Defending WIAA state champions claimed the top spot in three of the four divisions in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association girls preseason state poll, which was released earlier this week before the season kicked off.
Mequon Homestead (Division 2), Waukesha Catholic Memorial (Division 3) and Racine Prairie School (Division 4) each were voted the No. 1 teams in their respective divisions by the panel of state coaches.
In Division 1, the pollsters selected Brookfield Central as the preseason No. 1 ahead of reigning state champion Milwaukee DSHA. The Lancers finished 15-0-3 last season, including a pair of 1-1 draws against the Dashers – DSHA prevailed 7-6 on penalties in a Division 1 sectional semifinal last June to end Central's season.
Both teams also ranked in the latest Top Drawer Soccer Spring Fab 50, with the Lancers checking in at No. 32 and the Dashers at No. 36. The Greater Metro Conference rivals are fourth and sixth, respectively, in the TDS Great Lakes Region rankings and are the top two sides in the website's Wisconsin rankings.
Catholic Memorial, which last spring became the first team to win five consecutive WIAA state soccer titles, is third in the TDS state rankings. The only prep soccer team in state history to win six straight state championships is Milwaukee Marquette, which claimed the Wisconsin Independent School Athletic Association Division 1 boys title from 1994 to '99, when the association disbanded.
Each of the four runners-up from last spring's WIAA state finals also are in the preseason rankings: Madison West (fifth in Division 1), Oregon (third in Division 2), Sugar River (second in Division 3) and La Crosse Aquinas (second in Division 4).
One interesting team to watch this spring will be Green Bay Notre Dame, which opened the season ranked sixth in Division 2. The Tritons have earned 10 state berths in the past 16 years, including the past two seasons in Division 3.