Covering youth soccer in the U.S.

Boys ESR Winter Top 50: March 5

TOP STORY: This week’s Southern California Regional championships will play an important part in sizing up programs from various California regions. Teams such as San Clemente and El Rancho have a chance to earn a higher ranking when it clashes with programs from other sections.

BIG MOVER: Servite (Anaheim, Calif.). After finishing third in the league, Servite’s hot run through the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs, which ended with a 1-0 section final loss to No. 4 San Clemente, earned the team a spot in this week’s Southern Regional Championships.

NEWCOMERS: No. 16 San Pasqual (San Pasqual, Calif.), No. 48 Saddleback 9Santa Ana, Calif.), No. 49 Hanna (Brownsville, Texas) and No. 50 St. Paul’s (Covington, La.).

NOTES: The winter season includes the following states: Arizona, California (winter), Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Rankings through matches played as of March 3, 2013

Rk. School (City, State) Record Prev.
1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 23-0-1 1
Season complete. Berkeley Prep Holiday Invitational and Montverde Academy Soccer Tournament champions.
School Facts: Private, 1,000 students in grades PK-12.
Notes: Montverde Academy ran its undefeated streak to 76 matches with a third straight undefeated season. The Eagles defeated programs from four states, including Top 10-ranked Brophy Prep (Ariz.) and Coppell (Texas). Top junior prospect Diego Campos led the team with 24 goals and five assists. Saul Bonilla, Jahquan Smith Deshields, Simeon Wickli, Thales Moreno and Gerard Arguedas each scored 10 or more goals as the Eagles outscored their opponents 125-4. Montverde has seven players committed to NCAA Division I programs: Quintonio Lema (UNC Greensboro), Andrew Hickey (Fordham), Luka Vujanovic (Virginia Commonwealth), Mauriq Hill, Moreno and Alexandre Happi (Clemson) and Santiago Ortiz (Florida Gulf Coast).
Fun Fact: Montverde has the chance to become the first school to claim national No. 1 rankings in boys’ soccer and boys’ basketball in the season. While the school has become known as a soccer-basketball power, it also has produced two high-round Major League Baseball draft picks in the past three years, including first-rounder Francisco Lindor in 2011.
2 Alief Elsik (Houston, Texas) 15-0-3 2
Even with star play Kayode George on the bench injured, Elsik is getting goals from other players as it continued its undefeated season with a pair of wins last week.
3 Alisal (Salinas, Calif.) 19-0-4 3
Season complete. CIF Central Coast Section Division I champion.
School Facts: Public, 2,500 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Senior standout Lorenzo Vazquez scored the first goal and assisted the second as Alisal defeated Bellarmine 3-1 in the section final, running the team’s undefeated streak to 52 matches. It should be noted that the CIF CCS counts all penalty kick decisions as ties, so that 52-match undefeated streak does include a PK setback in 2011 and 2012. Alisal pinned the only defeat on top 10-ranked Archbishop Mitty, and beat a Bellarmine squad that won a showcase event in San Diego that featured top San Diego and Southern Section programs.
Fun Fact: Alisal had never won a section title in soccer until 2010, and now has two of the last four in a highly competitive section that had produced two high school winter boys soccer national champions in the early 2000s.
4 San Clemente (San Clemente, Calif.) 30-2-1 4
Alek Cucuk scored the lone goal and Dylan DiGiacomo made it stand with his 14th shutout in goal as San Clemente won the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title for the second time in three years with a 1-0 win over Servite. The result earned San Clemente the top spot in this week’s Southern California Regional championships.
5 Brophy Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 23-2-0 5
Season complete. Arizona Division I state champion.
School Facts: Private, all-boys, 1,285 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Brophy Prep capped an undefeated run through Arizona with a 2-0 win over Desert Vista. Ryan Grotjohn and Riggs Lennon scored the goals. Lennon’s tally late in the match marked his 59th for the season and 148th in his career for the University of Virginia-bound forward. Brophy’s only losses were to top-ranked Montverde Academy (Fla.) in the MAST final and to San Clemente (Calif.) in the Arizona Showcase semifinals. At the MAST, Brophy defeated Boca Raton (Fla.), ending Boca’s stay at No. 1.
Fun Fact: Brophy College Prep and Marcos de Niza made headlines in 2010 when every member from the schools’ 1990 soccer teams, including all six players who eventually turned pro, returned for a rematch of the 1990 high school final, which ended in a scoreless tie. There was plenty of controversy in the 1990 final, which was considered the single greatest collection of soccer talent on a field at one time for an Arizona soccer match. The match included former U.S. National Team defender Greg Vanney and MLS keeper Scott Garlick. The contest was featured as a Gatorade Replay, a short-lived program where adults replayed a significant high school event years after the fact. Vanney, who had only retired from the pro game about 18 months before the replay, scored the first goal and assisted the second as Marcos de Niza won 2-0.
6 Coppell (Coppell, Texas) 13-1-0 6
Coppell delivered a 9-2 thrashing of former Top 50-ranked Hebron last week in the team’s biggest offensive output in recent years.
7 El Rancho (Pico Rivera, Calif.) 25-2-1 7
Miguel Vilchis, Jaime Moreno and Agustin Hernandez each scored a goal as El Rancho claimed the CIF Southern Section Division 3 title with a 3-2 win over Channel Islands. El Rancho will be the No. 2 seed in this week’s Southern California Regional championships.
8 Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.) 20-2-4 9
Season complete. Florida Class 5A champion.
School Facts: Public, 4,400 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Cypress Bay, which started the season at No. 2, finishes in the Top 10 for the third straight year following the program’s third straight state title. Daniel Gutierrez scored the lone goal in the team’s state final 1-0 win over West Orange. Cypress Bay, which finished No. 1 in the nation last year, becomes the first public school to ever win three straight state titles in Florida. Coach John Ramos, who previously guided American Heritage-Plantation to three titles, said he will step down as Cypress Bay’s coach following the historic three-title run. Cypress Bay lost nine players to US Soccer Development Academy commitments, yet the school of more than 4,000 students has plenty of talent from which to draw.
Fun Fact: Cypress Bay was opened in 2002. About five years ago, the school’s enrollment peaked at just over 5,500. As a result, new school boundaries were drawn to help reduce overcrowding and the net result was the school’s enrollment has now been capped around 4,500.
9 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) 14-2-2 10
Marcus shut out Hebron and Denton Ryan last week to stay on the heels of Coppell in the league standings and national rankings.
10 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 18-1-7 11
Season complete. CIF Central Coast Section Division II champion.
School Facts: Private, 1,700 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Tanner Haas and Connor Kurze scored the goals, lifting Mitty to a 2-0 win over Lincoln in the sectional final. Mitty ended the year on an 18-match undefeated streak, which included a 3-0 win over Bellarmine and two ties against the Bells — one of them ended up as a shootout victory for the league tournament title. Mitty’s lone loss was to top five-ranked Alisal.
Fun Fact: Mitty has had a storied athletic history, one that includes Brandi Chastian, who delivered the decisive penalty kick in the U.S. win over China in the 1990 Women’s World Cup. Kerri Walsh-Jennings, another international star from Mitty, was part of the duo that recently claimed a third straight Olympic gold medal for women’s beach volleyball.
11 Boca Raton (Boca Raton, Fla.) 24-3-0 12
Season complete. Florida Class 5A state semifinalist.
School Facts: Public, 3,100 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Boca Raton, which spent time at No. 1 this season, lost to local rival Cypress Bay in the state semifinals 2-0. The team featured Wake Forest signee Hunter Bandy, FIU signee Nico Midttun and Central Florida signees Gio DiMauro and Matt Laux. Boca was 18-0 when Midttun left to start college in January. The team one its first match without him then lost twice in the Montverde Academy Soccer Tournament, falling 2-0 to Brophy Prep (Ariz.) and then 1-0 to Coppell (Texas).
Fun Fact: Boca Raton started a Navy JROTC program in 1994 and it has become one of the most recognized in the nation. Known as the Bobcat Battalion, this group of about 250 cadets, have placed third or higher at every Navy Nationals event since 2006, with a national title in 2011.
12 West Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.) 19-1-0 13
Season complete. Florida Class 5A state runner-up.
School Facts: Public, 3,400 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: West Orange’s bid to become the first undefeated, untied state champion from Orlando fell one match short as the team lost 1-0 to Cypress Bay. West Orange was predicted as a middle-of-the-pack team in the preseason. Now, with seven projected returning starters next season, West Orange will start the year among the state favorites.
Fun Fact: Actress and signer Cori Yarckin was born in Delaware but as a child actress relocated to Orlando and later graduated from West Orange.
13 Georgetown (Georgetown, Texas) 17-1-4 15
Georgetown’s undefeated run has now reached 20 matches.
14 Kingwood (Humble, Texas) 14-1-3 18
Trey Richardson had three goals and a pair of assists last week as Kingwood won a pair of matches.
15 Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, Ariz.) 25-2-0 17
Season complete. Arizona Division II state champion.
School Facts: Private, 1,100 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Gavino Carranza and Colin O’Brien scored the goals to give legendary coach Wolfgang Weber his sixth state title at the Tucson private school with a 2-0 victory over Apollo. Salpointe’s losses were 2-1 to top 10-ranked Brophy Prep and 1-0 to Catalina Foothills, which it defeated in two latter matches during the season.
Fun Fact: Salpointe Catholic graduate and former Major League Baseball pitcher Ed Vosberg is one of only two people to play in the Little League World Series, College World Series and Major League World Series. Vosberg, usually a first baseman, tossed a one-hitter to lead the Cactus Little League of Tucson into the 1973 LL World Series final, where it lost to Taiwan. In 1980, he played for NCAA champion Arizona and completed the trifecta when he was with the 1997 World Series-winning Florida Marlins.
16 Deer Park (Deer Park, Texas) 15-0-1 27
Now that the Florida and California teams have played their way into a national ranking order, undefeated Deer Park gets its chance to state its case. Although this team checks in at No. 16 without a win over a current Top 50 team, that will change in the playoffs where it’s grouped in a section with four other Top 25 teams. Only one of them can advance to the state semifinals.
17 Langham Creek (Houston, Texas) 17-1-2 28
Langham Creek’s early win over Clements keeps looking better and better as Clements is 12-1-4 this season.
18 Clements (Fort Bend, Texas) 12-1-4 29
Clements, a former Top 25 program, is claimed back up in the rankings following several surprises in California that opened up ranking spots.
19 San Pasqual (San Pasqual, Calif.) 16-3-3 NR
San Pasqual edged Carlsbad in penalty kicks following a scoreless match in the CIF San Diego Section Division I final. The win earns San Pasqual a Top 25 ranking and a spot in this week’s Southern California Regional championships and a quarterfinal date with El Rancho.
20 Carlsbad (Carlsbad, Calif.) 24-4-1 14
Season complete. CIF San Diego Section Division I runner-up.
School Facts: Public, 3,350 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Carlsbad, the top seed, was upset in the section final, losing to San Pasqual in penalty kicks following a scoreless draw. During the regular season, Carlsbad split its meetings with San Diego Division II champion La Costa Canyon and handed San Clemente a defeat.
Fun Fact: In 2001, the band No Doubt played a surprise concert at Carlsbad for in inaugural episode of MTV’s “Jammed.”
21 Bellarmine College Prep (San Jose, Calif.) 16-5-5 22
Season complete. CIF Central Coast Section Division I runner-up.
School Facts: Private, all-boys, 1,650 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Matt DeQuiroz, the West Catholic Athletic League Defender of the Year, converted a second-half penalty kick to pull the team within 2-1, but the Bells ended up losing 3-1 to undefeated Alisal. The result ended Bellarmine’s 12-match undefeated streak. During the regular season, Bellarmine won the Nike Southern California High School Classic. At that event, Bellarmine defeated eventual CIF Division 2 champion Downey 4-1, CIF San Diego Division 2 champ La Costa Canyon 3-0 and CIF Division 4 semifinalist LA Cathedral 3-1. Bellarmine went 0-1-2 against Mitty while finishing second to Mitty in the regular season race and the league tournament.
Fun Fact: Three-time Olympic swimming goal medalist Pablo Morales is a 1983 graduate of Bellarmine. A year removed from high school, he won his first Olympic gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. After failing to make the Olympic team in 1988, he returned in 1992 and claimed two more gold medals in Barcelona. Morales held the 100-meter backstroke long course world record from 1986 until 1995. His image is still present at Bellarmine today, on posters that are present around the school.
22 JSerra (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) 18-5-3 24
Season complete. CIF Southern Section Division I semifinalist.
School Facts: Private, all-boys, 1,050 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: JSerra’s season ended with a 3-2 loss to San Clemente in the section semifinals. During the regular season, JSerra beat and tied league rival Servite, which ended up as the section runner-up. JSerra also had a win over North Coast Section champion De La Salle.
Fun Fact: JSerra has been ranked among the nation’s top 50 Catholic high schools for education by the Catholic High Scholl Honor Roll three times in the past seven years.
23 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 18-3-6 25
Season complete. CIF North Coast Division I champion.
School Facts: Private, 1,050 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Nick Dildine’s overtime goal carried De La Salle to a 1-0 win over San Ramon Valley for its fifth straight section title. Keeper Andrew Konstantino recorded his 13th shutout of the season in the final. The Spartans ended the season on a 17-match undefeated run. Earlier in the season De La Salle tied Los Angeles Cathedral and lost a match to JSerra as the team took on squads outside of the North Coast Section.
Fun Fact: De La Salle is best known for its storied football program, which put together a national record-setting 151-game win streak from 1992 until 2004. Bob Ladouceur, the coach of the De La Salle dynasty, retired on Jan. 4, 2013, with a career record of 399-25-3, 17 California state championships and seven mythical national titles.
24 Buchholz (Gainesville, Fla.) 18-2-4 26
Season complete. Florida Class 5A state semifinalist.
School Facts: Public, 3,230 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Buchholz’s bid for a state title came up short in a 2-1 loss to West Orange in the state semifinals. The team gave up two goals in the first 12 minutes, and played the last 70 minutes a man down, yet managed to keep the contest interesting. Eric West scored Buchholz’s only goal with 14 minutes left on a penalty kick. Buchholz holds the distinction of being the only team to tie top-ranked Montverde Academy this season.
Fun Fact: Kevin Bradshaw, who set an NCAA record with 72 points scored in a men’s college basketball game in 1991 while playing for U.S. International University, is a Buchholz graduate. The 6-foot-6 guard led the nation in scoring average at 37.6 points per game during his senior season, 1990-91. His record-setting performance came in a game that U.S. International lost to Loyola Marymount 186-150 that featured two of Division I’s most famous run-and-gun programs from the early 1990s.
25 The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas) 13-2-2 31
The Woodlands bounced back from a loss two weeks ago with a pair of wins to inch higher in the rankings.
26 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) 15-9-7 36
27 Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.) 27-3-2 8
28 Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos, Calif.) 21-4-6 20
Season complete. CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinalist.
School Facts: Public, 3,125 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Los Alamitos’ season ended with a 2-1 loss to Loyola in the section quarterfinals. Los Alamitos defeated Santa Margarita in the Round of 16. Los Alamos won the Sunset League title and had key non-league wins over JSerra and Animo Leadership.
Fun Fact: Among Los Alamitos’ lengthy list of standout athletes is two-time Olympian Cathy Rigby, who was a two-time U.S. National Gymnastics champion and the first American female to win a medal at the World Gymnastics Championships. Rigby’s appearance in the 1968 Olympics happened shortly before she started her sophomore year at Los Alamitos. Her first U.S. National championship came during her junior year in high school.
29 Santa Margarita (Rancho SM, Calif.) 19-4-4 21
Season complete. CIF Southern Section Division 1 Round of 16.
School Facts: Private, 1,700 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Santa Margarita’s season ended with a 1-0 loss to Los Alamitos. Santa Margarita win the Trinity League, which put two league members in the section semifinals. The Eagles went 3-0 during a trip to face top teams in Hawaii. The squad went undefeated in the Trinity League, which included a pair of wins over JSerra.
Fun Fact: Two-time NFL Pro Bowl performer and former Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer is a graduate of Santa Margarita.
30 Kalani (Honolulu, Hawaii) 15-1-1 32
Season complete. Hawaii Division I state champion.
School Facts: Public, 1,150 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Tournament MVP Leo Klink scored both regulation goals and then added the decisive penalty kick to lift Kalani to its first state title, a 3-2 win over Punahou. After the match, Klink was taken to a nearby hospital to be with his mother, who, reportedly, sustain a stroke while watching the match.
Fun Fact: Roy Gerela, who was part of three Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers teams in the 1970s, is a graduate of Kalani. He played for the Steelers from 1971 through 1978 and remains No. 3 on the team’s all-time scoring list. He led the AFC in scoring in 1973 and 1974 and was a two-time Pro Bowl selection. He currently coaches high school football at Gadsden (Anthony, N.M.).
31 Golden Valley (Bakersfield, Calif.) 24-3-1 33
32 Roosevelt (Fresno, Calif.) 21-1-3 34
33 Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.) 26-3-0 35
Season complete. Florida Class 2A state champion.
School Facts: Private, 1,800 students in PK-grade 12.
Notes: Senior-loaded Bolles delivered another state title for longtime coach Jim Lieb with a 1-0 victory over Gulliver Prep. Suneel Mudaliar, one of 14 seniors on the team, scored the lone goal. During the regular season, Bolles defeated eventual 3A champ Ponte Vedra and lost to 5A state semifinalist Buchholz.
Fun Fact: While Bolles — a sports powerhouse — has produced no fewer than 10 Olympic swimmers, with five gold medalist, perhaps its best-known athlete is Major League Baseball standout Chipper Jones. He was the overall No. 1 pick in the 1990 draft, just weeks after finishing high school at Bolles. He spent his entire career with the Atlanta Braves, debuting in 1993 and playing his last game in 2012. He is projected as a first-ballot Hall of Famer when his time comes in five years.
34 Selma (Selma, Calif.) 28-4-1 37
35 El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.) 25-2-1 38
36 Palos Verdes (Palos Verdes, Calif.) 22-3-3 39
37 Animo Leadership (Inglewood, Calif.) 24-2-1 42
38 Century (Santa Ana, Calif.) 15-4-3 40
39 Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta, Calif.) 19-4-7 41
40 Jesuit (New Orleans, La.) 23-3-4 43
41 Tampa Prep (Tampa, Fla.) 24-1-3 44
Season complete. Florida Class 1A state champion.
School Facts: Private, 625 students in grades 6-12.
Notes: Shaddy Douidar scored the lone goal to lead Tampa Prep to a 1-0 victory over Scheck Hillel in the state final. Tampa Prep has won back-to-back state titles and three in four years for the seniors, which include UNC-Wilmington signee Macsen Pritchard.
Fun Fact: Tampa Prep was opened in 1974 by citizens who wanted an independent, private secondary school. For nearly 20 years, the school was located on the University of Tampa campus.
42 Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, Calif.) 21-5-2 45
43 Riverside Poly (Riverside, Calif.) 20-1-7 46
44 Brother Martin (New Orleans, La.) 21-3-0 47
45 Ponte Vedra (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) 24-3-4 48
46 Sunlake (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) 30-1-0 49
47 Valley View (Pharr, Texas) 15-1-0 50
48 Saddleback (Santa Ana, Calif.) 18-4-4 NR
49 Hanna (Brownsville, Texas) 11-1-0 NR
50 St. Paul’s (Covington, La.) 27-3-1 NR

Categorised in: Arizona news, California news, Florida news, Hawaii news, Lead Item, Louisiana news, Mississippi news, Rankings, Texas news, Winter Boys Top 50: 2012-2013

12 Responses »

  1. I get that Alisal is undefeated (with 4 draws), & I’m sure they are a great team, but it’s hard to understand how they are still ranked above San Clemente as your top team in CA. I’m pretty sure there is a wide gap between the level of competition the 2 teams have faced. San Clemente has put together one of the toughest schedules in the country. In addition to being the only 30 game winner on your list, they hold wins over several other ranked teams (Santa Barbara x 2, Golden Valley, JSerra, Servite, & Brophy Prep). Their only losses came against ranked teams (Carlsbad & El Toro). The Tritons just won the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Title on Saturday. By your own admission, the CA SS D1 Tournament is one of the toughest in the country & it includes many teams from your list (JSerra, Servite, Loyola, Los Alamitos, Santa Margarita, El Toro, Palos Verdes, Santa Barbara, & Riverside Poly). As good of a run as Servite had, it was disappointing to see them featured on your ESR Winter Top 50 when the real story is what the Tritons have done this year. Especially because Servite plays ‘anti-futbol’….Pack it in, play physical, & hope to win on a set piece. San Clemente try’s to play futbol the right way & deserves more credit than you’ve given them.

  2. Only one thing to do. Schedule some games up north. We got Alisal, Bellarmine, Mitty, Watsonville awaiting you.

    • Hey Juan….No disrespect intended. I know those are all solid teams. Does anyone know why Alisal isn’t apart of the CIF Regional State Tournament?

      • The Southern California Regionals are just that — the regions from Central and down … it never has included the Northern sections like the CCS or NCS. I would love to see those sections included and the field expanded to 12 or 16 teams (and taking more teams from the stronger regions). It seems as if it’s doable.

      • It seems odd that they would include the Central Section & not the Central Coast Section? SC played Buchanan of Clovis in the State Final 2 years ago & they travelled all the way from Clovis….Not really any further than Salinas. I agree with you it’s doable. If soccer is a winter sport in your section, you should be included in the State Tournament for sure!!

      • I think the key thing here is realizing it’s not the “state tournament” — it never was or has been. I notice a lot of people from the South call it a state tournament.

  3. Hey Sheldon…SC beat Bell 3-1 yesterday. Must have been a misprint somewhere.

  4. The OC Register originally reported the wrong score, which I saw, but I deleted the comment a minute later once my CIF source indicated SC won.

  5. I dont know why the CCS, NCS and the Freson area dont have a Regional Tourney. That would be awesome. Financially and logistically it would be a nightmare I would imagine. AT least the NCS and CCS should have one. Thats doable. Alisal is scheduled to go down south next year.

  6. It is indeed Alisal’s goal to head south next season, ideally to play the top nationally ranked teams. This, of course, would mean that the top teams would have to be present at one place or another. Alisal is especially looking to play Monte Verde Academy and the other top teams that are found on most rankings list. Whether the Floridian team would be available is another question. We are from a very small agriculture town where funds are often scarce, but we have saved some money in recent seasons for a trip to Los Angeles or San Diego. Because a trip like this for us is rare due to financial constraints, we would prefer to play the best teams possible at one shot. It would probably be a one-week trip for us, with Alisal playing anywhere from three to four games. A tournament, of course, would be ideal. There are some good ones. The Bellermine Invitational is also an excellent tournament. If the logistics don’t work out for us, we would love to play in this one, if Bellermine would have us. Their tournament is not a second option. We just have not gone to L.A., and we feel next year would be the right time. We are working on inclusion into the regional competition. It’s been a long time coming.

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