Valor Christian leads spring soccer rankings after signature win

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(Courtesy of Paul DiSalvo)

One way to vault up the rankings: beat the top-ranked team.

That’s exactly what Valor Christian (Colo.) did Saturday, coming back from a halftime deficit to defeat Broomfield (Colo.) 2-1 and deal the Eagles their first loss in three years.

After Broomfield opened the scoring with a first-half tally, Valor Christian responded with two second-half goals. Oregon commit Ajanae Respass continued her hot start to the season with an equalizing goal and an assist on Peyton Parsons’ game-winning score.

Both Respass and Parsons have led the Eagles’ explosive offense, which is averaging over five goals per game. Respass has a team-high 11 goals in nine games plus five assists, while Parsons is second on the team with eight goals and leads the way with seven assists.

With their statement win over Broomfield, Valor Christian has climbed from fifth in last week’s JWS high school soccer rankings to No. 1 this week.

(Note that these rankings do not include teams from Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina, as those states are already in or close to their postseasons.)

1. Valor Christian (Colo.), 10-0

Valor Christian went undefeated in the regular season last year before losing in the 5A semifinals. The Eagles hope to avoid that fate this spring.

2. Triad (Ill.), 15-0

The Knights just keep winning, extending their unbeaten streak to 41 games (40 wins, one draw) and their winning streak to 39 matches.

3. Naperville Central (Ill.), 11-0-1

The Redhawks’ defense continues to shut down opponents. The offense just couldn’t find the back of the net in a scoreless tie with Naperville North on Monday.

4. South County (Va.), 8-0-1

The Stallions have not lost since 2019 and appear primed for another deep postseason run.

5. Broomfield (Colo.), 11-1

The Eagles rebounded from their loss to Valor Christian, their first defeat since 2019, with a resounding 8-0 win Monday.

6. Bentonville (Ark.), 14-0-2

The Tigers tied defending 6A state champions Fayetteville 2-2 on Tuesday.

7. Legacy (Colo.), 12-1

A loss to Broomfield is the only blemish on the schedule for Legacy, which has reeled off three consecutive wins since that defeat.

8. Gretna (Neb.), 16-0

The Dragons capped an undefeated regular-season with another shutout win, their 14th of the season. Gretna hasn’t allowed a goal since March 29.

9. Colonial Forge (Va.), 9-0

The Eagles tied last year’s Class 6A runners-up Patriot in a preseason scrimmage. Since then, Colonial Forge has won nine straight and outscored opponents 51-3.

10. Valley (Iowa), 10-0

The Tigers are averaging 3.6 goals per game and squeaked out a 1-0 win Tuesday over Dowling Catholic.

11. Broken Arrow (Okla.), 11-1

Broken Arrow won a district championship with a 1-0 win Tuesday, handing Owasso, No. 24 in last week’s rankings, its first loss of the season.

12. Colgan (Va.) 10-1-1

The Sharks have won six consecutive games since a scoreless draw with South County on March 31.

13. St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.), 11-0

The Saints defeated Blue Valley Southwest 3-1 on Tuesday in a rematch of last year’s Class 5A state championship game, which St. Thomas Aquinas also won.

14. O’Fallon (Ill.), 13-1

Since losing to Triad, O’Fallon has outscored its opponents 23-4 in five consecutive wins.

15. James Island (S.C.), 15-0-2

The Trojans, who have not lost in over a year, have four players who have scored 10 goals or more, led by senior Lilli Ray’s 17 goals.

16. Yorktown (Va.), 9-1

The Patriots have won their last two games by a combined score of 16-0.

17. Bloomfield Hills Marian (Mich.), 5-0

A 13-day break did not slow down the Mustangs, who recorded an 8-2 win Tuesday.

18. Chapin (S.C.), 18-1

Goalkeeper Peyton Henderson stopped a penalty kick to preserve the shutout, and the Eagles recorded a 2-0 win Friday to claim a region championship.

19. Lyons Township (Ill.), 12-0

Runners-up to O’Fallon in 3A last season, the Lions are gearing up for another postseason run.

20. Blue Valley West (Kan.), 7-1

It was an eventful week for the Jaguars, who won the Blue Springs South High School Tournament in Missouri but lost to sub-.500 Blue Valley Northwest on Tuesday.

21. Grandview (Colo.), 11-1-2

Grandview’s 1-0 loss to Valor Christian earlier in the season doesn’t look so bad anymore. Incredibly, that was just one of two goals the Eagles have given up this season.

22. St. Dominic (Mo.), 12-2

The Crusaders were shut out Tuesday in a 2-0 defeat to Liberty (Wentzville) but have outscored opponents 41-2 in their 12 wins.

23. Fort Zumwalt South (Mo.), 15-1

Since a 2-1 loss to Eureka, the Bulldogs have won four straight games by a combined margin of 18-3.

24. Pine Creek (Colo.), 12-0

The Eagles have outscored opponents 75-3 this season.

25. Wade Hampton (S.C.), 16-1

The Generals won their first region championship since 1989 last week and then followed that with two more shutout victories.

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.