Welcome to another high school girls soccer season that promises to offer plenty of thrills, spills and winter chills.
I’ve cobbled together some early season rankings to give you something to discuss.
Obviously, things will become clearer after the Tri-Valley Classic Dec. 19-21, as well as other nonleague blockbuster battles.
The East Bay Athletic League remains the area’s best league from top to bottom, but others are emerging.
Heritage, the 2010-11 NCS Division I semifinalist, and Division II schools Bishop O’Dowd and Dougherty Valley have formidable programs. Also, Castro Valley (HAAL), a traditional top level power, Clayton Valley (DVAL), Logan (MVAL), and Albany (BSAL) shouldn’t be overlooked. Traditional DFAL powers are Campolindo and Miramonte, and Berkeley (ACCAL) always bring a skillful mix to the pitch. Deep and powerful San Ramon Valley has earned the No. 1 preseason ranking.
Carondelet, which beat the Wolves for the EBAL, NCS Division I and Tri-Valley Classic Elite division championships last season, is in a rebuilding mode after losing 11 seniors.
East Bay Girls Soccer Rankings (subjective):
As of Nov. Nov. 28, 2011
1, San Ramon Valley
2, California Grizzlies
3, Bishop O’Dowd
4, Monte Vista
8, Dougherty Valley
9, Castro Valley
11, Clayton Valley
Also included (in alphabetical order): Albany, Amador Valley, College Park, Foothill, Freedom, Miramonte, Piedmont, St. Mary’s, Washington.
NOTE TO READERS: Rankings are based on observation, information from coaches, history, and gut instinct. Each week coaches and serious fans should feel free to chime in with their thoughts on the state of the game, notable players, overlooked teams, hot-button issues, etc. Let’s make these girls soccer notebooks a can’t-miss read.
A LOOK ABOVE: I’ll be randomly exploring college web sites to check up on our local stars.
A quick look at the UC Davis roster reveals a large influx of local talent. The Aggies fell 1-0 to UC Irvine in the Big West tournament on Nov. 3.
In addition to former Carondelet star Rogan Dolan, the East Bay Player of the Year last season, the Aggies boast sophomore starter Ashley Edwards (San Ramon Valley); freshman Erika Emmanuel (California), senior starter Rachel Kahn (Monte Vista); freshman Ashley Loughmiller (Foothill, Washington State); sophomore Emily Irion (College Park), freshman Lexi Poppoff (Tracy), and freshman Anja Simonsen (Acalanes).