Muskego||Eric Hess||Aleksandar Vidakovich|
|Neenah||Harry Kelderman||Nate Werner|
|Whitefish Bay Dominican||Patrick Connell||Andreas Davi|