Commentary

Waters waves goodbye with a last state title

Updated: July 1, 2009, 2:24 PM ET
By Sheldon Shealer | ESPNRISE.com

When it comes to national rankings, high school soccer poses a problem unique to the high school sports landscape: there's no particular season.

Depending on the state, soccer could be a fall, winter or spring sport. Therefore, during the course of the school year, ESPN RISE recognizes a FAB 50 for each season. Now that the school year is complete, we are consolidating our three-season FAB 50 polls into one end-of-the-year Super 50.

The following factors, beyond win-loss records, were taken into consideration to identify the Super 50 teams: number of college-bound players, with an emphasis on NCAA Division I signees; number of elite club players; level of competition; level of dominance over competition and historical greatness of that particular team compared to others in the past from same state.

Today, we continue the countdown to our overall No. 1 with teams ranked No. 40 through 36:

BOYS

40. Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Record: 20-0-3
Ranking: Fall No. 23
Notes: CIF-North Coast Section 3A champion. Maria Carrillo's undefeated record earned it a fall season Top 25 finish, but the comparison scores in the region show the Sac-Joaquin schools were stronger this year.

39. Beavercreek (Beavercreek, Ohio)
Record: 20-2-1
Ranking: Fall No. 22
Notes: Ohio Division I state runner-up. Beavercreek's state title hopes were dashed in a 1-0 loss to St. Ignatius in the final. All-state forward Tyler Pollock signed with Butler.

38. McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.)
Record: 21-1-1
Ranking: Fall No. 21
Notes: MIAA A Conference Champion. The junior-laden Eagles routed Mount St. Joseph 6-1 in the conference final. Top junior prospect Mamadou Kansaye had two goals and two assists. Defender Marquez Fernandez was named the Baltimore Sun Player of the Year and he has verbally committed to the defending national champion Maryland Terps.

37. La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Record: 22-2-0
Ranking: Fall No. 20
Notes: New Mexico Class AAAAA State Champion. The preseason state No. 1 lived up to the billing with a 7-1 state thrashing of Mayfield in the final. La Cueva was able to avenge its lone in-state loss to Mayfield earlier in the season. The team's other setback was to Sacramento Jesuit (Calif.). This title-winning season was the last for head coach Larry Waters, who retired after a career that included more than 400 wins at La Cueva.

36. Sacramento Jesuit (Carmichael, Calif.)
Record: 27-0-2
Ranking: Fall No. 19
Notes: CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinalist. Jesuit's bid for a national No. 1 ranking ended with a shootout loss to rival Davis. During the season, Jesuit pinned losses on Davis, New Mexico State Champion La Cueva and Oregon's No. 2 team, Jesuit. Sacramento Jesuit was led by under-18 national team player Adam Jahn, who signed with Stanford.

GIRLS

40. Marist School (Atlanta, Ga.)
Record: 21-1-0
Ranking: Spring No. 17
Notes: Georgia Class AAAA state champion. Marist, with five NCAA Division I signees in its senior class, started the season ranked among the Top 10 nationally. However, a short-handed loss to St. Pius knocked the team out of the national title chase. Marist ended the season on a 19-match win streak, capped by a 4-3 victory over FAB 50-ranked Whitewater. The team was led by seniors Mary Coffed (Auburn), Laura Eddy (Georgia), Kristen Meier (Wake Forest) and Meghan Duffy (Clemson).

39. University (Palm Harbor, Fla.)
Record: 22-2-0
Ranking: Winter No. 13
Notes: Florida Class 5A state champion. Catherine Brinkman scored twice as University pulled away with two goals in the final 12 minutes to defeat George Jenkins 3-1 in the state final. The victory marked 201 wins for coach John Planamenta during his career.

38. Naperville North (Naperville, Ill.)
Record: 19-3-3
Ranking: Spring No. 16
Notes: Illinois Class 3A Super Sectional runner-up. Naperville North lost to eventual state champion Hinsdale Central 2-1 in double overtime in the super section final. Naperville North ended Waubonsie Valley's two-year reign as state champion in the section final.

37. American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
Record: 25-2-3
Ranking: Winter No. 12
Notes: Florida Class 3A state champion. Kleopatra Ruddock scored the game-winner as the Patriots edged Bolles School 2-1 in the final. At full strength, American Heritage was undefeated, including an earlier 3-0 victory over Bolles School. The Patriots' only losses this year came at a holiday tournament in which their starters, all club players, did not participate because of a club event.

36. The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas)
Record: 27-2-3
Ranking: Winter No. 11
Notes: Texas 5A state runner-up. Coppell coach Chris Strickler said The Woodlands was the strongest team Coppell faced this season. The Woodlands twice rallied before falling 3-2 to Coppell in the state final. The Woodlands featured Oklahoma signee Olivia Kintigh and junior Houston commit Kylie Cook.

Sheldon Shealer covers youth soccer for ESPNRISE.com. He can be reached at Sheldon.Shealer@espn.com .