Commentary

Perfect records help St. Pius (Ga.), White Oak (N.C.)

Updated: June 26, 2009, 3:49 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. 25 through 21:

BOYS

25. Wellington (Wellington, Fla.)
Record: 23-1-2
Ranking: Winter No. 10
Notes: Florida Class 6A region quarterfinalist. Wellington's undefeated season ended with a 2-1 playoff loss to Boca Raton, in a meeting between two of the state's top-ranked teams. Senior Kojo Thompson signed with Appalchian State and senior Andrew DiLallo signed with Davidson. Both were all-area, first-team selections, along with junior keeper Aaron Dupere, who posted 16 shutouts and carried a 0.33 goals against average.

24. Boca Raton (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Record: 25-2-1
Ranking: Winter No. 9
Notes: Florida Class 6A state runner-up. After knocking off Wellington, Boca Raton was tabbed the 6A favorite, but fell to Melbourne 2-0 in the state final. ESPNRISE.com Winter All-America first-teamer C.J. Phelps had 18 goals and 18 assists. As of early June, Phelps was undecided between turning pro or going to college. He was the Palm Beach Post Large School Player of the Year. Colby Burdette, a sophomore, led Boca Raton with 26 goals. Junior Lucas Araujo had 12 goals and 15 assists and junior Kevin McEntee added 16 goals and 10 assists.

23. Irmo (Columbia, S.C.)
Record: 23-1-0
Ranking: Spring No. 3
Notes: South Carolina Class 4A state runner-up. Defensive-minded Irmo gave up three goals in an eight-minute stretch in the second half of the state final match and fell to Northwestern 3-1. Zach Acree converted a penalty kick for Irmo's lone score. Acree is among six Irmo underclass starters who expect to return next season for this perennial state power. Leo Mukofsky signed with Coastal Carolina. Taylor Varney was the team's top offensive threat. Acree, a junior, is one of South Carolina's top 2010 prospects and sophomore Emmett Lunceford is an ODP regional team member.

22. Holland Hall (Tulsa, Okla.)
Record: 19-0-1
Ranking: Spring No. 8
Notes: SPC Division I Champion. Holland Hall, undefeated in 31 straight matches, defended its title with a 2-0 victory over John Cooper. Memphis signee Jon Wright ended the season with 35 goals. Holland Hall's starting lineup boasted four NCAA Division I signees. In addition to Wright, Denny Mask (UNC-Greensboro), Sid Stewart (Tulsa) and Joe Stall (Brown) also signed.

21. St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio)
Record: 19-1-3
Ranking: Fall No. 12
Notes: St. Ignatius ended the season on a 21-match undefeated run, capped with a 1-0 state final victory over Beavercreek. Senior Denio Leone scored the only goal in the match. St. Ignatius was a fall preseason top 20 team. Senior defender Justin Cree, who signed with Cleveland State, was named Ohio Division I first-team all-state.

GIRLS

25. McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.)
Record: 20-1-1
Ranking: Fall No. 10
Notes: IAAM runner-up. McDonogh entered the conference final battered and bruised, and a 2-0 setback to Spalding ended any hopes of a FAB 50 national title. During the season, McDonogh had a 4-1 win over Sacred Heart (Ky.) and beat Brentwood (Tenn.). The team's entire midfield signed with Division I programs  Emily Trosch (Bucknell), Gia Mangione (Loyola, Md.) and Megan Gibbons (Maryland). Keeper Ali Brennan signed with Miami (Fla.).

24. Saint Pius X Catholic (Atlanta, Ga.)
Record: 22-0-0
Ranking: Spring No. 9
Notes: Georgia Class AAA State Champion. St. Pius ran through the season with a perfect record, but its most telling result might have been a 6-3 win over FAB 50-ranked Marist. St. Pius also handed Oak Mountain (Ala.) a 3-0 defeat, justifying a ranking ahead of the Alabama State Champion Spain Park that won three of four matches against Oak Mountain, and all were one-goal contests. St. Pius might be stronger next season with returning junior keeper Emily Cox, who has committed to Alabama, and midfielder Alexa Newfield, who is verbally committed to Georgia.

23. Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.)
Record: 19-1-3
Ranking: Fall No. 9
Notes: IAAM Champion. Spalding ended the season with nine straight shutouts, including a 2-0 result over previously undefeated McDonogh in the conference final. University of Maryland signee Erica Page lead Spalding with 16 goals and 17 assists on the season.

22. Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.)
Record: 22-1-0
Ranking: Spring No. 8
Notes: Georgia Class AAAAA State Champion. Parkview won its third-straight, large-school state title with a penalty kick decision over FAB 50-ranked Harrison. Parkview had its 43-match undefeated streak halted in midseason with a 2-0 loss to South Carolina's top-ranked and undefeated Wando. Parkview has five seniors committed to Division II programs, but the strength is the junior class with Auburn commit Kim Spence and South Carolina commit Maureen Buff. It should be noted that Parkview and St. Pius scrimmaged to start the season and it ended in a 2-2 draw. Parkview led 2-0 until clearing the bench late in the match, according to the coach.

21. White Oak (Jacksonville, N.C.)
Record: 22-0-0
Ranking: Spring No. 7
Notes: North Carolina Class 3A State Champion. White Oak, led by UNC-Wilmington signee and North Carolina Player of the Year Stephanie Rose, averaged seven goals a match en route to a perfect season. White Oak has a 40-match undefeated streak, including 29 straight wins. Rose, one of three NCAA Division I-bound players in the starting lineup, scored twice in the state final to push her season total to 50 goals and 200 for her career. White Oak allowed only three goals during the season.

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