Every year, there are teams that jump into the national picture as a complete surprise.
Last week, we witnessed such an occurence for Landon School (Bethesda, Md.), which is more well known for its nationally ranked lacrosse program.
This small, elite all-boys private school on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., has been competitive in soccer in recent year, but the Bears reached new heights last week. Landon, which has players from both Maryland and Virginia clubs, handled DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 3-0. While the impact of that victory over the former Washington Post No. 1 team was settling in, Landon was back on the field again in Pennsylvania to face Delran (N.J.). Delran was coming off a dramatic last-minute win over former SIMA FAB 50 No. 7 Pennington School (Pennington, N.J.). Delran and Landon played to a scoreless draw, which leaves both teams in the SIMA FAB 50 Top 25 this week, right next to each other.
BIG MOVERS: BOYS: Heritage (Wake Forest, N.C.). Heritage jumps from No. 44 to No. 24 this week, thanks in large part to a number of surprise results that banished former ranked teams. Heritage, the top team in Raleigh, figures to get a test to its new Top 25 ranking this week as it faces state No. 2 Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.). ... GIRLS: Portland Jesuit (Portland, Ore.). While a five-spot jump wasn't the largest this week, in Portland Jesuit's case it was the most significant move. This perennial power is now No. 7 in the SIMA FAB 50 and is definitely in the national title chase with a loaded lineup. The first big test for Jesuit's new Top 10 ranking will come this week in a clash with a fellow Top 25-ranked opponent, Camas (Wash.).
NEWCOMERS: BOYS: No. 23 Landon School (Bethesda, Md.), No. 37 Evansville Memorial (Evansville, Ind.), No. 38 Waukegan (Ill.), No. 43 Bishop Miege (Roeland Park, Kan.), No. 44 St. Francis de Sales (Columbus, Ohio), No. 45 St. Christopher's (Richmond, Va.), No. 46 Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.), No. 47 Kearny (N.J.) and No. 48 Wayzata (Minneapolis, Minn.). ... GIRLS: No. 41 Grant (Portland, Ore.), No. 42 Northport (N.Y.), No. 43 Bridgewater-Raritan (Bridgewater, N.J.), No. 44 Cumberland Valley (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), No. 45 Pennington School (Pennington, N.J.), No. 46 Owensboro Catholic (Owensboro, Ky.), No. 47 La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.), No. 48 Beavercreek (Ohio) and No. 49 Islip (N.Y.).
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