Girls Soccer Power Poll: Spartans perfect again, Nease and Stanton extend streaks

This is the season’s final edition of the girls soccer power rankings. The boys rankings appear each Tuesday through the end of the regular season.


1. St. Johns Country Day (19-0-0, 1A). Last week: 1.

Quality wins: Bartram Trail, Bishop Moore, Bolles, Creekside, Episcopal, Tallahassee Leon, Tallahassee Maclay, Merritt Island, Montverde Academy.

This week: For the second straight year, the Spartans, ranked number-one in the nation by USA Today and the United Soccer Coaches, have completed their regular season with wins in every game. That’s hard to do. Even harder is running a winning streak to 63 games, or going more than 1,100 days unbeaten. But that’s where they stand after beating Clay 6-0 and Creekside 4-1. Abbey Newton scored four goals in those games, including a hat trick against the Blue Devils, and Payton Crews extended her scoring run to four games. The Spartans also showed their resilience again Thursday, rallying after going behind early against Creekside. Among the to recent weapons for the Spartans: Pressing seniors Alisa Detlefsen and Kirsten Pavlisko, who frequently start at the back, into more advanced roles to supply the attack. Next up is the district tournament, where St. Johns Country Day gets a bye to the semifinals pending a matchup against Hamilton County or Gainesville St. Francis.

2. Nease (16-2-1, 4A). Last week: 2.

Quality wins: Bartram Trail, Bishop Kenny, Gainesville Buchholz, Creekside, Episcopal, Flagler Palm Coast, Fleming Island, Fletcher, Menendez, Stanton.

This week: It’s the best season for Nease soccer in a decade. The Panthers ended the regular season unbeaten in their last 16 games, fueled by a high-scoring offense that powered 16 goals into the net in the last week. Nease defeated Menendez 6-2, St. Augustine 5-2 and Gainesville Buchholz 5-1 to launch a new winning streak. Sydney McClure scored six goals for the week, including a hat trick in the season finale with Buchholz, to emerge as yet another scoring option along with USF-committed center forward Bella Kober. Behind them, a midfield led by Dani Anderson, Logan Nicholson and Brielle Jabot has been one of the most productive in Northeast Florida. The Panthers enter the loaded District 4-4A tournament as the second seed, which likely means a Wednesday semifinal matchup against 2017 state runner-up Creekside for a berth in the state playoffs.

3. Bolles (15-5-2, 2A). Last week: 3.

Quality wins: Berkeley Prep, Bishop Kenny, Gainesville Buchholz, Cardinal Gibbons, Creekside, Episcopal, Fleming Island, Merritt Island, Navarre, Nease, Ponte Vedra, Vero Beach.

This week: Among the biggest strengths of this year’s Bolles squad: balance. Senior defender Taylor Menk has gone into goal-scoring machine mode for the Bulldogs, just in time for the district playoffs. She scored in both midweek games as the Bulldogs tied Bartram Trail 2-2 and defeated Fleming Island 2-0. Aunikah King, the experienced and lightning-fast anchor of the defense, and Emily Pritchard also scored in those contests. But Bolles couldn’t get on the scoreboard in Saturday’s regular season finale against Class 5A power Flagler Palm Coast, when they were denied nine times by a top goalkeeper in FPC’s Malia Dalzell. The Bulldogs enter the District 4-2A tournament, where they’ll meet fourth-seeded Bishop Kenny in Wednesday’s semifinal. That’s a potentially tricky matchup against the Crusaders, who held them to a 1-0 result on Jan. 9. With a victory, Bolles will advance to the state tournament for the 28th consecutive season, a streak exceeded only by St. Thomas Aquinas.

4. Bartram Trail (11-3-4, 4A). Last week: 4.

Quality wins: Fleming Island, Fletcher, Menendez (2), Niceville, Ponte Vedra, Daytona Beach Seabreeze.

This week: When the regular season ends with St. Johns Country Day, Bolles and Ponte Vedra, a 1-1-1 finish is more than respectable. That’s the situation for the Bears, who bounced back from Monday’s loss to national number-one St. Johns Country Day by tying Bolles 2-2 and then beating Ponte Vedra 2-0 in a contest of perennial St. Johns County powers. Jade Sparks and Taylor Radecki scored the goals against Bolles, while Maddie DeFranco and Tori Grambo were on target against Ponte Vedra. The Bears have outscored their opponents 69-20 so far this season. They’ll next enter the District 4-4A tournament, where they’re the top seed overall on their home field. After a first-round bye, Bartram Trail faces either Fleming Island or Oakleaf on Wednesday night with a playoff spot on the line. The Bears have already defeated both of those opponents this season, winning 3-0 against Fleming Island and 6-1 against Oakleaf.

5. Stanton (14-2-2, 3A). Last week: 5.

Quality wins: Bolles, Fleming Island, Fletcher, Mandarin.

This week: The Blue Devils have now gone two months without allowing a goal - really. They stormed through the Gateway Conference tournament with shutouts of Lee, Mandarin and finally Fletcher, outscoring their opponents 18-0 along the way. In the title game, freshman Olivia Winter and junior Sara Rosenblum scored to down Fletcher 2-0, securing the Blue Devils’ fourth consecutive Duval County championship. That tournament was the latest evidence that the Stanton back line - Alex King and Camille Prosswimmer in the center, flanked by Hannah Fischer and Lindsay Schmitt and screened in front by Naja Ashman - is as tough as any defense in the area. They’ll now head into District 3-3A competition later this week, starting Monday against Westside. Win two games, and Stanton will qualify for the playoffs for the seventh straight season and continue its run to return to the state final.

On the bubble: Creekside (10-4-4, 4A); Fleming Island (10-6-0, 4A); Fletcher (11-8-1, 4A); Menendez (10-6-0, 3A); Ponte Vedra (10-7-2, 3A).