Spring girls teams dominate the next five spots
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. 30 through 26:
30. Episcopal School (Alexandria, Va.)
Ranking: Fall No. 15
Notes: Virginia Independent State Champion. Episcopal capped a perfect season with a 4-0 thrashing of former FAB 50 Norfolk Academy in the state final. Locally, Episcopal is ranked behind WCAC champion Gonzaga (D.C.). This private school gets the nod over fellow FAB 50-ranked and undefeated Sidwell Friends by virtue of a pair of wins over Georgetown Prep, a team that tied Sidwell. Senior forward Given Kalipinde was named The Washington Post Player of the Year. He turned down soccer offers to play college basketball at Loyola Marymount.
29. Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)
Ranking: Fall No. 14
Notes: Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Champion. The Eagles outshot Bishop O'Connell 29-3 in the final and escaped with a 1-0 WCAC final victory. The team's lone loss was to Regis Jesuit (Colo.) at the Jesuit Classic. That contest came after Gonzaga defeated Rockhurst Jesuit (Mo.). Senior defender Branden Duffy signed with Duquesne and senior midfielder Chris Perez signed with William & Mary.
28. Rock Canyon (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Ranking: Fall No. 13
Notes: Class 4A State Champion. Rock Canyon capped an undefeated season with a 3-0 victory over Niwot in the final. Rock Canyon, a 5-year-old school, plays in a 5A League where it beat 5A runner-up Regis Jesuit (a team that defeated Gonzaga, D.C.). The combination of league and postseason results leaves this program an easy No. 1 choice for Colorado after a remarkable two-year turnaround. Rock Canyon went 1-14 in 2006. Senior Alex Tarnoczi, a first-team, all-state performer, signed with Denver. Defender Scott Branson signed with UNLV.
27. Palo Alto (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Ranking: Winter No. 12
Notes: CIF-Central Coast Section Division I Co-Champion. Palo Alto, ranked No. 1 locally, played local No. 2 Bellarmine to a scoreless draw after four overtimes in the section final. In the semifinals, Palo Alto rallied past FAB 50-ranked Watsonville 4-3. Senior keeper Peter Johnson posted 18 shutouts and was named Senior Player of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News. Senior midfielder Adam Zernik had nine goals and 11 assists. Junior defender Kevin Ashworth scored 10 goals.
26. Iolani (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Ranking: Winter No. 11
Notes: Division I State Champion. Nick Goo had two goals and two assists as Iolani won its first state title since 2000 with a 5-2 victory over Mililani. Iolani, the state runner-up last year, has been in the state final five of the past nine seasons. Senior Brock Granger was named the state's Player of the Year. He signed with UNLV.
30. Ardrey Kell (Charlotte, N.C.)
Ranking: Spring No. 14
Notes: North Carolina Class 4A state runner-up. Kell pushed Leesville Road to a shootout before falling in the state final for the second straight season. Kell allowed only three goals during the season. Kell was attempting to become only the second Charlotte 4A school to ever win a soccer state title and the first since 1997.
29. Tamalpais (Mill Valley, Calif.)
Ranking: Spring No. 13
Notes: California North Coast Section Spring Champion. Alicia Blose scored three goals as Tamalpais handled University (San Francisco) 4-0 to repeat as section champions. Blose, a Boston College signee, finished with 36 goals this season. Tamalpais claimed the St. Mary's preseason tournament title and the MCAL crown. The team outscored its opponents 76-7 in 26 matches. Tamalpais is 42-2-5 over the past two years.
28. Spain Park (Birmingham, Ala.)
Ranking: Spring No. 12
Notes: Alabama Class 6A State Champion. Spain Park defeated McGill-Toolen 4-0 to win the state title. Spain Park's roster includes a pair of Region III ODP performers led by Gatorade State Player of the Year Lauren Arnold (a junior who has committed to Clemson) and Annalika Steyn. Spain Park survived a schedule that included 19 matches against state-ranked teams. The squad avenged its lone loss to Oak Mountain by defeating them three times later in the season. Spain Park tied Georgia state runner-up Harrison. Spain Park also tied FAB 50-ranked Grissom during the regular season before defeating them 3-0 in the state playoffs.
27. Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, Ill.)
Ranking: Spring No. 11
Notes: Illinois Class 3A State Champion. Lena Husayni scored a goal and junior Toni Kokenis, who finished the season with 26 goals and 10 assists, added a second goal as Hinsdale Central was a surprise state champ with a 2-1 victory over Fremd. Hinsdale Central emerged from the section that included state powers Waubonsie Valley, Naperville North and Naperville Central. Hinsdale Central ended the year on a 12-match undefeated streak to capture the program's first state title in its first state tournament appearance since 1989.
26. Chantilly (Chantilly, Va.)
Ranking: Spring No. 10
Notes: Virginia Group AAA State Champion. Senior Katie Menzie and freshman Olivia Colella scored to lift Chantilly to a 2-0 lead en route to a 2-1 victory over Mills Godwin in the state final. Menzie (signed with James Madison), Cortlyn Bristol (William and Mary) and Kristen Melchiori (Lynchburg) combined for 63 goals and 51 assists over the past two seasons. With seven underclass starters, including a trio of freshmen, Chantilly figures to be a title challenger for years to come.
Sheldon Shealer covers youth soccer for ESPNRISE.com. He can be reached at Sheldon.Shealer@espn.com .
MORE BOYS' SOCCER HEADLINES
- Ribery, Benzema charged with soliciting minor
- Ex-U.S. coach denies Solo's shoving allegation
- Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta UEFA award finalists
- Kompany: Van Persie would boost any team
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
SPRING BOYS' SOCCER RANKINGS
Rank School (City, State) Rec 1 Norman North
17-0 2 Lambert
23-0 3 Auburn
26-1-1 4 Creighton Prep
22-1 5 Tulsa Union
13-2-1 See the full spring boys' soccer rankings »
BOYS' SOCCER HEADLINES
BOYS' SOCCER BLOG