The boys soccer teams at Watsonville (Watsonville, Calif.), El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.) and Hart (Newhall, Calif.) were a combined 59-0-15 until this past weekend. Within 24 hours, all three teams lost section final contests, sparking some of the change in this week's winter California state and region rankings.
In keeping with the week's "Streak Busters" theme, the boys at McIntosh (Peachtree City, Ga.) and girls at Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.) and Hough (Cornelius, N.C.) also had lengthy undefeated streak end -- ranging from 27 to 50 matches.
WINTER SOCCER SPOTLIGHT:
The final week of California winter high school play has arrived, and the potential for significant clashes a merely a win or two away for several top-ranked programs.
California, unlike every other state, does not offer a true state championship -- in part because the high school game is played at various times of the school year (fall, winter and spring), depending on the section. The closest thing to a state tournament is the winter-based CIF Southern California Regional soccer championships, which pits section champs and runners-up from the Central, Los Angeles, San Diego and Southern sections -- four of the state's soccer hotbeds. Each of the eight-team tournaments -- five for each the boys and girls -- starts Tuesday and wraps up Saturday.
In the Division I boys tournament, undefeated LA city champ El Camino Real (Woodlands Hills, Calif.) drew the No. 1 seed over No. 2 Central champ Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.) and Southern Section Division I runner-up El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.). Those three teams are a combined 52-3-13 this season. Southern Section Division I champ Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) is the top seed in the SCR Division II tournament. The SCR Division III field is highlighted by top-seeded and Southern Section Division III champ Cathedral (Los Angeles), Los Angeles Division III champ Canoga Park (Canoga Park, Calif.) and San Diego Open champ Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.). Those three are a combined 52-8-15. There are no SIMA FAB 50 teams in either the SCR Division IV or V tournaments.
In the Division I girls tournament, Southern Section Division II champ [Santiago ca-w] (Corona, Calif.) drew the No. 1 seed in an event that includes San Diego Open runner-up Carlsbad (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Central Section Division I champ Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.). The SCR Division II tournament features top-seed and San Diego Open champ La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Southern Section Division I champ Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.). A pair of preseason SIMA FAB 50 Top 10 teams -- Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.) and Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa margarita, Calif.) are joined with Southern Section Division I and II runners-up Laguna Hills (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.) in the SCR Division III event, which might be the deepest and strongest field of teams.
SPRING SOCCER SPOTLIGHT:
The inaugural Border Bash in Augusta, Ga., played out as expected. Greenbrier (Evans, Ga.), the highest-rated SIMA FAB 50 boys team in the event, edged Walton (Marietta, Ga.), the second-highest ranked SIMA FAB 50 participant, in penalty kicks in the bracket semifinals en route to the tournament championship. Greenbrier and Walton were undefeated at the event, since PK finishes counted as draws.
Around the country, last year's SIMA FAB 50 spring boys champion McIntosh (Peachtree City, Ga,) saw its win streak ended at 49 in a draw with Whitewater (Fayetteville, Ga.), then had its undefeated streak ended at 50 with a loss to Houston County (Warner Robins, Ga.) last week. The [Oak Mountain al-g] (Birmingham, Ala.) girls had its undefeated streak snapped at 35 matches in a loss to rival [Vestavia Hills al-g] (Vestavia, Ala.). Hough (Cornelius, N.C.) lost its season opener last week, bringing to a halt a 27-match undefeated run.
See the entire WINTER high school region and state rankings:
See the entire SPRING high school region and state rankings: