Mars girls soccer makes preseason top 10 in national poll

Thursday, August 4, 2022 | 11:09 AM

By winning three consecutive WPIAL and PIAA championships, it’s clear that Mars girls soccer is one of the top programs in the state.

The Fightin’ Planets are one of the top teams in the country, too.

After going 20-0-1 last season, Mars is ranked sixth in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll.

Skyline High School from Salt Lake City, Utah, is the top-ranked team, followed by Bearden (Tenn.), Homestead (Ind.), Hingham (Mass.) an New Hartford (N.Y.).

Five underclassmen were named all-section during Mars’ championship season last year.

That includes a pair of decorated senior defenders — Gwen Howell, who has committed to Richmond, and Piper Coffied, an Indiana reruit. Senior midfielder Reese Dunaway has made a commitment to St. John’s and senior midfielder Ava Lewis will play at William & Mary. Junior midfielder Ainsley Ray, who scored the winning goal in the WPIAL finals and PIAA semifinals, was also all-section last year.

Soccer practice begins Aug. 15 for WPIAL teams, with the first scrimmage date set for Aug. 20 and first games scheduled for Aug. 26.

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