Monday, December 15th, 2008 at 10:13 am in Boys soccer.
Welcome newcomers Dublin, Liberty and Las Lomas High Schools to the top 15 as a big win over Pittsburg propels the Patriots to No. 13. The Gaels and Knights move in after just being on the fringe a week ago. Those two are shaping up to be the power of the Diablo Foothill Athletic League, with just one loss between them.
The rest of the landscape looks pretty similar to last week, with a few changes. Hayward lost two very close games to Bishop O’Dowd and San Ramon Valley, both by a goal, so the Farmers dropped slightly, from No. 4 to No. 8.
Bishop O’Dowd, Antioch, San Ramon Valley and De La Salle all slid up because of that and the Pitt loss.
Another slight difference is the lack of a Bay Shore Athletic League team. Albany knocked off perennial league power Piedmont, to knock the Highlanders out, and now the Cougars are just two spots out.
Granada and Amador Valley stay at No. 1 and No. 2, after not playing. San Lorenzo stays at No. 3 as a 4-0 win against Mt. Eden was its only action of the week.
Richmond and Monte Vista played a tight 2-1 game, with the Oilers prevailing, keeping them one spot ahead of the Mustangs as those two round up the top ten.
Newark Memorial went 2-0 over the week and climbed up two spots.
1. Granada (3-0-1)
2. Amador Valley (3-0-2)
3. San Lorenzo (6-0-0)
4. Bishop O’Dowd (7-0-0)
5. Antioch (7-1-2)
6. San Ramon Valley (6-0-1)
7. De La Salle (2-0-0)
8. Hayward (5-2-0)
9. Richmond (4-2-0)
10. Monte Vista (3-2-2)
11. Dublin (5-0-3)
12. Newark Memorial (4-1-5)
13. Liberty (2-1-1)
14. Pittsburg (2-1-1)
15. Las Lomas (6-1-0)
Others considered: Foothill (3-5), Albany (5-0-1), Piedmont (5-2-1), Livermore (3-2-0), Arroyo (3-1-1), Ygancio Valley (4-1-2), Campolindo (3-2-1), Castro Valley (5-3-0), Mission San Jose (5-2-0), San Leandro (3-4-1).
Here are some big games to keep an eye on. I know it’s early, but they could be deciding factors later down the line in league play.
ACCAL: Pinole Valley at Richmond
The Spartans have played pretty well this year and a solid performance on the road against a power like Richmond could have them shooting up in the rankings.
BSAL: Encinal at St. Mary’s
Both teams are unbeaten in league play so far, and both have gotten off to solid starts for the season. This is a big early game because the winner keeps up with Albany and Piedmont.
BVAL: Deer Valley at Pittsburg
The Wolverines are 2-0-1 in their last three games, and are playing a Pittsburg team coming off of a disappointing loss. This is a good game for Deer Valley to make a name for itself, but it’s an even better game for the Pirates to get back on track.
DFAL: Dublin at Miramonte
The Gaels are off to a heck of a start, but watch out for the Matadors. Miramonte didn’t get a non-league schedule to warm up with, so it has started with ties against Campolindo and Acalanes in league play. More games for the Mats means they will improve. However, they will need to be very improved to knock off a Gaels team that is unbeaten (5-0-3) and has out-scored opponents 14-2 in their last three matches.
DVAL: Ygnacio Valley at Concord
Ygnacio Valley is off to a very good start at 4-1-2, and could easily be the favorite in the league this year. However, Concord is a very talented team that will be hard to deal with as the season progresses. This is a big one.
EBAL: De La Salle at Granada
Every match in the EBAL this week is a big one, but I selected just one to mention because it features No. 1 Granada hosting No. 6 De La Salle. This will go a long way in sorting out the EBAL standings and sorting out who should be ranked and where they should be ranked. With any luck I’ll be at this game, which should be a great early season affair.
HAAL: Arroyo at Bishop O’Dowd
The Dragons are off to a very hot start and will look to keep it going and stay ranked in the top five. Arroyo would definitely shoot up the rankings with this win. Also, keep an eye on a non-league game on Saturday involving an HAAL team when Hayward faces Monte Vista. Should be a good one.
MVAL: Pittsburg at Newark
Yes, the biggest MVAL game is a non-league game. This one is huge. I got some questions about Newark being ranked at 2-1-5 last week, and they will be put to the test by the defending North Coast Section champs.
For questions, comments, to report scores, update standings or add players to the watch list, please email Matt Smith at email@example.com.