Commentary

Foothill solidifies top five ranking

Updated: December 30, 2008, 10:41 AM ET
By Sheldon Shealer | ESPNRISE.com

ESPN will release the ESPN RISE FAB 50 national girls' soccer winter rankings each week of the regular season and playoffs, continuing through the final games of the various state playoffs around the nation.

Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.) did not move in the rankings this week, yet solidified its position as a national title challenger with a four-match sweep at the Tri-Valley Classic.

The NorCal team remains No. 5 in this week's FAB 50, but considering Nos. 1 and 2 and Nos. 3 and 4 ultimately will have to face each other (or get knocked out along the way) in the playoffs, Foothill's position is strong.

The big mover this week is Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.), moving from the state rankings to a No. 24 spot in this week's FAB 50.

Click here for state-by-state rankings.

Rankings: Preseason / Week: 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / ESPN RISE FAB 50 WINTER GIRLS' SOCCER RANKINGS: WEEK 3 (Nos. 1-25) Rk. School (City, State) Record Prv. Notes 1 Esperanza (Anaheim, Calif.) 8-0-0 1 Esperanza could face No. 9 Long Beach Wilson for the second time this season. The last meeting, Esperanza won on PKs to claim the Aliso title. 2 Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) 12-0-1 2 Aliso pinned the first defeat on Long Beach Wilson to capture the Mater Dei title over the weekend. 3 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) 0-0-0 3 Marcus starts regular-season play in January. 4 Plano West (Plano, Texas) 0-0-0 4 Plano West starts regular-season play in January. 5 Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.) 7-0-0 5 Foothill's clean sweep of the Tri-Valley Classic has this NorCal power in the midst of a national title chase. 6 George Jenkins (Lakeland, Fla.) 13-0-1 7 Kayla Bala has 20 goals and 20 assists through 14 matches for Florida's top-ranked team. 7 The Woodlands (Texas) 0-0-0 11 The Woodlands starts regular-season play in January. 8 Nolan Catholic (Fort Worth, Texas) 12-0-0 12 Nolan Catholic is off to the best start in the program's history. 9 Wilson (Long Beach, Calif.) 7-1-2 6 Wilson's undefeated streak, which reached into the mid-30s, ended with a Mater Dei final loss to No. 2 Aliso Niguel. 10 Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.) 6-1-2 8 Torrey Pines was bumped from the Tri-Valley Classic championship race in a 1-0 loss to No. 5 Foothill. 11 Melbourne (Fla.) 15-0-0 15 Melbourne's perfect start has this program thinking state title. 12 Coppell (Texas) 0-0-0 14 Coppell starts regular-season play in January. 13 Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 18-0-1 18 Gibbons won the Sarasota title last week to remain undefeated. 14 University (Palm Harbor, Fla.) 13-0-0 38 University's perfect start, coupled with a slew of surprise losses by projected top Florida teams, gives this squad a turn in the Top 15. 15 Carondelet (Concord, Calif.) 5-1-1 21 Carondelet's lone blemishes are a loss to No. 5 Foothill and a draw with No. 10 Torrey Pines. Both results came at last week's Tri-Valley Classic. 16 El Toro (Calif.) 4-1-1 30 El Toro's lone loss is to No. 1 Esperanza. 17 Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas) 0-0-0 19 Southlake Carroll starts regular-season play in January. 18 Los Alamitos (Calif.) 6-2-2 20 Los Alamitos defeated San Clemente to kick off the Mater Dei Tournament, but a loss to Long Beach Wilson ended this team's bid for a holiday tournament title. 19 Allen (Allen, Texas) 0-0-0 22 Allen starts regular-season play in January. 20 Gilbert (Ariz.) 5-0-0 27 The top-ranked Arizona squad earns a Top 25 ranking just in time to start league play. 21 San Clemente (Calif.) 9-2-0 9 A preseason Top 5 team, San Clemente suffered its second defeat of the season - this one ending the team's hopes for a high place at the Mater Dei Tournament. 22 St. John's Country Day (Orange Park, Fla.) 13-0-1 40 A 3-0 victory over Bolles School gives this program a rare North Florida appearance in the Top 25. 23 Tesoro (Rancho SM, Calif.) 3-1-5 32 Tesoro's lone loss is to Long Beach Wilson. The team played to a draw with No. 24 Harvard-Westlake. 24 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 6-1-1 NR Victories over former Top 25 Thousand Oaks and always-solid Oaks Christian, along with a draw with No. 22 Tesoro earns this private school a spot in the Top 25. Harvard-Westlake's only loss is to Long Beach Wilson. 25 Ursuline Academy (Dallas) 9-2-0 25 Ursuline Academy's lone losses are a pair of one-goal setbacks to FAB 50 No. 12 Nolan Catholic.

ESPN RISE FAB 50 WINTER GIRLS' SOCCER RANKINGS: WEEK 3 (Nos. 26-50)
Rank School (City, State) Record Prv.
26 Westview (San Diego, Calif.) 11-1-1 NR
27 Kamehameha (Honolulu) 2-0-1 28
28 Punahou (Honolulu) 3-0-1 29
29 Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.) 3-0-1 NR
30 St. Ignatius (San Francisco, Calif.) 4-0-0 46
31 Newman (New Orleans) 8-0-0 34
32 Deer Park (Texas) 0-0-0 35
33 Gulliver Prep (Miami) 13-2-0 36
34 Woodbridge (Irvine, Calif.) 7-1-1 45
35 American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) 13-2-2 NR
36 McKinney Boyd (McKinney, Texas) 0-0-0 47
37 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 11-1-0 37
38 Plant (Tampa, Fla.) 13-1-0 NR
39 Xavier College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 5-1-0 NR
40 Lake Mary (Fla.) 13-2-3 NR
41 Oviedo (Fla.) 12-1-1 23
42 Monte Vista (Danville, Calif.) 10-1-1 NR
43 Presentation (San Jose, Calif.) 9-1-2 NR
44 Plano East (Plano, Texas) 0-0-0 48
45 Clovis (Fresno, Calif.) 8-0-2 49
46 Buchanan (Fresno, Calif.) 10-0-1 42
47 Kingwood (Humble, Texas) 0-0-0 NR
48 Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo, Calif.) 10-2-0 NR
49 Clinton (Miss.) 11-1-1 NR
50 Mililani (Hawaii) 5-0-0 NR