Let’s talk about the recently completed 2011 prep football season, and also touch on the winter sports season, during a prep sports live chat on Monday at noon.
East Bay Athletic League girls soccer teams looked pretty balanced on opening night Tuesday, with San Ramon Valley a cut above.
Overall, the league is largely unproven at the striker position and young, with Monte Vista probably the most youthful of all with nine freshmen starters.
The unbeaten Wolves took a 1-0 win over pesky California on a brilliant goal by SRV newcomer Melissa Lewis, a transfer from Monte Vista. After Cal failed to clear a ball on a set piece in the 41st minute, Lewis made a quick turn from near the top corner of the penalty box and booted a ball into the net.
Overall, San Ramon Valley (4-0, 1-0) has outscored four opponents a combined 18-0, also including wins over Newark Memorial (9-0), Logan (6-0) and Castro Valley (2-0).
The Wolves boast eight or nine players who are headed to Division I schools. Among the commits are Reilly Parker (North Carolina), Amanda Davis (Pepperdine), goalkeeper Beth Ritter (UC Santa Barbara) and Shannon Hennessy (Penn).
Imposing California goalkeeper Lauren Holden made 13 big saves against the Wolves, including one showstopper that had everyone talking.
The Grizzlies always seem to play the Wolves tough. The teams split league games last year, a year after San Ramon Valley beat the Grizzlies 1-0 and tied them 1-1.
Granada had an eye-catching 3-0 win over Foothill.
Monte Vista’s youth movement was in full force in a come-from-behind 1-1 draw with upstart Livermore. The Cowboys may have one of the EBAL’s more seasoned, and improved, sides with 11 juniors and three seniors.
New-look Carondelet, replacing 11 seniors from last year’s NCS championship squad, opened with a 1-0 win over Amador Valley. The Dons are guided by their new coach, Tim Gray.
The Cougars feature center backs Cassidy Nicks and Ashley Christensen, and senior striker Meggi Fisher is a key target player.
How far the Cougars go may hinge on how quickly all the newbies adjust to the speed of varsity competition.
“I don’t see any easy games for us,” Carondelet coach Rick Morin said of EBAL competition. “We’re going to have to battle every game, in the front, back, and middle, attacking-wise and defensive-wise.”
SCORES THAT CAUGHT MY EYE: Liberty 2, Berkeley 2; Heritage 1, Dougherty Valley 0; Clayton Valley 1, California 0; Dublin 1, Dougherty Valley 0; College Park 1, Campolindo 0; Livermore 1, Monte Vista 1; Granada 3, Foothill 0.
East Bay Girls Soccer Rankings (subjective):
As of Dec. 14, 2011
1, San Ramon Valley
2, Bishop O’Dowd
6, Clayton Valley
7, Monte Vista
10, Dougherty Valley
11, Castro Valley
Also included (in alphabetical order): Albany, Amador Valley, College Park, Foothill, Freedom, Irvington, Miramonte, Piedmont, St. Mary’s, Ygnacio Valley.
NOTE TO READERS: Rankings are based on results in key games, observation, information, and gut instinct. Coaches, serious fans and players should feel free to chime in with their thoughts on the state of the game, notable players, overlooked teams, hot-button issues, etc.
Good news for Bay Area football fans. Previously scheduled to only be available on tape delay, the De La Salle-Westlake game this Saturday will now be televised LIVE by Comcast Hometown Network at 8 p.m.
That’s channel 104 for those of you that have Comcast. Jim Watson will handle play-by-play, Mike Pawlawski will do the color commentary and Jenny Cavnar will be the sideline reporter.
Remember also that you can see the other four games, including Campolindo-Washington Union, on Comcast SportsNet California.
I’m still buried in football season and I’ll be in Carson on Saturday, but for hoops fans who are in the area — particularly OAL hoops fans — a good event to check out on Saturday is the G-Force Classic at Laney College. Here’s the lineup:
Oakland vs. Santa Cruz, 1:30 p.m.
Fremont vs. Antioch, 3:30 p.m.
Skyline vs. St. Mary’s, 5:30 p.m.
McClymonds vs. Monte Vista, 7:30 p.m.
Here’s the long awaited ACCAL all-league team, as selected by the league coaches. My apologies for the delay. I received it on Friday, but have been too busy with the NCS championship games to type it up. Also, this is the list as it was sent to me. It did not include any MVPs. I’m waiting to hear back if there is an updated official list with any MVPs that were named and I’ll update this and get it in the paper once I receive that.