Commentary

Texas teams get their turn near the top

Updated: March 10, 2009, 3:43 PM 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 matches of the Texas state playoffs.

Is Texas soccer really THAT good?

This week, five of the top six FAB 50 teams hail from Texas, but lofty rankings has just as much to do with what's left as it does with what's accomplished.

All five of the Texas teams -- Kingwood, Reagan, Lake Highlands, The Woodlands and Hebron -- have stellar credentials (I.e. Division I-bound players, quality results), however they all will be competing for the same state title & Texas 5A. Unlike Florida, where the state is divided into five classes, or California, in which there is no state tournament, Texas offers only two public school classifications -- thus the best will actually have to play the best to earn a state title. That also means at least four of the five will lose between now and early April.

With Florida finished and the California season winding down this week, teams have been positioned for this stretch run. If San Clemente, the top-ranked California program, can add a Southern Regional title to its Southern Section crown, the team is guaranteed a spot no lower than No. 4 in the final FAB 50 and as high as No. 2. Melbourne, the top-ranked Florida team, remains solidly in the national title chase, just awaiting losses by Kingwood and Reagan. Of course, Kingwood and Reagan control their ranking destiny. Undefeated records with a Texas 5A state crown for either team would mean a FAB 50 title, as well.

The big mover in this week's rankings was Westview (San Diego), which atoned for a regular-season loss to Torrey Pines (San Diego) with a victory in the CIF San Diego Division I final. The newly created SCR, entering its second year, will pit San Diego's top teams against the top teams from the Los Angeles, Fresno and Orange County areas.

Results through March 8.

ESPN RISE FAB 50 WINTER GIRLS' SOCCER RANKINGS: WEEK 13 (Nos. 1-25)
Rk. School (City, State) Record Prv.

Notes

1 Kingwood (Humble, Texas) 24-0-0 1

Kaisa Marshall had four goals and Clare Jakubowski added a goal and four assists last week as Kingwood remained perfect with a pair of 8-0 victories over Humble and Nimitz.

2 Reagan (San Antonio, Texas) 17-0-1 2

Although Reagan was held to a 1-1 draw by New Braunfels, the team retains its No. 2 ranking since it still has the chance to go undefeated in Texas 5A.

3 Melbourne (Fla.) 23-0-1* 3

Season complete. Florida Class 6A state champion. Melbourne denied Douglas a sixth state title in seven years with a 3-0 victory in the final. Carlee Jones had a goal and one assist in the final.

4 Lake Highlands (Dallas) 18-1-3 7

Lake Highlands climbs to its highest ranking ever following victories over Richardson (5-0) and W.T. White (8-0).

5 The Woodlands (Texas) 19-1-2 8

Olivia Kintigh scored twice in The Woodlands' 7-0 victory over Conroe.

6 Hebron (Texas) 13-1-5 9

Leia Kirch and Sarah Bourenane scored in Hebron's 2-0 victory over Lewisville last week.

7 San Clemente (San Clemente, Calif.) 26-4-1 10

Shelby Garcia and Frannie Coxe scored as San Clemente defeated Los Alamitos 2-0 for the CIF-Southern Section Division I title. San Clemente was the section co-champion last year and has won five section titles since 2002.

8 Los Alamitos (Calif.) 21-4-5 6

Los Alamitos, despite a setback to San Clemente in the CIF Southern Section final, advances to this week's Southern Region Soccer Championships and opens play against San Diego runner-up Torrey Pines.

9 San Ramon Valley (Danville, Calif.) 18-5-3* 11

Season complete. CIF-North Coast Section champion. San Ramon Valley stunned Foothill 4-3 in overtime in the section final for its fourth straight title. SRV trailed 3-1 with 15 minutes left before mounting the comeback. Allie Begin scored the winning goal in overtime.

10 Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.) 21-1-0* 12

Season complete. CIF-North Coast Section runner-up. Foothill was 13 minutes away from the FAB 50 national title before San Ramon Valley rallied for a 4-3 victory over the squad hailed as the most talented high school team every assembled in Northern California. Carlee Payne scored all three Foothill goals in the final.

11 Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) 22-2-3* 5

Season complete. CIF-southern Section Division I semifinalist. Aliso's season ended with a shootout loss to Los Alamitos.

12 Xavier College Prep (Phoenix) 22-2-1* 13

Season complete. Arizona Class 5A-I state champion. Carmen Abella converted the deciding penalty kick as Xavier defeated Desert Vista in a shootout following a scoreless match for the state title.

13 American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) 25-2-3* 14

Season complete. 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. The Patriots only losses this year came at a holiday tournament in which their starters, all club players, did not participate due to a club event.

14 Esperanza (Anaheim, Calif.) 22-3-2* 15

Season complete. CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinalist. This former FAB 50 No. 1 team with Tennessee signee Kylie Bono and Southern Cal signee Courtney Garcia fell to San Clemente on penalty kicks following a scoreless draw in the quarterfiinals.

15 University (Palm Harbor, Fla.) 22-2-0* 16

Season complete. 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 coach John Planamenta's 201st during his coaching career.

16 George Jenkins (Lakeland, Fla.) 26-1-1* 17

Season complete. Florida Class 5A state runner-up. George Jenkins' 58-match undefeated run ended with a 3-1 loss to Palm Harbor University in the state final.

17 Westview (San Diego) 23-2-4 31

Westview ended Torrey Pines' three-year run of CIF San Diego Division I titles with a shootout victory following a scoreless match. Westview starts play Tuesday against Sultana in the Southern Regional Soccer Championships.

18 Torrey Pines (San Diego) 19-3-2 4

Despite a section playoff loss to Westview, Torrey Pines received the at-large bid to this week's CIF Southern Regional Soccer Championships and will face Los Alamitos in the first round.

19 Oviedo (Fla.) 22-2-1* 18

Season complete. Florida Class 6A state semifinalist. Oviedo gave Melbourne its toughest playoff match before falling 2-1 in the state semifinals.

20 Ursuline Academy (Dallas) 21-3-2* 19

Season complete. TAPPS Division I state champion. Texas signee Sophie Campise scored both goals as Ursuline defeated rival Nolan Catholic 2-1 to secure the program's 19th straight TAPPS title. The victory also atones for a pair of Ursuline losses to Nolan Catholic during regular-season play.

21 Punahou (Honolulu) 13-0-3* 20

Season complete. Hawaii Division I state champion. Jayann Gabrio's header in the 36th minute lifted Punahou to a 1-0 state final victory over three-time defending champion Kamehameha. The teams tied earlier in the season. Punahou's state final victory was its ninth overall and first since 2005.

22 J.J. Pearce (Richardson, Texas) 17-1-1 22

Taylor Mathews and Nine Anderson each had two-goal outings last week as Pearce defeated Lovejoy (3-1) and The Colony (2-0).

23 McKinney Boyd (McKinney, Texas) 17-3-2 24

Boyd and Allen are tied for first with Plano East a close third in the District 8-5A standings. Emily Reid, an Oklahoma State verbal, scored three goals last week.

24 Allen (Texas) 12-2-5 25

Allen completed a regular-season sweep of Plano East, winning both matches 1-0. In last week's contest, Marissa Allen scored the game-winner.

25 Plano East (Plano, Texas) 13-4-4 23

Plano East, despite a win over McKinney Boyd, dropped to third in the district standings after a loss to Allen.

ESPN RISE FAB 50 WINTER GIRLS' SOCCER RANKINGS: WEEK 13 (Nos. 26-50)
Rank School (City, State) Record Prv.
26 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 14-4-5* 26
27 El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.) 18-5-2* 27
28 Kamehameha (Honolulu) 12-1-2* 28
29 Los Osos (Calif.) 19-4-5* 29
30 Upland (Calif.) 18-3-3* 30
31 Burlingame (Calif.) 19-1-4* 32
32 Buchanan (Fresno, Calif.) 25-3-1 39
33 Satellite (Satellite Beach, Fla.) 21-5-2* 34
34 Castro Valley (Calif.) 21-4-1* 40
35 St. John's Country Day (Orange Park, Fla.) 23-2-2* 35
36 Ponte Vedra (Fla.) 25-3-2* 36
37 Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 29-1-2* 37
38 Desert Vista (Phoenix) 16-4-4* 38
39 Austin (Fort Bend, Texas) 17-0-2 42
40 St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 15-3-2* 41
41 Clayton Valley (Concord, Calif.) 20-4-3* 43
42 Saugus (Calif.) 20-3-3 NR
43 Seminole (Fla.) 15-3-1* 44
44 Highland (Gilbert, Ariz.) 14-4-1* 45
45 Greenhill School (Addison, Texas) 21-1-1* 46
46 Douglas (Parkland, Fla.) 22-4-3* 47
47 Cypress Creek (Houston) 17-1-2 48
48 Mililani (Hawaii) 15-1-2* 49
49 St. Scholastica (Covington, La.) 20-2-0* 50
50 Rancho Buena Vista (Vista, Calif.) 16-2-4* 33