“Inside Girls Soccer” blog alive and kicking

Greetings, high school girls soccer fans.

The new winter season is in full swing, and I’m back to share some stories and a little insight about the leagues, teams and teenage players in the East Bay.

I have over 20 years of experience as a soccer player and soccer writer, having covered the 1999 Women’s World Cup and 1994 World Cup, both in the United States, along with international, professional, college, high school, and youth matches galore.

I was fortunate enough to cover the FC Gold Pride women’s team in its drive to a 2010 WPS championship at Cal State East Bay, before the team folded. I also covered the San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer for much of last summer in its drive to an MLS Supporters’ Shield.

I enjoy the game and feel that this one of the country’s best soccer regions, especially for girls, thanks to the area’s great youth clubs and passionate soccer families. Some notable Tri-Valley juggernaut clubs are Mustang Soccer, Pleasanton Rage, San Ramon Soccer, and West Coast Soccer.

So feel free to share any facts, statistics or anecdotes about your favorite soccer players with me and the readers. If you know of a  player (your niece?) who is setting a high standard, or who’s poised to land a college scholarship, don’t keep it a secret. Let us all know.

Also, many of our best local players are now tearing it up in college. Feel free to chime in with updates.

I’m expecting another fantastic season.

Here are a few items just to kick things off:


College Park is off to a flying start this season, with plenty of punch on the field and a boffo braintrust on the sideline.

The big news is Falcons coach Randy Madison has added soccer sage Larry Hall as a co-coach. Hall brings decades of coaching experience. Plus, he has a lot of talent to work with. The Falcons have several key players back from last year’s DVAL championship squad.

College Park will have its first annual girls soccer Alumni Game on Dec. 22. Kickoff is 2 p.m. Rumor has it, the tacos will be mighty tasty.

MR. STATS HANGS UP HIS CLIPBOARD: After a five-year run as the EBAL girls soccer stats guru, John Deal says it looks like he will “retire” this year, although he’ll be helping out here and there.

It’s a big loss.

Local coaches and soccer scribes knew where to turn for numerical insight. Deal was the real statistical deal.

As he was cleaning out his files, Deal provided one final gem — a breakdown of the EBAL’s 30-plus years of dominance in the NCS playoffs.

Current EBAL teams have won 30 of the 31 NCS championships at the top level, topped by Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley with six apiece. The Mustangs bested the Wolves 1-0 in last season’s championship game. Granada and Amador Valley are tied for second with five NCS titles apiece.

Livermore is the lone EBAL team without a section title, but current Cowboys coach Jason Maratsos is determined to bring the program to a formidable level.

Other Deal nuggets: Over the last five years (2008-2012), the EBAL has had at least five of its eight teams in the NCS field.

It must be pointed out that other Bay Area leagues have been making inroads. Freedom upended Granada in penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw in the second round of the Division I playoffs last season, and upstart College Park, as the No. 12 seed, gave California a battle before falling 1-0 in the quarterfinals. MVAL champion Logan lost 1-0 to Carondelet also in the quarterfinals.

Still, as Deal points out, the EBAL had a record of 27–5–6 (.789 winning percentage) in the 2011-12 season against non-EBAL NCS Division I teams.


Paul McCallion, who guided the Castro Valley High girls soccer team to its first North Coast Section title in 2010, is back coaching the Trojans after taking a season off.

The Trojans beat Tennyson 4-0 on Wednesday in the Western Alameda County Conference (WACC) to improve to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the WACC. In 2010, McCallion’s Trojans beat San Ramon Valley 2-1 the NCS Division I championship match to finish the season 25-0-2. The Trojans became only the second non-EBAL school to win a section title at the top level in girls soccer, dating to 1982.


Need: TCAL standings; WACC Shoreline Division standings



Freedom 2-0-0 1.000 

Heritage 3-1-1 0.700

Pittsburg 3-3-1 0.500

Deer Valley 1-2-0 0.333

Antioch 2-5-0 0.286

Liberty 0-1-1 0.250  

DVAL STANDINGS (nonleague)

College Park 3-0-1 0.875

Ygnacio Valley 4-2-2 0.625

Northgate 2-2-1 0.500

Concord 2-2-1 0.500

Clayton Valley 1-2-1 0.375

Mt. Diablo 1-4-0 0.200

Berean Christian 0-2-0 0.000  


Alhambra 1-0-0 1.000 1 3 1-1-0 0.500

Campolindo 1-0-1 0.750 12 3 3-0-2 0.800

Dublin 1-0-1 0.750 8 4 3-0-3 0.750

Las Lomas 1-1-0 0.500 7 1 2-1-0 0.667 7

Dougherty Valley 0-0-1 0.500 5 13 2-2-3 0.500

Acalanes 0-1-1 0.250 17 7 2-1-2 0.600

Miramonte 0-2-0 0.000 4 7 1-3-0 0.250  

EBAL STANDINGS (nonleague)

San Ramon Valley 2-0-0 1.000

Carondelet 1-0-0 1.000

Monte Vista 1-0-1 0.750

Amador Valley 3-2-0 0.600

California 3-2-0 0.600

Livermore 1-1-0 0.500

Foothill 0-0-2 0.500

Granada 0-0-0 0.000 0 0 0



Kennedy 1-0-0 1.000 13 6 3-1-0 0.750

Newark Memorial 1-0-0 1.000 3 10 1-2-0 0.333

Logan 1-0-0 1.000 6 3 2-0-1 0.833

Washington 1-0-0 1.000 14 5 5-0-2 0.857

Moreau Catholic 0-1-0 0.000 9 3 2-1-0 0.667

Irvington 0-1-0 0.000 6 8 1-3-2 0.333

Mission San Jose 0-1-0 0.000 28 10 3-3-0 0.500

American 0-1-0 0.000 19 11 4-2-1 0.643  

WACC STANDINGS (Foothill Division)

Bishop O’Dowd 2-0-0 1.000 14 2 3-0-0 1.000

Berkeley 2-0-0 1.000 18 2 3-1-0 0.750

Castro Valley 2-0-0 1.000 22 0 4-0-0 1.000

Alameda 0-1-0 0.000 7 12 1-5-1 0.214

Arroyo 0-2-0 0.000 4 14 1-4-0 0.200

Mt. Eden 0-2-0 0.000 9 18 2-4-1 0.357  

Source: maxpreps.com

Matt Schwab

  • Matt, it’s great to see a seasoned pro cover Women’s soccer. I Coach U14, 15, 16, & 17 Girls club team. I look forward to your insight. Troy Dayak

  • Mudhen

    From what I’ve seen, it’s Bishop O’Dowd’s to lose. None of the other teams on the bay side are even close.

  • Matt Schwab

    O’Dowd is definitely a juggernaut. Too much depth and quality for most teams. I’m checking out the Monte Vista-California EBAL opener tonight. Could be a good one. I’ll probably wait until after the Tri-Valley Classic to start the East Bay rankings.

  • Matt Schwab

    Here is a great note that checked in about Miramonte two-concurrent-sport star Megan Reid. She just registered a hat trick against Acalanes. Reid was MVP of the DFAL soccer league as a freshman, with 17 goals and six assists. Last year she was first-team all-league with 12 goals and two assists. In her spare time Reid also plays on the Miramonte basketball team. Now that’s an athlete worth talking about.

  • Prep Fan

    Megan was not just another player on the basketball team, but made All East Bay for the 31-2 Matadors. Her All East Bay bio:

    MEGAN REID, Miramonte, guard, So. — A superb all-around athlete, Reid was key to Miramonte’s uptempo attack. In a team-high 22 minutes per game, she averaged 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and 5.5 steals.

    And she is a great kid to boot.

  • ET

    In DII, I agree that BOD is the favorite, but Albany and the top teams from the DFAL will contend as well. Both Dublin (3-0-4) and Campolindo (3-0-2) are undefeated through non-league and the first week of league play. Dublin lost to BOD in the NCS finals last year and Campolindo lost to BOD in the NCS semi’s.

    Campolindo plays both BOD and Albany in January non-league games to get those teams ready for the NCS playoffs in February.

    For DI, it will probably be SRV and Monte Vista to battle it out again.

  • Matt Schwab

    From the looks of it, Megan Reid doesn’t have a lot of spare time. It sounds pretty incredible that she can do so well in both sports in the same season.

  • David

    Matt: about outstanding players Megan Ravenscroft from Washington has registered 8 goals 1 assist in 7 games. Washington hasn’t had a cake walk preseason either with victories at Cal, Livermore and a tie at Foothill. Their first MVAL test is tonight vs American 7:45 @ TAK.

  • Ken DeMain

    Its great to have such a talented writer recognize and encourage girls sports especially soccer in the east bay region which has such a strong showing. Ba

  • mudhen

    Honestly, I think O’Dowd could whip up on any of the D-1 schools as well. And their J.V. team could beat any number of varsity squads EBAL or no.

  • Mike Harris

    I’ll never forget when 10 years ago my father-in-law was visiting from México and we all drove together thru the Pleasanton sports park to the youth football fields that are located at the very end of the access road; in order to get there one must drive past all of the beautiful soccer fields. As we were making our way my father-in-law was in awe of how we had field after field filled with so many young girls competing. The facilities and the officials and the uniformed players absolutely blew him away. He commented on what a great site it was to behold. He also said ” no wonder your women’s teams are so strong”. I was very proud to be an american that day; and I was very proud of all our young female athletes. We are so very blessed here in the U. S.. I salute all those who contribute to providing for our young athletes.

  • Abc

    Matt: while not played in same season, there are several girls who are duel sport athletes – MV has Hannah Clark (Tennis, NCS Champs), Ashlyn Goerz (LAX, 2012 EBAL 1st team & Stanford commit) & Lindsay Rood (softball).

  • Matt Schwab

    Great responses everyone. Mike Harris: Very moving and profound. American women are well prepared for international competitions, in my opinion, because they face the best here at home, and they’re raised in a culture in which they are encouraged to be strong, healthy and bold. I recall during the 1999 Women’s World Cup that Brazil hardly paid any attention in terms of media; whereas dozens, nay hundreds, of cameras followed the Brazilian men during the 1994 World Cup. I get it. It’s cultural, but it does underscore the point that American female soccer players tend to grow up in a more supportive environment, manicured fields and all. And you see the results quite clearly in the East Bay, where impressive young women are achieving on the field and off… ABC: Always impressed with dual sport athletes, especially the ones you mentioned. Playing two sports in one season at a high level, I think we all have to admit is pretty darn impressive. Glad you mentioned the names, though. I will follow up.

  • Matt Schwab

    Pretty good game last night. Monte Vista’s girls opened EBAL play with a 1-0 win over host California, but the Mustangs suffered two injuries. Hopefully they’re not serious. Monte Vista’s defense looked as good, calm, and skillful as ever. Grizzlies star midfielder Rachel Feldman (Navy) was forced to play center back to bolster a makeshift defense. Cal offered its usual spirited, well-organized effort, but didn’t create many scoring chances. On a rare miscue by a Mustangs defender, Monte Vista goalkeeper Hannah Clark, who’s headed to BYU, came well off her line to clear the ball away with California speedster Marisa Rodrigues quickly converging on her.
    Otherwise, a couple of scores that stood out: defending NCS Div. II champion Bishop O’Dowd’s beating arch-rival Castro Valley 4-0 in a battle of WACC-Foothill Division rivals; and Foothill’s upending Carondelet 2-1. It was a big win for the Falcons, who snapped a six-game league losing streak against the Cougars. Foothill last beat Carondelet in its memorable 2008-09 season in which the Falcons finished 21-1.
    Also on Thursday, College Park (5-0-2) remained unbeaten with a 5-0 win over Mt. Diablo in the Falcons’ DVAL opener, and defending MVAL champion Logan (3-0-1, 2-0 MVAL) took down Kennedy 2-0 with two first-half goals.

  • Matt Schwab

    I should add that it was a nice win for improved Washington (5-0-2, 2-0 MVAL)over toughie American 1-0 on Thursday. Full disclosure: My nieces Erin and Hayley Fields both played for Washington at different times, and played well. Huskies and Mission San Jose used to battle each year for MVAL supremacy.

  • Prep Fan

    Matt, there was a girl 2 years ago at Dougherty Valley that also played both soccer and basketball at a high level in the same season, Briana Gaines. She is now on scholarship playing soccer at SMU. She made all league at basketball, and was DFAL league MVP in soccer just like Megan Reid. The link below is to a Cal-Hi Sports segment that was done on her playing both sports. At the end they talk about her goal of winning NCS in both sports, which she eventually accomplished.


  • Matt Schwab

    I remember Briana Gaines. Didn’t get to see her play in person but did mention her in some columns. I’ll have to check up on her stats at SMU and maybe give her a call. She could offer keen insight into Reid’s unique challenges.

  • Abc

    Briana was a beast upfront. Uncomprising & put the fear into defenders… Along the lines of Carly Payne at Foothill. Didn’t play soccer at DVHS for first 2 (maybe 3) years of high school.

  • ET


    DFAL update. Alhambra beat previously unbeaten Dublin, 1-0. Campolindo defeated Las Lomas 4-0 and are tied with Alhambra for the top of the DFAL with both teams 2-0-1. Campolindo plays at Alhambra on Wednesday for the top spot. Dublin is in second in league with a 1-1-2 record.

  • Tack

    Dublin actually beat Alhambra 1-0. Alhambra had a chance to tie it up in the dying seconds but couldn’t finish.

    Heard Tennyson had to forfeit all 8 games due to player ineligibility? If that’s true that’s rough.

  • Tack

    whoops wrong thread.

  • KFC

    Some very interesting EBAL results last night. Cal High giving it all to SRV only to have SRV come back from 2 down to draw. Monte Vista Dropping one to Livermore and Amador holding off late pressure from a very young Carondelet squad. Really looking forward to the TriValley Classic to have a chance to watch all of these teams

  • Soccerfan

    Saw the AV – CAR game. AV looked pretty impressive, especially on the defensive side. Strong back-line and solid keeper. Carondelet is young and injuries to 4 returning starters (2 knees, broken leg and concussion) making it a tough start. Had good energy though and kept fighting.

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