Boys Soccer: Six Pressing Questions, Rankings, Standings, Stats

As I was thinking about soccer in the East Bay on my way back from Ygnacio Valley today, six questions popped into my head. Here they are…

1. Can Berkeley get a top three seed in NCS?

There is no doubt. They are 1-0-1 against the EBAL, they have a win over College Park and look like they are the favorite to win the WACC’s Foothill League. They have scored 23 goals over their last five games and this team is getting better and better.

2. Can St. Mary’s win the TCAL Rock?

A draw against Richmond, and an Oiler draw against Salesian, has set the Panthers up to be in control of the TCAL Rock early on. They win out, and it’s theirs. Of course, there are seven games left in league for St. Mary’s and Richmond, and most expect Richmond to right the ship. However, given the remaining schedule, if St. Mary’s can get at least a draw in Richmond, then it would be hard to see them slipping up along the way. Is Richmond the most likely of the two to win out? Perhaps. But at this point I give St. Mary’s a 50/50 shot to win the league.

3. Is Acalanes good enough to finish No. 1 in the East Bay?

I was talking to some people about this recently, and they don’t think so. However, I disagree. This team is big, athletic and, as usual, does not give up many goals, allowing just five goals in 11 games. If the Dons keep winning like this, then they will have a strong case. However, non-league games against College Park, SRV, YV, Northgate and Hayward as well as DFAL games at Campolindo and Dougherty Valley will test this team.

4. Can the EBAL get seven teams in the playoffs?

In short, yes. And I think they will. Granada knows how to grind out enough wins/draws in league play to make it. The question right now is Foothill and if they can get over the hump that is EBAL play. Once this team wins one or two, then watch out. I think seven teams is going to happen, because right now, it’s a virtual guarantee that five are getting in.

5. Can Tennyson still make the playoffs?

Bad, bad luck struck the Lancers this year and it seems like the wind has gone out of the sails a bit. However, this team still can make the playoffs. A .500 record in league is still achievable. With six games left that I think are completely winnable, and others that are winnable or at least drawable, this team can do it. The talent is there. It’s time to shake off the bad luck and get back to business.

6. Is Freedom for real?

I haven’t seen them yet, and they certainly have played better since the return of Mr. Cendejas, but there are still questionable results. However, this team could possibly pose as the biggest threat to Pittsburg in the BVAL and could be one of those low seeds in the playoffs that a team doesn’t want to play.


The biggest criticism I open myself up to this week is moving AV down to No. 6. Did they deserve to fall three spots? Probably not. But among the top teams, they were the only ones that lost. Be it, the loss was to De La Salle, I had to reward Cal, YV and MV for successful weeks. I also kept Pitt above Berkeley so at 6-7-8-9, the team above has beat the team below.
St. Mary’s into the rankings, while Richmond hangs on by a thread.

1. De La Salle (4-0-2)
2. Acalanes (11-0-0)
3. California (11-0-2)
4. Ygnacio Valley (7-1-2)
5. Monte Vista (6-1-4)
6. Amador Valley (9-2-0)
7. Pittsburg (2-2-2)
8. Berkeley (8-1-3)
9. San Ramon Valley (5-2-2)
10. Hayward (9-2-1)
11. Newark Memorial (6-1-4)
12. College Park (5-4-3)
13. Mt. Eden (7-3-3)
14. St. Mary’s (4-0-3)
15. Richmond (3-2-4)

Others Considered: Foothill (5-2-3), Northgate (6-1-3), Dougherty Valley (5-3-0), Campolindo (7-4-0), Granada (4-2-3), Antioch (4-1-3), Hercules (9-2-0), Deer Valley (4-3-1), Logan (4-5-3), Castro Valley (3-4-3)


Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Antioch (4-1-3, 0-0-0) 0
Deer Valley (4-3-1, 0-0-0) 0
Freedom (5-6-0, 0-0-0) 0
Heritage (2-6-1, 0-0-0) 0
Liberty (2-2-0, 0-0-0) 0
Pittsburg (2-2-2, 0-0-0) 0

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Acalanes (11-0-0, 6-0-0) 18
Campolindo (7-4-0, 3-2-0) 9
Dougherty Valley (5-3-0, 3-2-0) 9
Dublin (5-5-2, 3-2-0) 9
Miramonte (2-6-2, 1-3-1) 4
Las Lomas (0-6-4, 0-3-2) 2
Alhambra (5-5-3, 0-4-1) 1

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Ygnacio Valley (7-1-2, 3-0-0) 9
College Park (5-4-3, 2-0-1) 7
Northgate (6-1-3, 1-1-1) 4
Concord (3-1-2, 0-0-2) 2
Berean Chr. (1-4-2, 0-1-1) 1
Clayton Valley (0-9-1, 0-2-1) 1
Mt. Diablo (0-3-0, 0-2-0) 0

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

California (11-0-2, 2-0-1) 7
De La Salle (4-0-2, 2-0-1) 7
Amador Valley (9-2-0, 2-1-0) 6
Monte Vista (6-1-4, 1-0-2) 5
Granada (4-2-3, 1-1-0) 3
Foothill (5-2-3, 0-2-1) 1
San Ramon Valley (5-2-2, 0-1-1) 1
Livermore (2-7-2, 0-3-0) 0

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Logan (4-5-2, 3-0-1) 10
Newark Memorial (6-1-4, 2-0-2) 8
Irvington (2-3-5, 1-1-2) 5
Washington (3-3-5, 1-1-2) 5
Kennedy (3-4-1, 1-2-1) 4
Mission San Jose (3-5-4, 1-1-1) 4
Moreau Catholic (0-5-3, 0-2-2) 2
American (2-4-3, 0-2-1) 1

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Castlemont (0-0-0, 0-0-0) 0
Fremont (0-0-0, 0-0-0) 0
Oakland (0-0-0, 0-0-0) 0
Oakland Tech (0-3-1, 0-0-0) 0
Skyline (0-0-0, 0-0-0) 0

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

St. Mary’s (4-0-3, 2-0-1) 7
Albany (3-5-3, 2-2-0) 6
Richmond (3-2-4, 1-0-2) 5
El Cerrito (2-7-0, 1-1-0) 3
Salesian (1-1-1, 0-1-1) 1
St. Joseph Notre Dame (1-5-1, 0-2-0) 0

TCAL Stone
Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Hercules (9-2-0, 4-0-0) 12
Pinole Valley (5-3-0, 3-1-0) 9
De Anza (3-4-0, 2-2-0) 6
Kennedy (0-3-0, 0-2-0) 0
St. Patrick-St. Vincent (0-4-0, 0-2-0) 0
Swett (0-2-0, 0-2-0) 0

WACC Foothill
Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Berkeley (8-1-3, 5-0-1) 16
Alameda (5-4-3, 4-2-0) 12
Mt. Eden (7-3-3, 3-0-3) 12
Castro Valley (3-4-3, 3-2-1) 10
Arroyo (3-6-3, 2-3-1) 7
Bishop O’Dowd (2-4-1, 2-2-1) 7

WACC Shoreline
Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Hayward (9-2-1, 4-1-1) 13
San Lorenzo (2-2-2, 2-2-2) 8
San Leandro (2-7-1, 2-3-1) 7
Piedmont (2-4-1, 1-4-1) 4
Tennyson (1-11-1, 1-5-0) 3
Encinal (0-5-0, 0-5-0) 0

Stat Leaders

Name School Goals
R. Castillo, Hayward 13
Gala, Dougherty 12
Ayala, YV 11
Reiter, CP 10
Cendejas, Free 10
Williams, Mt. Eden 10
Solomon, Berkeley 9
Raynor, Cal 8
Grixti, Cal 8
Gray, Hayward 8
Mendoza, Hayward 8
Villegas, Mt. Eden 8
Sandoval, Newark 8

Name School Assists
Gomez, Hayward 11
Raynor, Cal 8
Damian, YV 7
Aguilar, YV 7
Croze, Acalanes 6
Solomon, Berkeley 6
Foster, Ngate 6
Diaz-Valdes, Campo 5
Guzman, Castro 5
Hernandez, CP 5
Clark, FH 5
L. Castillo, Hayward 5
Greenberg, MV 5
Maestre, SRV 5
Dull, St. Mary 5

Matt Smith

  • Marques Dillard

    Excuse me if I sound a bit forward, but the new TCAL Rock/Stone alignment is the worst thing to happen to the Richmond Oilers since I’ve returned from Arizona. They are the only Division 1 team, and that includes both brackets. Next year,unless there’s some complications, Richmond Oilers should be transferred into the EBAL so their level of play will not diminish.

  • Matt Smith

    Liberty 2, Dublin 0

  • EBALDad

    I would love to see a strength of schedule ranking or some kind of power ranking of atleast your top 10. Let’s just compare say Acalanes and Berkeley.
    I would guess Berkeley beats Acalanes handily. I say this based on who they have played. I could be wrong of course, but a strength of schedule (even just a % record of opponents played) would be a great addition.

    Marques, you are so very right about Richmond. EBAL is not a good alternative though. They should have stayed wherever Berkeley was.

  • Juan Pito

    EBAL has a bit of a break now but great action in early January, 2 games that highlight the schedule for me are Granada-Cal on January 3rd, this will be a fantastic match up in my opinion as well as AV-MV on January 5th

  • Juan Pito

    also to comment on Richmond in EBAL, it would never happen due to other sports and I totally agree with EBAL dad after seeing Berkeley and Acalanes play twice each.

  • goalboy

    @Matt Smith

    My humble thoughts on your questions:

    1)It wouldn’t be easy, but I think Berkeley can finish with a top 3 seed. They are a scoring machine and I don’t think we’ve seen them at their best yet.

    2) St. Mary’s has a lot of talent and really no tough league competition other than Richmond. I expect Richmond to overcome their early struggles. I think SM will finish #2.

    3) Acalanes can definitely finish first in EBAL. They are solid all around. We’ll see if they can maintain this rhythm.

    4) Well we know EBAL will get at least 6 teams into the playoffs, 7 wouldn’t surprise me!

    5) I think Tennyson has the talent but I can’t see them getting enough wins/ties to make the playoffs.

    6) Tough to say if Freedom is for real. They beat Monte Vista 1-0 at MV, but lost to Granada 1-3 at Freedom. I agree that with the return of Cendejas they are a much better team. A non-league match vs. St. Mary’s should be a good test. Either way I see them being a threat in the BVAL and making the playoffs.

  • Matt Smith

    @EBAL Dad You are probably right about a power ranking between Berkeley and Acalanes, and that would certainly factor into a playoff seeding situation, but it’s different with rankings. If Acalanes keeps winning, they move up.

  • Marques Dillard

    In regards to a match-up of Acalanes vs Berkeley.First, let’s agree that Acalanes is on a mission this year. Does anyone know if in the last 10 years when they were 11-0-0?Now, what if Acalanes played Berkeley? Berkeley may win but I know for darn sure it won’t be handily.That’s not in their DNA.

  • soccer fan

    Mt. Eden is looking good .
    I went to their game this past Friday and dominated arroyo. The left middle and the foward are lethal to gethere.

  • Dfal1

    Why is everyone comparing Acalanes with Berkeley? Any of the teams ranked ahead of Berkeley can make the same case against Acalanes. Acalanes is 11-0 for a reason, they can certainly be the #1 team. I watched YV completely dominate Acalanes earlier in the year. While I think YV was the better team, you have to give Acalanes credit for coming up with the win against a very good team. They always find a way to win.

  • bkells

    @Matt….moving AV down to 6th was the right decision.They had a flat week…not performing well against DLS and then beating Granada 1-0 in an even game.I think they are better than what they showed in the past 2 games.They definitely miss Seitz in the mid-field with his size and skill set.I did not see much from DLS either.I am sure you had a difficult decision keeping them at #1 ahead of Acalanes.I believe that DLS will not finish first in the EBAL…other than their all-world goalie this team at least at this stage lacks goal scoring and creativity.Cal,AV and MV will provide DLS with all they can handle

  • bkells

    @Matt… Amador is also missing two other good players Howald and Walsh due to injury!

  • Matt Smith

    @Bkells I heard AV was a little banged up. The top 5-10 teams will fluctuate so often this year because I think most of the leagues are very competitive.
    I’m not gonna say DLS won’t win the EBAL, but I’d be surprise if every EBAL team doesn’t have at least one loss this year.

  • bkells

    @Matt…thanks for your thoughts.I will never underestimate DLS.They have a storied program and always find a way to win.i just have a gut feeling that this year there will be a new EBAL champ and I am hoping it will be AV.As you have mentioned the EBAL may have 7 teams qualify for the playoffs.What is interesting about the EBAL is that a lot of players from other schools play together on their elite club teams like the Mustangs who have quite a few players on both AV and MV .The next week of inactivity should bode well for all the banged up players of AV.Have a merry Christmas!

  • Stewie

    Acalanes is good and are very capable to pull upsets.
    They all play club ball with same coach. You cant help but be more than just decent / average with the amount of games played together.

    De La Salle has good set of coaches with a solid brain trust of the game and the HS game. Then you have the Brotherhood factor which kicks in at critical times.
    Remember what DLS did a few years ago..avg season but had a march to the NCS Championship..that could not be beat. That was the Brotherhood factor.

  • Matt Smith

    @Bkells Merry Xmas as well, and too everyone else.

  • Shinguard

    @Matt…Merry Christmas..enjoy your Holiday with Miss Idaho.

    Everybody keep the game results coming in along with some stats …ie who scored ?:) Keep it fun.

  • Top Of The Box

    Well…..In my opinion…having been around these leagues for a long time….I think it is a lot of talk about nothing. Acalanes vs. Berkeley? Who cares? Put either of those two teams in the EBAL and they would get worked…consistently. The EBAL does not offer the luxury of having a “creampuff” game every other game as does the DFAL and whatever league Berkeley plays in. Every single game in the EBAL is a tough match…a contested match on both sides. Even the weaker sides in the EBAL would rock Acalanes or Berkeley. Fact.

  • Matt Smith

    @Shinguard Thank you sir. Miss Idaho sends her Christmas wishes to all of you as well.

  • bobby

    @Top of the box

    But Berkeley did beat SRV and tie monte vista so saying they would get “consistently worked” is definitely an over statement. Don’t blame Aca and Berkeley for playing in easier leagues just enjoy their talent because they both have a lot. Also, Aca plays some EBAL teams as well so we’ll see if they indeed do “get worked”

  • Yellow Jacket

    @Top Of The Box
    That is absolutely not ‘fact’. Berkeley rocked SRV 3-0 in a dominating win, and had plenty of opportunities to beat MV. Aca seems to be very solid this year and refuse to lose. So don’t know where you are getting your ‘facts’ from..

  • Scoreboard

    My 2 Christmas cents – Berk and ACA discussion..
    ACA – Certainly would fit into the EBAL. Physical, hard working and a bit of class mixed together..
    Berk – Haven’t seen them this season..But, based on what I’ve seen in recent years they would be able to compete in EBAL during a good cycle year for them.
    I think what separates the EBAL from the rest is that there are no easy games..Every Tue/Thu both home and away, the games are tough. Lots of history and rivalry involved. Ex-an Amador vs Foothill game is a dogfight no matter what kind of season either program is having. Can’t really match that in other leagues. History of NCS champions will show which is the dominant league. BVAL is the only other league recently to taste success in D1 with Pitt in 2008.
    Merry Christmas!

  • The Sweeper

    Post-Christmas take-out-the-garbage between downpours, let’s get back to the business of East Bay boys soccer.

    Hey Matt, that hail-interrupted goal-to-goal-full-rainbow Pitt@YV match was quite the REI-fan-event, using every square inch of that beach umbrella, and then some, right? I was glad to see each team able to re-focus in the second half and earn the 1-1 draw. I hope that the other fans had their AWD vehicles for the wet chase home.

    I agree that Richmond should play in the same league as Berkeley, next year and beyond. What were the suits thinking?

    I have semi-mixed thoughts on Berkeley. I have only seen the Y-Jackets once this season where they barely got by Clayton Valley very late 1-0 at SRV, with the midfield play even in the match. I need to see a match in Berkeley soon, as my brother lives 4 blocks from the field and my niece is a recent Y-Jackets and G-Bears grad. The home cookin’ seems to be good this season.

    I have not yet seen Acalanes, so I will reserve some judgment. But my instinct tells me that, after watching the Dons for 10+ seasons (2-4 matches per year in ranked matchups), their strength on the back line would match up well with the Y-Jackets’ strength. Each would be favored at home in my book.

    If Acalanes stays healthy then they should make it to the D2 final, where all predictions get reset. But, there is much to be decided on the pitch. THEN there is the matter of the closed-meeting seeding committee(s) where I have to take matters into my own hands and let the masses be read…

    I see Cal and MV ahead of AV and SRV in the EBAL at this point, and probably in that order, with the first two having the best shot to unseat DLS at the top. The EBAL winner may end up with 2 league losses, and perhaps 3 teams in the mix for the top seed in D1.

    I like the disciplined mid-field play by College Park and by Pitt, but YV will be tough to defend in an even match with 10 minutes to play as all heck breaks loose.

    I am sure that Newark-M, J-Logan, Hayward and others west of Niles Canyon / Crow Canyon will have plenty to say, and the saying it will be on the pitch. My ‘favorite’ pit-stop is The Florence in Niles with Charlie Chaplin and all the friendly bikers…

    3-Cheers! for the New Year and see you at the pitch.

  • Waterboy

    Hayward comes to Berkeley on Jan 9th, may be a good game to see, should be Wed 6 o’clock. Enter on East side of campus.

  • bkells

    @Shingaurd…you may be correct in your predictions.I see DLS finishing in fourth place in EBAL with Cal,AV and MV fighting for 1st place.If (and if its a big if) AV can get some of their starting players healthy and performing again this will be the year that AV wins EBAL and challenges for the title in the big dance.

  • Top Of The Box

    @ Scoreboard….EXACTLY my point(s). True, it is of no fault of their own that ACA and Berk play in far inferior leagues…just as it is no fault of their own that all EBAL teams play in a far superior league. To say that ACA and Berk would fit well in the EBAL based on two decent early season, nothing been’s proved yet results is ludicrous. Let’s see ACA or Berk follow-up those “convincing” wins against SRV and good result against MV and then play De La Salle, Granada, Cal, Foothill, and AV all in succession. Let’s see how they would do not being able to kick around the likes of..ahem..other teams in the DFAL that shall remain nameless. All I am saying.

  • Scoreboard

    Top of the box..not sure you read my post correctly. You basically echoed exactly what I wrote 🙂 Didn’t base my argument on this season only, referred to years past. Etc..

  • Top Of The Box

    My bad Scoreboard….I had to go back and re-read. After doing so, I will disagree with you as well. The EBAL is punishing….there are no games on the schedule that you can circle and say “we’ll get a W here”. That can’t be said in the DFAL or Berk’s league. That said…can’t see ACA or Berk “competing” in the EBAL..unless you consider competing as losing more than you win.

  • Scoreboard

    Again, that is pretty much what I was saying. PEACE!

  • Shinguard

    @BKells..I think you are referring to Stewie. I made no predictions regarding Spartans. De La Salle is always very tough and competitive. You typically will see some of the best soccer occur from mid-season into NCS. Right now they are headed to SoCal for some tough games all which help in that final tuning going into the new year.

  • Top Of The Box

    Sorry Scoreboard..:) I read it differently. Peace brutha!

  • bkells

    @Shingaurd…I know you did not make prediction regarding the Spartans.That was my prediction.They have a tremendous goalie and defense.Their creativity and goal scoring prowess has not yet materialized.DLS will always be tough to beat as we know.I believe that Cal,AV,MV and SRV have abilities can beat DLS.Looking forward to a competitive EBAL season

  • Matt Smith

    What’s up all! Hope everyone had a great Christmas.
    Love seeing Scoreboard back. Haven’t seen much of him lately.

    I am checking in from Richmond High where the Oilers will be hosting El Cerrito.

  • Matt Smith

    The refs have not shown up to Richmond yet.

  • Matt Smith

    Started at about 4:10. Richmond up 1-0 at 4:15.

  • Matt Smith

    2-0 Richmond.

  • Matt Smith

    2-0 at half.

  • Matt Smith

    Richmond just made it 3-0. Just a couple minutes left. It’s pretty much over.

  • Emile Heskey

    @Matt Smith, what are your toughts on the el cerrito – Richmond game?

  • Luis Moreno

    It was nice to see you there Matt. Really appreciate you coming out tonight. Overall what was your opinion on El Cerrito?

  • Matt Smith

    @Luis Moreno Good seeing you today as well. I thought you guys played much, much better in the second half and overall are a dangerous team. I think you guys pass the ball very well, your defenders are very smart with their challenges and close down well. I thought your keeper was good and if you guys finish chances, there’s no reason you shouldn’t start winning lots of league games. I’ll be seeing you in the playoffs, I’m sure.

    @Emile Heskey My thoughts are that El Cerrito looked just a little timid in the first half and let Richmond control the tempo. In the second half, it was much more even, with El Cerrito probably having more of the possession. Richmond is a very young team. I didn’t realize how many (13) underclassmen there were. They are going to come together at some point and be outstanding. Of course Richmond moved the ball well and was very creative, and Erik Montes was really outstanding.

  • Luis Moreno

    Thanks Matt. Hope to see you out in the field someday again. I’ll try to keep you updated on our league scores throughout the season.

  • ilovesoccer

    Is there a good place to look for upcoming games other than visiting each school’s (sometimes outdated) website?

  • Matt Smith

    @ Luis Moreno I look forward to it.

    @ilovesoccer I would say Maxpreps, but after the break I’ll start posting the matchups for the week.

  • samone

    Is Richmond that young this year? I saw them at DLS Showcase and their play was more mature then other schools. Are they playing Berkeley this year

  • bobby

    @Samone Berk is playing richmond despite the league changes. It’s a little later is January at richmond high

  • Yellow Jacket

    @Samone Berkeley is at Richmond on Monday the 28th (January) at 6PM.

  • Shinguard

    Sparty plays today at SoCal HS Classic
    2:45 vs St. Francis-La Canada CA. at Torey Pines HS
    Then they hit the pitch again tonight at 7:45 vs J. Serra-Gardina CA also at Torrey Pines.

    @BKells…sometimes eyes and mind are not in sync.

    Just click on 2012 Schedules all info avail.
    All Game Results Boys and Girls and all divisions can be seen at: http://socalhsclassic.com/schedules/

  • bkells

    @Shinguard…that holds so true this time of year!
    AV vs Albany today @12pm

  • Matt Smith

    I’m at Mt. Eden v. Liberty. Goalless early.