By this time next week, we’ll know who owns what seeds for postseason play in high school girls soccer. For now, there’s plenty to decide, especially in Division I, where three teams still have a chance to grab the No. 1 spot and as many as eight or nine others are vying for a home playoff game.
How could that work out? I examine a few scenarios in my latest batch of power rankings, as well as a historic crop of top performers and pivotal games to watch for the final days of the regular season. You can catch up on past weeks here: Week 4 // Week 3 // Week 2 // Week 1.
This week’s rankings (records through Oct. 10):
1. Burr and Burton (12-0): There’s no confusing what’s at stake for the Bulldogs with two games to go. Win out and they own the top seed again in the Division I playoffs. A loss to either Mount Anthony or Rutland and BBA will likely wind up the No. 2 seed. Last week: 1.
2. Champlain Valley (10-1): Leaving it late against South Burlington, CVU still picked up a 4-0 win. Leaving it even later against Essex, the Redhawks managed to pull off another overtime win on the Hornets’ turf. Should the Redhawks win their final two games, they’d be assured of no worse than the No. 2 seed — or, with a BBA loss, they could slip into the top spot. Last week: 2.
3. Colchester (12-0): Continuing the playoff math, if Colchester wins out — for the first 14-0 start in program history — it could capture the top seed with a BBA loss or tie, or wind up the No. 2 seed, just ahead of CVU. As things stand, though, the Lakeshow is a win away from posting its best regular season ever. Last week: 3.
4. U-32 (10-2): Coach Rebecca Dezan’s crew has won seven straight and climbs into the top four in the power rankings after overtaking Milton in the D-II standings. Last week: 6.
5. Rutland (7-4): With a three-game week to finish regular season, including Mount Anthony on Tuesday and the finale at home under the lights against BBA (more on that below), the Raiders aren’t done yet. But there’s no doubting they’re vastly improved from last year’s 2-11-2 squad. Last week: 7.
6. Milton (8-3): A pair of shutout losses drops the Yellowjackets from the top five, but that’s an afterthought for a team with title hopes in Division II. Last week: 4.
7. Mount Mansfield (7-5): A 1-2 week last week, losses coming to Colchester and BFA-St. Albans, costs the Cougars some ground in the power rankings. Wins from their last two games, however, will be vital if they want to snag a top-four seed for the postseason. Last week: 5.
8. Mount Anthony (8-3): Upcoming games with Rutland and Burr and Burton won’t be gimmies for the Patriots, whose only loss since Labor Day weekend was a 2-0 loss at Rutland. Last week: 8.
9. Montpelier (7-3-1): Games against Northfield and Thetford wrap up the Solons’ regular season and wins would solidify their position as a possible contender in Division II. Last week: 9.
10. Stowe (8-2-1): Unbeaten in seven games, the Raiders have a 3-2 win over U-32 under their belt from the first half of the season and appear to be the team to beat in Division III. Last week: Bubble.
On the bubble: Proctor (11-1), Mill River (8-5), BFA-Fairfax (9-1-2), Essex (6-6), Peoples (7-3-1), Mount Abraham (6-6).
TOP PERFORMERS FROM WEEK 5
• Abby McKearin, Proctor — It’s pretty clear what the Phantoms striker accomplished last week, when she broke a 26-year-old record to become the state’s all-time leading scorer. Four goals in a 4-2 win over Mount St. Joseph and another in a crucial 2-0 victory over rival West Rutland puts McKearin’s career total at 152 goals and counting.
• Clara Johnson, Colchester — The senior pumped in a hat trick to key the Lakers’ 5-1 win over MMU then added two goals and an assist on Saturday as her team blanked North Country 6-0.
• Ernesta McIntosh, Mount Abraham — A two-goal, two-assist effort against Missisquoi was the driving force in a 5-0 win for the Eagles, which got the defending Division II champs back to .500 for the season.
GAMES TO WATCH IN WEEK 6
• Rice (6-6) at Milton (8-3), 7 p.m. Wednesday — The Green Knights find themselves in the middle of the pack in the Division I standings, a number of teams at or around .500 that still have a chance to host a home playoff game. Milton, meanwhile, smarting from two losses last week, wants to get back on track for a playoff run of its own.
• Burr and Burton (12-0) at Rutland (7-4), 6 p.m. Friday — It looks like the Raiders have the best chance to spoil the Bulldogs’ bid for another 14-0 regular season. Their previous meeting was a 2-1 BBA win under the lights in Manchester.
• South Burlington (5-6-1) at Mount Mansfield (7-5), 10 a.m. Saturday — Two more teams in the crowd in the middle of the D-I standings, South Burlington can continue its second-half surge, while MMU needs two wins in its last two games to try to sneak back into the top four.
• Colchester (12-0) at Champlain Valley (10-1), 10 a.m. Saturday — The cream of the crop in the Metro Division meet for the only time on the final day of the regular season. As noted above, plenty is at stake for both squads.