League play revs up again after the holiday break, as a showdown looms in the Mission Valley Athletic League and other league-leaders will start their push for the postseason.
A battle for first place in the MVAL looms on Tuesday, when defending champion Logan (5-4-1, 4-0-0) hosts unbeaten Washington (8-0-2, 4-0-0), which has come of age after going 2-14-4 overall and 2-8-2 in league last season. Huskies senior Megan Ravenscroft leads the team with 11 goals and two assists.
Campolindo is on a four-game winning streak heading into Wednesday’s showdown against host Dublin, which had an 0-1-1 mark against the Cougars last season.
San Ramon Valley (EBAL), Campolindo (DFAL) and College Park (DVAL) appear to have the inside shot at league championships, but much work lies ahead.
The BVAL, which kicks off this week, looks like a pick ‘em, with defending champion Freedom having a slight edge over Brentwood battlers Heritage and Liberty and the rest.
The new West Alameda County-Foothill Division features a menacing triple threat in Bishop O’Dowd, Castro Valley and Berkeley, but the Dragons are proving very tough to beat. O’Dowd owns shut out wins over the Trojans (4-0) and Yellowjackets (1-0). A date to circle on the calendar is Jan. 18, when Berkeley travels to Castro Valley.
In the DVAL, College Park won its showdown with Ygnacio Valley 3-0 last week. Jacky Scharff, who leads the Falcons with 13 goals, scored what proved to be the winner in the 66th minute to break a scoreless draw.
It looks like it will be battle royal for the top spots in the EBAL. San Ramon Valley has the most dynamic attack in the area, but the rest of the EBAL teams have notable strengths. Teams can steal a point against the Wolves with bunker-and-counter strategies.
Improved Amador Valley, Monte Vista and Granada are bunched in a tie for second, each with 2-1 marks. But improved Livermore looks like it’s going to stick around to the finish with a veteran lineup. Foothill, California and Carondelet all have reasonable chances to crack the top three. It may come down to which team not named San Ramon Valley can get hot on offense.
FALCONS PRESENT MEETS FALCONS PAST: College Park players, past and present, met on Dec. 22 in an alumni game. The alumni players wore special white jerseys that they were allowed to keep as a gift from the varsity team. The game was fun-filled with lots of good-natured ribbing on a rainy day. The players were treated to a beautiful double rainbow after the match. Perfect.
Rankings (Through Jan. 7)
1, San Ramon Valley (8-0-2, 2-0-1 EBAL)
2, Bishop O’Dowd (9-1-1, 5-0-0 WAC-Foothill)
3, Berkeley (6-2, 5-1-0 WAC Foothill)
4, Monte Vista (4-3-2, 2-1-0 EBAL)
5, Castro Valley (9-1-2, 5-1 WAC-Foothill)
6, Logan (5-4-1, 4-0-0 MVAL)
7, Washington (8-0-2, 4-0-0 MVAL)
8, Granada (2-1 EBAL)
9, California (4-3-2, 0-1-2 EBAL)
10, Amador Valley (6-3, 2-1-0 EBAL)
11, College Park (10-1-4, 4-0-0 DVAL)
12, Carondelet (3-5, 0-3 EBAL)
13, Campolindo (6-0-2, 4-0-1 DFAL)
14, Livermore (5-3-2, 1-1-2 EBAL)
15, Freedom (4-2-0)
Also noted: Alhambra, Dublin, Encinal, Foothill, Heritage, Liberty, Piedmont, Ygnacio Valley.