Defending Super 25 champion Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) will begin this winter as the No. 1 team in the USA TODAY Sports/National Soccer Coaches Association Preseason Super 25 for winter girls soccer.
Santa Margarita was 25-4 last season and ended the season with a dominant 5-0 victory over Tesoro in the CIF Southern California Regional Division I final.
The team returns several key players, especially on the back line, led by junior Notre Dame commit Chloe Boice, junior Emma Leong and sophomore Madison Curry, who scored twice in the title game and the game-winner in the semifinals.
Seven states play winter soccer (in alphabetical order): Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Voting was done prior to teams beginning play within the last week in several states. As has been the case in the past, the national rankings include 10 teams, given the number of states playing in the winter.
St. John’s Country Day, which went 21-0-1 last season and finished at No. 6, is ranked No. 2 in the preseason. Flower Mound (Texas) begins where it ended last season at No. 3.
Mount Carmel Academy (New Orleans) is No. 4 after a 21-1-7 season and top 10 ranking last winter. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) rounds out the top 5 after finishing out of the rankings a year ago.