Cardinal Gibbons No. 1 in South Girls' Top 10; Small Changes in West Region


We’re one week away from our first full Nike/USA Lacrosse High School Girls’ National Top 25 update, but our first look since the preseason checks out the South and West Regions. Both have a lot of the same powers that started highly ranked with minor adjustments after some key head-to-head meetings. 

The South Region retains a number of familiar names from the preseason. Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) jumped to No. 1 on the strength of a narrow win over an American Heritage-Delray (Fla.) that has played a far tougher overall schedule but couldn’t stop the streaking Crusaders. Milton (Ga.), Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) and Steinbrenner (Fla.) are all in the top five with the final two scheduled to meet this week. Vero Beach (Fla.) and Myers Park (Fla.) used significant wins to move into the rankings.

A top three showdown in the West Region between St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.) and Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.) went to the second-ranked Wildcats, who remained unbeaten in the early going. They trail only preseason No. 1 Colorado Academy (Colo.), which also takes on Foothill-Santa Ana this week. The top five didn’t see any movement, with teams reinforcing their preseason rankings with some quality wins over lower-ranked — but highly respected — foes. Torrey Pines (Calif.) remained highly ranked despite three losses because of its quality of opponents. La Jolla (Calif.) fell out of the Top 10 after an injury plagued opening. Cathedral Catholic (Calif.), whose only loss came to St. Ignatius, and unbeaten San Ramon Valley (Calif.) slide into the Top 10. 


1. Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.), 5-0

After starting off last year 0-2, the Crusaders are on a 24-game winning streak dating back over a year. Cardinal Gibbons pulled off a challenging 14-13 win over American Heritage-Delray on March 10. Cardinal Gibbons followed that with an 18-9 victory over St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.). Junior Charlotte Jackson notched hat tricks in the sweep of the Florida powers. Previous: 4

2. American Heritage-Delray (Fla.), 10-2

The Stallions are off to a strong start despite beginning the season with a daunting schedule. Their only blemish to date was a 14-13 loss to Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) on March 10. American Heritage-Delray has since picked up notable wins over Bishop Ireton (Va.) and Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.). Previous: 1

3. Milton (Ga.), 8-0

With a more experienced squad this year, the Eagles are blowing away competition by outsourcing them 131-52. Emma Heenan has led the team in goal scoring with 23 tallies while Emily Simkin tops Milton with 41 points. Previous: 2

4. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 10-1

After defeating American Heritage-Delray in last year’s state championship, the Highlanders came up short against the Stallions on March 3, giving Lake Highland its only loss of the season so far. Otherwise, Lake Highland has handled a tough schedule, with wins over Vero Beach (Fla.) and St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.). Lake Highland has used a balanced scoring attack to start the year with six different players in double figures through 11 games. Previous: 3

5. Steinbrenner (Fla.), 7-1

After winning their first seven games by allowing just 21 goals, the Warriors lost for the first time in 2023 on March 10 to Paul VI (Va.) 15-10. After a nearly two-week break, Steinbrenner returns to face a tough test against Lake Highland Prep (Fla.). Seven different Warriors are in double figures to start the season, including leading goal scorer Kate Prentice with 21. Previous: 5

6. Hockaday (Texas), 6-0

Taking on out-of-state opposition in four of its first six contests, Hockaday has won every game so far by at least five goals. The early schedule was highlighted by a 15-4 win at La Jolla (Calif.). Previous: 8

7. Bartram Trail (Fla.), 8-1

The Bears entered spring break with seven wins by double figures. Bartram Trail’s only loss was to American Heritage-Delray (Fla.) on February 24. Bartram Trail returns from a nearly two-week layoff to face St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) this week. Junior Ryann Frechette, a Florida recruit, is among national leaders with 63 goals to start the season. Previous: 7

8. Vero Beach (Fla.), 11-2

Vero Beach has started the season with notable wins over Episcopal School of Jacksonville (Fla.), Hagerty (Fla.) and Ponte Vedra (Fla.). Its only losses came against Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) and Gerstell Academy (Md.). Previous: NR

9. Blessed Trinity (Ga.), 9-2

In arguably the most-watched matchup in the state this season, the Titans took Milton down to the wire ultimately falling to the Eagles 10-9. Blessed Trinity’s only other loss this year was a 7-6 heartbreaker to Johns Creek (Ga.). Previous: 8

10. Myers Park (N.C.), 7-0

The Mustangs enter the rankings after starting the season with an impressive 9-8 win over Weddington (N.C.). Myers Park also picked up a 10-9 win over Holly Springs (N.C.) early in the year. Sophomores Burkley and Harper Ayres each have a team-leading 12 goals to start the year. Previous: NR 

— Justin Boggs


1. Colorado Academy (Colo.), 3-0

The Mustangs opened the season with three straight wins. Their biggest challenge so far came in the second game when they stopped No. 9 Fairview (Colo.) 13-9 in a good early season match. Zoe Martin had five goals to pace the attack. Colorado travels out of state for a couple of games at Mater Dei (Calif.) and Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.) this week before a big break. Previous: 1

2. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), 4-0

Top-10 wins over Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.) and Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) highlight the perfect start for the Wildcats. They’ve also knocked off Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) for a good win. St. Ignatius can’t let its guard down this week with games against San Ramon Valley (Calif.) on March 21 and Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.) on March 24. Previous: 2

3. Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.), 6-1

St. Ignatius figured out what the Knights’ first six opponents could not to hand them their first loss of the year. Foothill-Santa Ana had already recorded strong wins over Santa Margarita (Calif.), Torrey Pines (Calif.), St. Johns (Texas) and La Jolla (Calif.). The Knights take another big test on March 23 when they host No. 1 Colorado Academy. Previous: 3

4. Valor Christian (Colo.), 2-1

After the Eagles opened the year with an easy win in-state over Denver East (Colo.), they split a pair of games in Florida. Valor edged IMG Academy, 11-9, before falling to highly regarded Lake Highland Prep (Fla.). Reagan Digby had five goals and three assists and Eliza Osburn scored four times in the win over IMG. Kaley Kakac won 11 draw controls. Valor is looking for a pair of wins this week with Fairview (Colo.) and Regis Jesuit (Colo.) providing strong competition. Previous: 4

5. Jesuit Portland (Ore.), 2-0

The Crusaders passed an early test with an 8-6 win over Lake Oswego (Ore.) on Friday in a rematch of last year’s state championship that was also won by Jesuit. Jesuit has a chance to remain unbeaten with games against Lincoln (Ore.), Grant (Ore.) and finally Tigard (Ore.), whom they have already beaten once this season. Previous: 5

6. Torrey Pines (Calif.), 3-3

The Falcons don’t have a sparkling record, but their strong schedule has them still solidly in the top 10. After three straight losses to talented teams, Torrey Pines got back to winning with a 16-7 victory over Scripps Ranch (Calif.). Torrey Pines fell at the hands of Foothill-Santa Ana in a state battle, then fell to a pair of national powers in Hockaday (Texas) and St. Paul’s (Md.). They’ll play at Coronado (Calif.) on March 20. Previous: 7

7. Cherry Creek (Colo.), 4-0

The Bruins have been just fine despite facing a schedule that will send them on the road for their first six games. Wins at Evergreen (Colo.) and La Costa Canyon (Calif.) were the latest in an impressive start. Senior midfielder Sawyer Billings (Stanford), sophomore midfielder Ava Whitt and senior defender Becca Zerr were instrumental in the good start to the year. Cherry Creek was scheduled to play at La Jolla (Calif.) on March 20. A key matchup with Valor Christian looms on March 30. Previous: 8

8. Cathedral Catholic (Calif.), 6-1

The Dons bounced back from their first loss of the year to stop La Costa Canyon (Calif.) 9-7 on Friday to climb into the Top 10. Peyton Bosshardt had a hat trick and two assists, and Briley Volpp scored a goal and won four draw controls. St. Ignatius defeated Cathedral the day before despite a pair of goals apiece from Volpp and Alexis Felago. Cathedral had won its first five games, including knocking off Santa Margarita (Calif.) and Scripps Ranch (Calif.), the latter in which Bosshardt and Volpp combined for 10 goals. Previous: NR

9. Fairview (Colo.), 2-1

The Knights were scheduled for another big game at Valor Christian on March 20. Sandwiched around wins over Green Mountain (Colo.) and Northfield (Calif.) was a 13-9 loss to top-ranked Colorado Academy. Fairview also hosts Pine Creek (Colo.) this week before a sizeable break. Previous: 9

10. San Ramon Valley (Calif.), 4-0

The Wolves outscored their first four opponents, 42-15, for a good start heading into a chance to make a statement. San Ramon Valley hosts St. Ignatius (Calif.) on March 21 in a Top-10 matchup. They also face Livermore (Calif.) and Marin Catholic (Calif.) in a busy week. Previous: NR

— Justin Feil

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