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Panthers’ unbeaten run culminates with WIAA Division 2 crown

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(Photo courtesy of @wiaawistate on Twitter)

An undefeated regular season did not earn Oregon (Wis.) the top overall seed in Wisconsin’s Division 2 state playoffs. But no matter, the Panthers knocked off top-seeded Whitefish Bay 1-0 in Saturday’s final to earn their third state title.

Katelyn Studebaker scored the game-winning goal in the second half, and the Panthers notched their 21st shutout in their 24th game of the season.

It’s the Panthers’ second title in four years and propels them to No. 5 in the JWS soccer rankings.

With all the high school spring soccer seasons wrapped up, these rankings encompass all schools that played in the spring.

1. Westminster (Ga.), 19-1

The Wildcats continued their dominance with a seventh consecutive state championship, outscoring opponents 148-11. Westminster is loaded with talent; North Carolina commit Evelyn Shores is one of five players committed to a college in the Power 5 conferences.

2. Grandview (Colo.), 17-1-2

The Wolves beat the top two seeds in the semifinal and final to claim the coveted 5A state title, avenging their sole regular-season loss in the process.

3. Yorktown (Va.), 22-1-1

The Patriots won their second state championship in three seasons behind a shutdown defense that posted 18 shutouts and an explosive attack led by South Carolina signee Shay Montgomery, who finished with 25 goals and 10 assists.

4. St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.), 17-0-2

The Saints tested themselves against the best, beating 6A state champion Blue Valley West in the regular season, and it paid off with a dominant postseason run to a second straight 5A crown.

5. Oregon (Wis.), 23-0-1

The Panthers last conceded a goal on May 11.

6. Briar Woods (Va.), 20-0-2

Virginia Tech-bound Taylor Price netted 32 goals and had 15 assists, as the Falcons rebounded from last year’s state championship defeat to win it all this spring.

7. Gretna (Neb.), 21-0

The Dragons outscored opponents 118-6 to capture a second consecutive state title. They are 42-1 over that stretch.

8. Fort Zumwalt South (Mo.), 26-1

Another repeat champion, the Bulldogs rebounded from a regular-season loss to reel off 15 wins to end the season.

9. Triad (Ill.), 25-1

The Knights’ unbeaten streak ended at 41 games, but that was just a temporary speed bump en route to their fourth state title in 11 years.

10. Lassiter (Ga.), 16-0-4

The Trojans dedicated their state title to Libby Rountree, a rising senior soccer player who died last summer in a car crash.

11. Searcy (Ark.), 21-0-1

The Lions gave up just one goal all season en route to back-to-back state championships.

12. St. Dominic (Mo.), 23-3

Despite three regular-season losses, the Crusaders never lost faith and secured a third consecutive state title.

13. Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.), 16-6-2

Another team that started slowly, Cardinal Gibbons played its best soccer at the right time, winning the state championship in penalty kicks.

14. Dallas Center (Iowa), 22-0

With a plus-95 goal difference, the Mustangs secured a state championship and a perfect season.

15. Wando (S.C.), 19-1

The Warriors have built a perennial powerhouse in South Carolina, winning the 12th state title in program history.

16. Metea Valley (Ill.), 22-2-1

The Mustangs won the first state championship in program history in a penalty shootout and ended the season on a 14-game winning streak.

17. West Forsyth (Ga.), 18-3

An overtime win propelled the Wolverines to back-to-back state titles in Georgia’s highest classification.

18. James Island (S.C.), 20-1-2

A year after capturing its first state crown, the Trojans did it again. Their sole defeat was a 1-0 loss to Wando.

19. Valor Christian (Colo.), 16-1

The Eagles fell just short of a perfect season with a double-overtime loss to Grandview in the state semifinals.

20. Homewood (Ala.), 20-2-2

After losing in the state final last year, the Patriots captured the program’s second state championship this spring.

21. South County (Va.), 20-1-1

The Stallions picked a bad time to suffer their first loss of the season, falling in the state semifinals and missing out on a chance for back-to-back state titles.

22. Ardrey Kell (N.C.), 25-2-1

Ardrey Kell lost the state championship in penalty kicks to Cardinal Gibbons, bringing its record in state title games to 0-4, but the Knights were otherwise brilliant in their run to the state final.

23. Bloomfield Hills (Mich.), 15-2-3

The Black Hawks knocked off previously unbeaten Northville in penalty kicks to win the state crown.

24. Blue Valley West (Kan.), 16-3-1

Despite some regular-season stumbles, the Jaguars showed their skill in the postseason, outscoring their semifinal and final opponents combined by 7-1.

25. Deer Creek (Okla.), 17-3

The Antlers secured the seventh state championship in program history but first since 2015, winning the final in penalty kicks.

Phillip Suitts is a contributing writer at Just Women’s Sports. He has worked at a variety of outlets, including The Palm Beach Post and Southeast Missourian, and done a little bit of everything from reporting to editing to running social media accounts. He was born in Atlanta but currently lives in wintry Philadelphia. Follow Phillip on Twitter @PhillipSuitts.