WATERVILLE, Maine — The Waterville Senior High School girls soccer team was presented with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during a school assembly Thursday.
The honor is part of the fourth annual MaxPreps Soccer Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard, and Waterville was one of just 10 girls soccer programs nationwide being honored.
The Class B state champion Purple Panthers finished the season ranked No. 60 in the country by MaxPreps, the online high school sports service and a CBSSports.com site. MaxPreps ranks more than 10,000 high school girls soccer teams around the country.
Waterville defeated Cape Elizabeth 1-0 in overtime during the Class B championship game to win its seventh state title and first since 2008. The Purple Panthers finished the 2014 season with a perfect record of 18-0 after outscoring their opponents 79-0 during the regular season.
“The girls put a tremendous amount of hard work into this season,” said Waterville head coach Ian Wilson in a news release. “This kind of recognition speaks to what is possible in the world when they put in the hard work and commitment.”
The Waterville girls soccer team had lost to Cape Elizabeth on penalty kicks in the 2014 state title game, and Western Maine girls teams had won 13 straight Class B state titles entering this year’s final.
Wilson said that loss to Cape Elizabeth was a turning point for his program because it made the team aware of its potential as well as ability to beat Western Maine competition.
The Purple Panthers were led this season by senior forward Pilar Elias and senior center midfielder Lydia Roy. With 37 goals and 24 assists on the season, Elias was named NSCAA All-New England and All-American and will continue her career at Concord University in West Virginia next fall.
Roy, who scored the winning goal of the state final with 38.1 seconds remaining in the first overtime, was named to the All-Eastern Maine team. Elias, Roy, senior midfielder Sarah Shoulta and senior defender Morgann Tortorella were named to the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B all-star team.
Sgt. First Class G. Austin Churchill of the Maine Army National Guard presented Wilson and the Purple Panthers with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during the school assembly.
MaxPreps uses a computer program to determine team rank. Prior season history, school size and comments on message boards are not considered in the MaxPreps rankings. The computer-based system uses the number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins, the higher the ranking, but the system also takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents) and strength of schedule. For example, a team’s ranking is hurt more by losing to a team that is ranked below them than to a team ranked ahead. Girls soccer rankings are updated weekly throughout the season.