Boys Soccer: Playoff Picture, Rankings, Standings, Stats

The playoff races in Division I and Division II are heating up. Who’s looking like they will get in and who isn’t?

Division I

Locks: Amador Valley, Berkeley, California, De La Salle, Foothill, Monte Vista, Newark Memorial, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Ramon Valley

These 10 teams are mathematically eligible for the playoffs already, and based on their wins and the schedule they’ve played, I believe are already in the playoffs no matter what happens. (Richmond & Berkeley have already earned an automatic berth). This leaves us six spots.

Pretty Much In: Antioch, College Park, Mt. Eden

These three teams, barring any setbacks, are in. They have mathematically qualified already, but unlike the teams above, wouldn’t be safe if they were to lose out. However, a win or two or a draw here and there in their last four games should do the trick. I’d list CP, ME and Antioch, in that order, in terms of safety. This leaves three spots.

Inside the Bubble: Castro Valley, Deer Valley, Dougherty Valley, Logan

Castro Valley- As of right now, a game above .500 in league, they are inside the bubble. However, they finish against Bishop O’Dowd, Mt. Eden and Berkeley in three of their last four games. Going any combination of 0-1-3, 1-2-1, 1-1-2, etc… in their last four league games makes them eligible.

Deer Valley- A game over .500 overall and in league. This team is actually pretty safe based on schedule strength and remaining schedule. Almost a Pretty Much In team.

Dougherty Valley- Record-wise, Dougherty is close to qualifying. They’ve played a pretty decent non-league schedule that will help increase the chances.

Logan- Once a Pretty Much In team, they have had a rough week. I think this team is a lot like DV, pretty safe. But the Colts needs to get back on track.

I believe at least two of these teams get in, which really only leaves one spot for others to fight for.

On the Bubble: Alameda, Arroyo, Freedom, Irvington, Liberty, Mission San Jose, San Leandro, Washington

Alameda- Needs two more wins than losses in their last four league games to qualify.

Arroyo- Same as Alameda.

Freedom- Has a win against MV and a draw against Pitt, but is only 3-6-2 against Division I teams. Just one game under .500 overall and in league, but qualifying and getting in are two different things.

Irvington- Just a game under .500 in league and playing better.

Liberty- Two games under in league, so good play over the last two weeks is vital.

MSJ- A side with very solid results, so I’m not counting them out yet.

San Leandro- 4-4-4 in league, so exactly .500. Keep that pace and they’ll qualify. A few more wins strengthens the case.

Washington- Had a rough week. A game under overall and in league, was looking in decent shape before this, but should be able to turn it around and get qualified.

Division II

Locks: Acalanes, Campolindo, Concord, Hayward, Hercules, Northgate, Pinole Valley, St. Mary’s, Ygnacio Valley

These nine teams are mathematically eligible for the playoffs already, and based on their wins and the schedule they’ve played, I believe are already in the playoffs no matter what happens. (Hercules has already earned an automatic berth). This leaves us seven spots.

Pretty Much In: De Anza, Kennedy-Fremont

I believe these two have already mathematically qualified, and based on the lack of qualifying teams in Division II, I pretty much believe them to be locks. I’m gonna leave myself room for error in case I don’t have their records correct. This leaves five spots.

Inside the Bubble: Alhambra, Bishop O’Dowd, Dublin, San Lorenzo

Alhambra- Despite being tied for last in the DFAL, which isn’t as bad as it sounds because it’s such a tough league, this team looks like it will probably get in. Two games above .500 with a solid schedule and a win over YV equals playoffs to me, as long as they qualify.

Bishop O’Dowd- Getting hot right now and shouldn’t have any problem qualifying, or getting in. One more league win makes them eligible. This team is Pretty Much In.

Dublin- An up and down team that is tough to figure out, seems to be in a good position now. 5-4-0 in league and 5-4-3 against Division II teams means they just have to win once or twice to end the year to get in.

San Lorenzo- Had a rough week, but being two games over .500 both overall and in league gives them room to play with. This team will be fine and should get in.

I think all four of these teams are getting in, leaving us one spot.

On the Bubble: Albany, El Cerrito, Moreau Catholic, Piedmont, Salesian

Albany- Could have qualified with a win over Salesian in their last league game, this team will now have to win twice or go 1-0-1 in the TCAL Tourney. They are 5-6-1 in Division II games (remember, Oakland Tech counts as Division II) so winning a TCAL tourney game, then drawing one, or winning two would help. They could even win one and then lose against Richmond (DI) and get in.

El Cerrito- I’m not seeing the mathematical possibility, but I could be wrong. Overall is clearly not good enough, and 4-5-1 isn’t gonna work in league. They needed a win or draw in their last game. They are 5-8-1 in Division II games, so I guess winning the TCAL Tourney, as long as they play all DII schools on the way, could do it.

Moreau Catholic- Believe it or not, this team is probably in the best shape. They are playing much, much better, are only a game under .500 in league and are 2-0-2 against the four teams they have left.

Piedmont- The Highlanders are playing better right now, but need to go unbeaten (4-0-0, or 3-0-1) in their last four games to get in.

Salesian- 3-4-2 against Division II teams, so a win and a draw or a couple of wins in the TCAL tourney, will get them eligible.


Even though they are still undefeated, a draw against Miramonte was enough for me to jump Berkeley over Acalanes and give the Yellowjackets their first No. 1 ranking in the history of these rankings. Any time a team wins 13 straight games, at any level, is an incredible feat, and deserves to be rewarded. The Jackets will have their hands full against Richmond tomorrow as No. 1 will be tested right away. Should be an exciting matchup and a great test for the new No. 1 team in the East Bay.
Acalanes stays at No. 2 despite the draw with Miramonte, while De La Salle and Pittsburg both jump two spots. San Ramon Valley now leads the EBAL by a point and is really hitting stride, breaking into the top five. This will be a big week as DLS and SRV square off. Winner likely goes into the final week with the best chance to win the league.
MV and YV both drop a few spots after losses to unranked teams, while Richmond jumps up to No. 8 after a good week. Campo creeps up one spot, as does AV.

1. Berkeley (15-1-3)
2. Acalanes (15-0-3)
3. De La Salle (11-3-5)
4. Pittsburg (10-2-4)
5. San Ramon Valley (13-4-2)
6. Monte Vista (12-3-4)
7. Ygnacio Valley (13-2-4)
8. Richmond (12-3-5)
9. Campolindo (13-5-2)
10. California (14-4-2)
11. Hayward (13-3-3)
12. Foothill (9-5-5)
13. Amador Valley (11-6-3)
14. Concord (9-1-5)
15. Newark Memorial (11-3-6)

Others considered: St. Mary’s (11-2-3), College Park (9-7-4), Kennedy-Fremont (9-5-1), Northgate (10-4-4), Hercules (15-4-2), Deer Valley (8-7-2), Logan (8-7-5), Mt. Eden (9-5-6), Bishop O’Dowd (7-6-2), Pinole Valley (10-5-1)


Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Pittsburg (10-2-4, 5-0-1) 16
Antioch (8-4-4, 4-2-0) 12
Deer Valley (8-7-2, 3-2-1) 10
Freedom (8-9-2, 2-3-1) 7
Liberty (4-6-2, 1-4-1) 4
Heritage (2-10-3, 0-4-2) 2

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Acalanes (15-0-3, 7-0-2) 23
Campolindo (13-5-2, 5-2-1) 16
Dublin (7-7-3, 5-4-0) 15
Dougherty Valley (8-5-1, 4-3-1) 13
Miramonte (3-8-4, 2-5-2) 8
Alhambra (8-6-4, 1-5-2) 5
Las Lomas (1-10-4, 1-6-2) 5

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Ygnacio Valley (13-2-4, 8-0-1) 25
College Park (9-7-4, 6-1-2) 20
Concord (9-1-5, 4-0-4) 16
Northgate (10-4-4, 4-4-1) 13
Berean Chr. (4-8-2, 2-5-1) 7
Mt. Diablo (1-8-0, 1-7-0) 3
Clayton Valley (0-17-2, 0-8-1) 1

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

San Ramon Valley (13-4-2, 7-2-1) 22
De La Salle (11-3-5, 6-1-3) 21
Monte Vista (12-3-4, 6-2-2) 20
California (14-4-2, 5-4-1) 16
Foothill (9-5-5, 3-4-3) 12
Amador Valley (11-6-3, 3-5-2) 11
Livermore (4-12-3, 2-7-1) 7
Granada (4-10-4, 1-8-1) 4

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Newark Memorial (11-3-6, 7-0-3) 24
Kennedy (9-5-1, 6-3-1) 19
Logan (8-7-5, 5-2-3) 18
Irvington (4-6-7, 3-4-3) 12
Moreau Catholic (3-7-4, 3-4-3) 12
Washington (4-5-8, 2-3-5) 11
Mission San Jose (4-9-6, 2-5-3) 9
American (3-10-3, 1-8-1) 4

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Oakland Tech (3-3-1, 3-0-0) 9
Skyline (1-0-0, 1-0-0) 3
Castlemont (0-1-0, 0-1-0) 0
Fremont (0-2-0, 0-2-0) 0
Oakland (0-1-0, 0-1-0) 0

Team W-L (overall, league) PTS

Richmond (12-3-5, 8-0-2) 26
St. Mary’s (11-2-3, 8-1-1) 25
Albany (5-10-4, 4-5-1) 13
El Cerrito (5-14-1, 4-5-1) 13
Salesian (3-5-3, 2-5-3) 9
St. Joseph Notre Dame (3-15-1, 0-10-0) 0

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

Hercules (15-4-2, 9-0-1) 28
Pinole Valley (10-5-1, 7-2-1) 22
De Anza (7-4-2, 6-2-2) 20
Kennedy (4-8-0, 4-6-0) 12
Swett (2-9-0, 2-8-0) 6
St. Patrick-St. Vincent (0-11-0, 0-10-0) 0

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

Berkeley (15-1-3, 11-0-1) 34
Mt. Eden (9-5-6, 5-1-6) 21
Bishop O’Dowd (7-6-2, 6-4-1) 19
Castro Valley (5-7-5, 5-4-3) 18
Alameda (6-10-4, 5-7-0) 15
Arroyo (5-9-4, 4-6-2) 14

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

Hayward (13-3-3, 8-2-2) 26
San Lorenzo (6-4-3, 5-4-3) 18
San Leandro (4-8-4, 4-4-4) 16
Piedmont (5-9-1, 4-7-1) 13
Tennyson (1-14-4, 1-8-3) 6
Encinal (0-11-0, 0-11-0) 0

Stat Leaders

Name School Goals
Montes, Richmond 32
Ayala, YV 23
Gala, Dougherty 20
Cendejas, Free 20
Romero, Hercules 19
Berumen, Pitt 16
R. Castillo, Hayward 15
Al. Marques, Hercules 14
Solomon, Berkeley 13
Fink, BOD 12
Sandoval, Pinole 12
Helfrich, Acalanes 11
Grixti, Cal 11
Reiter, CP 11
Williams, Mt. Eden 11

Name School Assists
Murgia, Pitt 18
Damian, YV 17
Alvarez, Richmond 16
Gomez, Hayward 13
Bramvila, Richmond 13
Clark, FH 11
Montes, Richmond 10
Espinosa, St. Mary 9
Aguilar, YV 9
Raynor, Cal 8
Torres, Moreau 8
Foster, Ngate 8
Bolender, Ngate 8
Barringer, Pied 8
Berumen, Pitt 8
Dull, St. Mary 8

Matt Smith

  • Neal

    @Bobo Alameda’s a pretty scrappy squad. Especially at home. Tight game in an entertaining WACC.

    @Matt There’s ALWAYS construction on Market St.!

  • Matt Smith

    @Neal Haha! I live Upper Market (Twin Peaks) so usually that area is not too bad. But last night it was terrible.

  • Matt Smith

    I’m gonna update some playoff scenarios…

    Albany is 5-6-1 in Division II games. so they need to win today, then win in the next round, or they need to win and then draw in the next round and go out on PK’s. It’s looking like it won’t be easy for Albany to get in.

    Salesian is 4-4-2 in Divisiion II games. It’s a win and get in situation for them. A draw, and then going out in PK’s also gets them qualified. A draw, and then winning in PK’s leaves them open to a loss in the next round, which knocks them out of the playoff race.

    El Cerrito is 4-5-1 in league, and 5-8-1 in D II games. They need to win the tournament, and I’m still not sure that comes with an automatic bid.

  • Matt Smith

    TCAL tourney games are Tuesday, not today. So all that was said above about Albany applies to Tuesday.
    Salesian plays Northgate today. A win for Salesian and it’s playoff eligibility.

  • Stewie

    Dude SF…? Find a place around College Ave. No wonder Miss Idaho doesn’t get a chance to see you.

  • Bobo

    @Neal, no doubt Alameda played tough. There just seems to be this perpetual calibration or lack of issue with CVHS “THE PROGRAM” LOL…when it comes to a must win game.

  • mudhen

    Any games today?

  • soccerfrau

    Interesting concerning TCAL teams. Tie a game, win in penalties, then lose next round and not make NCS. Did I get that right? Does that open the possibility for a team to deliberately lose in penalties? Don’t like an end of the season league tournament in any sport.

  • Matt Smith

    @Stewie I lived in Berkeley before law school, but the commute everyday in BART was killing me. Back to the East Bay after school is a big possibility.

    @Soccerfrau You bring up the exact point I was hinting at. Getting a draw and then losing in PK’s would actually help in the right scenario. However, Albany is actually 6-6-1 in Division II games, so a win over Pinole would do the trick because Richmond (whom they may play next) is Division I. A draw and then losing in PK’s benefits Albany as well.

  • Matt Smith

    Games today are just Pitt v. Clayton, and Northgate v. Salesian.

  • soccerfrau

    Your bracketology knowledge is unparalleled and unrivaled!

  • Stewie

    @Matt I thought Pitt vs Richmond??? per Matts #1

  • Matt Smith

    @Soccerfrau Thank you!

    @Stewie That game got cancelled, unfortunately. Or I would have been there.

  • Stewie

    OK Matt.

  • Shinguard

    Now to convert Matt to a Bundesliga Fan 🙂

  • Matt Smith

    Borussia Dortmund. I like this team very much.

  • Shinguard

    FC Bayern the one and only.

  • Sideline


    Is there a way for a team just under .500 in legueto get into NCS?

    What are the criteria for making NCS?

  • bobby

    @Matt What’s tomorrows article going to cover? Can’t wait for it!

  • Matt Smith

    @Bobby I am updating the playoff and league situations. We’re getting closer and closer…

    Pitt beat Clayton 2-1 today, but lost two more starters in the process.

  • Matt Smith

    @Sideline The guidelines are set forth in the NCS rulebook, and they say a team has to have at least as many wins as losses (.500) either overall, in league play, or within division. You have to be .500 in one of these three categories, and if not, then you don’t qualify.

  • bobby

    @Matt When do you usually do the NCS predictions and when are the actual NCS seedings released?

  • Matt Smith

    @Bobby I’ll do my predictions the night before, which will be Feb. 8. The seedings come out on the 9th.

  • The Alameda/CVHS was an intense game. I wouldn’t go as far as to call Alameda scrappy, but they knew their NCS hopes were on the line. CVHS did their fair share of the “crappy” portion in this game, but overall I thought was caused due to the officiating. As for the actually game, Alameda wasted a lot of clear chances that against top quality teams would have cost them the game. I’ve seen them play twice, this game and vs Berkeley and I gotta say for the awful field they have, they actually try to play some nice soccer. CVHS has some good individual players that stood out, but unfortunately they resorted to taking shots way out of range, but did create some good chances with crosses unto their big and fast forward. Overall, I enjoyed the game I must say.

  • Cokito

    @George, I agree Alameda is a quality team. So is the program. The Ayllon brothers have been doing a very good job with it for the least few years. I also like that they try to play soccer, rather than the lambda HS game.

  • Viewsfromthebox

    What an improvement at Bishop O’Dowd since the first time Berkeley played them at O’Dowd. I guess missing a few starters mattered! Credit the Dragons with a good effort at Berkeley Friday. Overall the game was a played hard and the result fair. I was impressed with the sportsmanship of both teams. Hard play but no hard feelings from my vantage point.

    I want to mention after the extreme, over the top, stall tactics we saw at Richmond Monday it was good to see Berkeley not employ those same tricks. I don’t blame the Richmond players they were clearly coached to stall in every way possible. The Yellowjackets playing with a one goal lead for much of the second half, jogged throw-ins back to the sideline, made sure there was an extra ball near the goalbox, when a player went down they got up asap. The goalie only had the ball a couple times but when he did it was put back into play in a timely manner. It wasn’t until later I even realized how much it wasn’t an issue. There were a bunch of vocal O’Dowd parents there, but I didn’t hear any complaints about the Jackets sportsmanship. Good job by both teams.

  • Cokito

    Matt, Could you shed some light on the way the referees are assigned to NCS playoff games? The process does not seem to be as transparent as it ought to be. I have seen the following situation several times. Team A, from league L1, hosts a playoff game vs. Team B from League L2. The referees assigned to the game are from league L2. I am not necessarily questioning the objectivity of these referees, but at best, it seems inappropriate and questionable to assign referees from L2, rather than some referees from a different league than L1 or L2, or from league L1 (because team A has actually earned the right to play at home.) I know that players, parents and fans in our community were shocked when they learned that this actually happened repeatedly in NCS semi-finals where our school was involved. I could put names on those teams and leagues, but I think it would muddy the waters, rather than help understand how these referees are assigned.

  • Neal

    @George I was at the Alameda – Berkeley game as well and that’s where the scrappy reference came from for me. I thought Berkeley was the more talented squad but Alameda played them tough on lovely Thompson field. No quit in those boys.

    BOD seems to be rounding into form as the playoffs near. Great to see. Always a quality program. Fun parents too. 🙂

  • Cokito

    @viewsfromthebox, the Richmond players are not coached to stall in every way possible. I believe you are referring to the injuries in the second half to 2 Richmond players. One of these injuries was serious enough that the player did not return in the game, and the other one looked bad at first but involved more pain than actual damage. One Berkeley player appeared to be hurt as well, and was taken out in the second half on the RHS cart. When this happens, the referee adds time to the game. On Monday the referee added 5+ minutes to the game to compensate for the treatment of the injured players, plus any additional delays, which seems fair.

    The particular Richmond lineup on Monday featured 3 freshmen and 2 sophomores, due to injuries, while Berkeley, it seems, is an older, bigger team. Therefore it was more likely for Richmond players to be hurt when there was strong physical contact.

    Learn to lose with class rather than fall down into cultural prejudices, blame the other team’s perceived behavior, the officiating crew, or whatever else.

  • EBALDad

    agreed Cokito
    I think that should also extend to NOT denegrating a different style of playing the world’s most popular sport in a manner different from what one might appreciate. e.g. teams using the strength of their height and possibly someone being able to throw the ball in from the sidelines a great distance.

    ALL playing styles should be respected = NO CULTURAL PREJUDICE

    Bring on the playoffs!

  • mudhen

    The different associations are alloted a certain number of games predicated on the number of teams they represent. The games are NOT necessarily in their respective groups. From there,it gets weird. The assignors of the groups seem to go this way; first round games go to the “soldiers” of a given group-those who work many games over the course of a (the) year-s without a lot of complaints, while the second rounds go to the more experienced crews. The semis and finals are generally given to those refs who have high USSF rank(think state 6 or higher) and the A.R.’s are chosen among the more experienced, but lower rank referees (gr. 7). HOWEVER… sometimes the assignor gives himself a final or semi whether he is qualified or not. This is not a problem in EBAL or EBISOA, but other groups are not so innocent. This USUALLY is not a problem, as the final games are played hard but clean by the teams,but assignors should always use the best they have, and that is rarely them.

  • Viewsfromthebox

    @cokito Cultural prejudices? Where’s that coming from? From my experience stalling is not a cultural thing. I have seen plenty of teams of all races, creeds and colors play the stall game. I do not appreciate the time wasting tactics, it is frustrating and ruins the game in my opinion. It also has nothing to do with losing or blaming, simply observed behavior. I overheard and saw many behaviors that clearly indicate directives from the coach to waste time, not perception, reality. The fact that the referee added time is good on him and has nothing to do with the tactics. I think the Richmond team is talented and have the respect for their players. They deserved to win because no matter the refereeing or whatever else they scored more goals. I didn’t write anything to the contrary.

  • Cokito

    @EBALDad, Interesting point you make. You know how to push my buttons 🙂

    In my previous posts about the long throwers, I believe I was referring to a preference in terms of the way the game is played: I would not typically go watch a game that was based on long throws, unless I really have to, but I would go out and watch a technical team play, with a lot of pleasure. I see this as a question of taste, based indeed on my personal experience of the game (the games I played and the games I watched since I was a little kid.) Nothing more than that. On the other hand, when I talk about cultural prejudice, I mean something much darker than that.

    And yes, bring on the playoffs!

  • Cokito

    @viewsfromthebox, I suggest we discuss this over a cup of coffee… Sundays are good days for me.