ESPNHS takes a look back at the top storylines from last week, highlighted by the POWERADE FAB 50 No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown that decided the Southern California Regional Division I title and the POWERADE FAB 50 winter national crown.
5. Simply Dominant: The Southern California Regional soccer championships have proven the Southern Section to be the deepest and strongest soccer-playing area, without doubt. The Southern Section includes Orange County, along with several other Los Angeles-area counties. Since the SCR was created in 2008, Southern Section teams have claimed 11 of the 15 titles. The other four -- only one in the top division -- have gone to San Diego Section programs. The Central and Los Angeles sections have yet to win a title and between them have produced only two finalists. This year, the Southern Section swept all three titles: Division I: Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), Division II: Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Division III: Oaks Christian (La Puente, Calif.).
4. Digging Up Fossil Ridge: Fossil Ridge (Keller, Texas) started the season with four losses in its first seven matches, but showed potential with a 1-0 win over nationally ranked Plano West (Plano, Texas). Everything has come together for Fossil Ridge, which is now riding a 10-match undefeated streak that includes two wins over Coppell (Texas) and a revenge victory over Carroll (Southlake, Texas). It all adds up to a first-place standing for Fossil Ridge in the District 7-5A race, slightly ahead of Carroll and Coppell. Last week, Fossil Ridge defeated Coppell 2-1 on goals by Lauren Heller and Lexi Riggs. That result will help reshape the Texas state rankings this week, along with the POWERADE FAB 50.
3. Winning When It Matters: Following a 4-1 scrimmage setback to Lexington (S.C.), there was little reason to consider T.L. Hanna among the state’s top teams in 2012. Then, the season started! Hanna is off to an 8-0 start and is ranked No. 1 in South Carolina by ESPNHS. Included in T.L. Hanna’s 8-0 start is a 2-1 win over South Aiken, which handed Lexington a 2-1 loss. It all goes to show, scrimmages are just that and the regular season results are what matters.
2. Off With A Bang: ThunderRidge (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) played itself right into the role of state title challenger with a 4-1 victory over Dakota Ridge (Littleton, Colo.), which was expected to be among the state favorites. ThunderRidge used a three-goal first half to put the contest out of reach. Riley Welch scored twice. ThunderRidge’s victory over Dakota Ridge followed a 7-1 thrashing of Cherokee Trail (Aurora, Colo.), where ThunderRidge had seven players score goals.
1. All Locked Up: Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) put together a dramatic second-half rally for a 3-2 victory over Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) to win the Southern California Regional Division I title and secure the No. 1 ranking in the POWERADE FAB 50 Winter Rankings for the 2011-12 season. Los Osos, the former No. 1, held a 2-0 lead before then No. 2 Aliso Niguel responded with three straight goals to close out the match and season. Junior Lindsay Doyle scored Aliso's first two goals to tie the match, then freshman Lauren Miller delivered the game-winner in the 66th minute. For co-coach Randy Dodge, this high school national title pads a resume that already includes a pair of club soccer national crowns with the SoCal Blues.