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Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Worcester finishes atop prep school Top 10

By Sheldon Shealer

Worcester Academy
Worcester Academy players celebrate their Class A title in November.
There's a group of slightly more than 100 prep schools in the New England region that go largely unnoticed nationally, yet turn out quality programs and athletes each year. These schools, members of the New England Preparatory Schools Athletic Conference, are not eligible for POWERADE FAB 50 consideration since the league allows post-grads. That said, here's a look at the Top 10 Prep schools from the recently completed fall season, as determined by ESPNHS.

1. Worcester Academy (Worcester, Mass.), 13-0-4
NEPSAC Class A champion


Emily Doherty scored the game-winning goal on an assist from Nicole Wilson as Worcester Academy defeated Loomis Chaffee 2-1 to win a NEPSAC title in the team’s first season in Class A. Wilson scored Worcester Academy’s first goal, which was assisted by Jill Marois. Worcester Academy advanced to the final with a shootout victory over Phillips Exeter in the semifinals. Before moving up to Class A, Worcester Academy had won the 2008 and 2009 Class B titles and finished as the B runner-up in 2010. Over the past four seasons, Worcester Academy is 57-2-11. NEPSAC MVP Bridget McCarthy recorded seven shutouts in goal. Marois, a senior, led the team with 11 goals. Doherty finished with seven goals and six assists.

2. Loomis Chaffee (Windsor, Conn.), 12-3-1
NEPSAC Class A runner-up


Loomis Chaffee’s season ended with a 2-1 loss to Worcester Academy in the Class A final. In the semifinals, Loomis had a 2-1 overtime win over tournament No. 1 seed Phillips Andover, a team in which it lost to during the regular season. Loomis Chaffee was under the guidance of first-year coach Carey O’Brien, who previously spent eight years as an assistant at the University of Connecticut. Liana Hinds and Faith McCarthy were two of the team’s top players in 2011.

3. Phillips Andover (Andover, Mass.), 14-2-3
NEPSAC Class A semifinalist


Phillips Andover was the No. 1 seed in the Class A tournament but lost to Loomis Chaffee 2-1 in overtime in the semifinals. Phillips had regular-season wins over Loomis Chaffee, Phillips Exeter, Choate and Class B champ Governor’s School during the regular season. The playoff loss to Loomis Chaffee ended a 16-match undefeated streak.

4. Choate (Wallingford, Conn.), 12-3-2
NEPSAC Class A quarterfinalist


Choate was the No. 5 seed in the Class A tournament and lost 1-0 in overtime to Loomis Chaffee, which went on to place second. Choate lost twice to Loomis Chaffee and once to Phillips Andover. The team went 12-0-2 against all other teams, which included a regular-season win over Phillips Exeter.

5. Phillips Exeter (Exeter, N.H.), 15-4-0
NEPSAC Class A semifinalist


After knocking off No. 3 seed Noble and Greenough, Phillips Exeter lost to Worcester Academy 2-1 in penalty kicks in the Class A semifinals. Phillips Exeter defeated Class B champ Governor’s Academy and Brooks School during the regular season.

6. Noble and Greenough (Dedham, Mass.), 11-1-5
NEPSAC Class A quarterfinalist


Noble and Greenough entered the playoffs as the No. 3 seed, but lost its quarterfinal match to Phillips Exeter 1-0. Nobles’ 16-match regular-season undefeated run included wins over Brooks, Class B champ Governor’s Academy and Class B runner-up Rivers and a draw with Loomis Chaffee. Eliza Loring, Hannah Matlack, Coco Woeltz were named to the all Independent School League all-star team.

7. Brooks (North Andover, Mass.), 8-5-4
NEPSAC Class A playoff non-qualifier


Although Brooks failed to qualify for the Class A playoffs, the team posted impressive results during the regular season, which included a win over Class B champ Governor’s Academy and a tie with Class B runner-up Rivers School. Sarah Bresette, Abby Hammerl and Emilie Klein were named to the all-Independent School League all-star team.

8. Governor's Academy (Byfield, Mass.), 10-5-1
NEPSAC Class B champion


After upsetting top-seeded Rivers School in the semifinals, Governor's Academy won the Class B title with a 3-1 decision over Lawrence Academy (Groton, Mass.). Kendall Ham and Siobhan McDonough were named to the all-Independent School League all-star team.

9. Rivers School (Weston, Mass.), 12-3-3
NEPSAC Class B runner-up


Rivers School lost to Governor’s Academy 2-1 in penalty kicks in the Class B semifinals. Rivers played a strong regular-season schedule and came away with a win over Class A Phillips Andover and a tie with Brooks School. Rivers defeated Governor’s Academy during the regular season, before the playoff upset. Brooke Stoller and Nicki Wilkins were named to the all-Independent School League all-star team.

10. St. Luke's (New Canaan, Conn.), 16-2-1
NEPSAC Class C champion


St. Luke’s defeated Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) 1-0 to claim the Class C title.