Tournament week in the West reinforced the lofty rankings for boys teams such as Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) and Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), yet toppled the girls rankings with surprise performances from the likes of Los Alamitos (Calif.) and Monte Vista (Danville, Calif.).
Here's a glance at the events that most significantly influenced this week's state and region rankings:
Arizona Showcase: Hamilton vs. Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.), Take 2 resulted in a reversal of fortunes for the teams. Goalkeeper Reese Corwin made a pair of saves in the shootout as Hamilton edged Corona del Sol following a 2-2 match. Corona del Sol won a season-opening meeting between the state powers 3-1. The teams entered the match 1-2 in Arizona and simply flipped positions in this week's rankings to honor the most recent result. However, this might not be the last time these teams square off as they are in the same playoff classification.
SoCal High School Classic: Wilbert Valle and Corbin Mercado lifted Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) to a 2-1 victory over Oceanside (Calif.) to capture the event's National Showcase bracket. Oceanside upset Cathedral (Los Angeles, Calif.) in the semifinals to reach the final. Interestingly, Servite, Cathedral and Arizona Showcase champ and runner-up Hamilton and Corona del Sol were all participants at the Lotto Showcase only three weeks earlier. There, Corona del Sol won the event. Servite, the runner-up, defeated Hamilton. Hamilton had a consolation match victory over Cathedral. Servite, Hamilton and Corona del Sol will remain ranked closely together in the SIMA FAB 50 based on the fact they have taken turns beating each other.
Arizona Showcase: Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.) edged Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) 2-1 in the final where the Arizona programs scored rankings points over some of its California foes. Among the teams wins en route to the final, Desert Vista knocked off Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) and Hamilton handled Villa Park (Calif.).
Excalibur: Los Alamitos, which suffered its first loss of the season a week earlier, ran through the Excalibur Tournament, beating a resurgent Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.) team in the final. Semifinalists Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Temecula Valley (Temecula, Calif.) vaulted to near the top of the California-South rankings with strong showings. An early exit by former SIMA FAB 50 No. 3 Santa Margarita (Rancho SM, Calif.) and former Arizona No. 1 Xavier College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) saw both of these perennial powers fall in the rankings.
North Orange County Classic: JSerra (San Juan Capistrano Calif.) emerged as champion from the 48-team field where teams played as many as five matches in three days. In the final, JSerra defeated Chino Hills (Calif.) 3-1. The tournament field, completely comprised of California programs, included four of the state's Top 20-ranked teams.
Tri-Valley Classic: Like Excalibur, Tri-Valley is one of the more storied winter high school events, and Monte Vista, despite a 2-2-1 record prior to the tournament, rolled off a 3-0 showing, including a win over previously undefeated St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). The event really benefitted Carondelet (Concord, Calif.) and [Liberty ca-w] (Brentwood, Calif.) since both undefeated teams had wins over Monte Vista. For Aquinas, the 1-1-1 showing in California serves as a slight jab to Florida soccer as Aquinas was the No. 3 team in the state yet failed to beat two California teams that were not even ranked last week. Aquinas is the only Florida power that travels to out-of-state events.
The current state No. 1s for boys are Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), Godinez (Anaheim, Calif.), Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), Mililani (Hawaii), St. Paul's (Covington, La.), Northwest Rankin (Flowood, Miss.) and Coppell (Texas). On the girls side, the state No. 1s are Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.), Carondelet (Concord, Calif.), St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park, Fla.), Mililani (Hawaii), St. Scholastica (Covington, La.), Brandon (Miss.) and Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas).
CLICK BELOW FOR THE COMPLETE WINTER HIGH SCHOOL RANKINGS