State of Play: New England girls

Soccer is fortunate in New England.

All six states will play high school soccer as scheduled in the fall though Rhode Island won't kick off its season until Friday. Only New Hampshire, by contrast, is offering 11 v 11 tackle football in the fall.

The four New England teams in the new Girls Academy have been playing in all six age groups. Teams have been playing in younger age groups in ECNL Girls, the ECNL Regional League and Development Player Academy.

CONNECTICUT
High school: Connecticut slowly returned to play at the high school level, beginning with training in cohorts of 10 on Aug. 29 and then team practices on Sept. 21 before the shortened season kicked off last Thursday.

There will be a postseason tournament after the regular season ends on Nov. 7, though the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has yet to announce the form it will take.

ECNL Girls teams:
Connecticut FC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
Farmington SA FC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

Girls Academy teams:
Oakwood SC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

ECNL Regional League teams:
Connecticut FC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
Farmington SA FC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

Notable.
Notre Dame-Fairfield's Toni Domingos entered her senior season with a shot at 100 career goals after her 43 goals as a junior gave her 85 in three seasons.

SA reading.
Oakwood Soccer's Rick Derella: 'We're all in this together so we have to figure it out'
Jon Bradley: A coach's world upended

MAINE.
High school: Soccer also got off to a late start in Maine, where practice began on Sept. 14 and the season kicked off on Sept. 25. Teams can play up to 10 games, but there will be no playoffs after the regular season ends on Nov. 14.

Soccer was just one of four sports to get the green light to play this fall along with field hockey, cross country and golf.

Among the changes: limits on the number of players in the penalty area on corner kicks (five per team) and sanitizing breaks in each half.

Development Player Academy teams:
Seacoast United Maine SC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

Notable.
Camden Hills, Maine's four-time defending Class A girls soccer champion, is not playing soccer this fall after the school decided not to offer competitive play for sports in "moderate" and "high risk" categories.

MASSACHUSETTS.
High school: In response to the state health directive restricting contact in youth sports, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association controversially rewrote the soccer rule book.

It imposed a ban on corner kicks (now indirect kicks), throw-ins (now kick-ins with opponents giving 10 yards of space), goal kicks beyond midfield, defensive walls and headers and slide tackles.

The MIAA also eliminated postseason tournaments for the fall 2020 season.

ECNL Girls teams:
FC Stars Blue 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
FC Stars White 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
Scorpions Soccer 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

Girls Academy teams:
NEFC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
South Shore Select 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

ECNL Regional League teams:
FC Stars Blue 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
FC Stars White 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
Scorpions Soccer 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

Development Player Academy teams:
Aztec Soccer 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
Best FC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
NEFC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
NEFC North Shore 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
Liverpool Int'l Academy Southeast 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
South Shore Select 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
South Shore Select Select Middlesex 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19
Spirit of Liverpool USA 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

Notable.
Both winners of their 2020 openers, No. 8 Winchester and No. 12 Bishop Feehan are ranked in the current United Soccer Coaches high school girls national coaches poll.

Pandemic: Youth soccer requires safety strategy that doesn't respect borders

NEW HAMPSHIRE.
High school: The season kicked off on Sept. 18, 10 days after practice was allowed. Teams have been playing regional schedules -- 10 games maximum -- before open tournament play begins in four divisions on Oct. 16.

Girls Academy
Seacoast United 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

Development Player Academy
Seacoast United 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

Notable.
Manchester Central High School is off to a 5-0-0 start under new coach Joe Silveira, who replaced retiring Peter Lally, who led the Little Green girls for 36 years (453-145-40 record and five state championships).

RHODE ISLAND.
High school: On Sept. 4, Governor Gina Raimondo approved soccer and four other sports to play in the fall, though the soccer season doesn't begin until Friday. The start for football and volleyball was pushed back until between the winter and spring seasons.

Development Player Academy
Bayside FC 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

Notable.
Tiverton is the only team that won 2018 and 2019 Rhode Island state championships. Rhode Island Interscholastic League rewarded the Tigers with promotion from Division III to Division II.

VERMONT.

High school: When soccer started on Saturday, all players were wearing masks. That's part of the new rules for athletes in all Vermont high school sports.

Notable.
At No. 5, Champlain Valley Union (2-0-0) is the top-ranked New England school in the United Soccer Coaches high school girls national rankings.

Note: U.S. Youth Soccer's EDP New England States League has not yet released information on the 2020-21 season.
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