Well, well, well. … Carondelet doesn’t look quite ready to relinquish the North Coast Section Division I crown, now does it?
The Cougars’ resourceful 2-1 win over previously unbeaten San Ramon Valley on Tuesday night in East Bay Athletic League play made that abundantly clear.
The Wolves remain atop the East Bay Rankings based on their body of work, which includes a Tri-Valley Classic Invitational Division championship. But Carondelet vaults into the No. 2 spot.
It’s been a crazy season thus far.
Logan, the runner-up in the Tri-Valley Classic, drew 3-3 with American on Jan. 3 in the Mission Valley Athletic League. Consequently, the sneaky Eagles (8-1-2, 2-0-1 MVAL) have swooped into the rankings.
Meanwhile, the EBAL looks like the Group of Death, with four teams each with two league wins (as of Jan. 4) — Carondelet (2-0-1), San Ramon Valley (2-1-0), California (2-1-0), Granada (2-1-0). Monte Vista (1-0-2) is just a step behind.
Always a solid Division I program, Berkeley has taken it to another level with an outstanding defense and a couple of fast forwards. The Yellowjackets’ Natalie Marie, a Mustang Soccer League player, leads the way with six goals and six assists.
Carondelet followed a proven upset formula against the Wolves, who resemble the Cougars of last season with their star-studded veteran roster. They scored twice early and held tight, with just enough attacking panache to keep the Wolves honest in the back.
San Ramon Valley’s outstanding goalkeeper Beth Ritter has been slowed by a miniscus injury. Even still, Ritter, always active in the box, charged well off her line for clearances and to bolster the late Wolves push against the Cougars.
Overall, an excellent coaching job by Rick Morin and his staff. The Cougars are getting better, but the Wolves have plenty of time to regroup.
East Bay Girls Soccer Rankings (subjective):
As of Jan. 3, 2012
1, San Ramon Valley (8-1-1, 2-1-0 EBAL)
2, Carondelet (5-1-2, 2-0-1 EBAL)
3, California (8-1-2, 2-1-0 EBAL)
4, Logan (4-2-3, 1-0-1 MVAL)
5, Granada (4-2-0, 2-1-0 EBAL)
6, Bishop O’Dowd (6-2-2, 3-1 HAAL)
7, Monte Vista (3-0-4, 1-0-2 EBAL)
8, Heritage (5-3-1, 0-0-0 BVAL)
9, Albany (8-0-1, 1-0-1 BSAL)
10, Berkeley (7-2-1, 2-0 ACCAL)
11, Dublin (9-2-1, 3-0-0 DFAL)
12, Castro Valley (4-4-0, 3-0-0 HAAL)
13, Liberty (3-0-1, 0-0-0 BVAL)
14, American (8-1-2, 2-0-1 MVAL)
15, Piedmont (4-1-1, 2-0-0 BSAL)
Also included (in alphabetical order): Alhambra, Amador Valley, Campolindo, Clayton Valley, College Park, Dougherty Valley, Foothill, Irvington, Miramonte, Livermore, Mt. Eden, Ygnacio Valley.
Source for records: maxpreps.com.
Corrections: Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 any soccer-related issues.