It's this time of year that the games are supposed to get more difficult.
For the girls at Portland Jesuit (Portland, Ore.), that doesn't seem to be the case.
The Crusaders wrapped up a second straight perfect regular season with wins over Southridge (Ore) and rival Sunset (Ore.) by a combined 15-0. The FAB 50 No. 1-ranked Jesuit team is 14-0 with an 89-1 goals for, goals against scoring margin. Considering the team has won 11 of its matches by at least five goals, Jesuit heads into the playoffs as an overwhelming favorite to repeat as state champions.
Jesuit, with a win streak in the 30s right now, finished No. 2 in the FAB 50 last year and controls its fate this year. A perfect postseason run will give Jesuit a second FAB 50 crown (the 2009 team finished No. 1). There have been five other schools with multiple FAB 50 fall national titles: Carmel (Ind.), Maria Carrillo (Calif.), McDonogh School (Md.), South Side (N.Y.) and Walsh Jesuit (Ohio). Maria Carrillo has since moved to the winter season.
Portland Jesuit was expected to be a favorite in Oregon, but the addition of Katelyn Duong this year has taken the squad's offense to yet another level and has made this team virtually untouchable in Oregon. The Minneosta commit scored five goals last week. The lineup also features Washington commit Callan Harrington, Notre Dame commit Mary Votava, Army commit Jaiden McClellan and a host of other talented underclassmen.
If the seedings hold as posted, Jesuit will open the 32-team Class 6A state playoffs against Beaverton, a team Jesuit already defeated 9-0 earlier this year. Looking at the rest of the bracket, even the No. 4 seed, a potential state semifinal opponent for Jesuit, lost to the powerhouse program 6-0. Simply put, there might be no stopping the Crusaders in 2018.
Now on with the rankings ...
BIG MOVERS: BOYS: Episcopal Academy (Newtown Square, Pa.). Episcopal Academy jumped from No. 32 to No. 12 following a victory over previous FAB 50 No. 15 Haverford School last week. Although the team was tied later in the week, EA's undefeated start as taken it to the top of the TopDrawerSoccer Pennsylvania rankings for the first time ever. ... GIRLS: Arlington (LaGrangeville, N.Y.). Top players graduating and an ugly dismissal of a head coach tempered expectations of Arlington entering the 2018 season. But here we are at playoff time and the Admirals are undefeated and moving up in the FAB 50. This week, Arlington jumps seven spots to No. 29. A return to the Top 25 is certainly within reach with a strong postseason showing.
NEWCOMERS: BOYS: No. 27 Chesterton (Ind.), No. 38 Amityville Memorial (Amityville, N.Y.), No. 39 Bowie (Md.), No. 45 New Albany (Ohio), No 46 Longmeadow (Mass.), No. 47 Glen Rock (N.J.), No. 48 Central Bucks West (Doylestown, Pa.) and No. 50 North Penn (Lansdale, Pa.). ... GIRLS: No. 37 Concord-Carlisle (Concord, Mass.), No. 46 West Orange (N.J.), No. 47 Camas (Wash.), No. 48 Sacred Heart (Yonkers, N.Y.) and No. 50 Central Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.).
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