Fall FAB 50 High School Soccer Team Rankings

  • September 25
  • October 2
  • October 9
  • October 16
  • October 23
  • October 30
  • November 6
  • November 13
  • Final (Nov. 20)
Rank (Prev.) School Record
1 St. Benedict's Prep Newark, NJ 0-0-0
Outlook: With eight returning starters -- three already committed to NCAA Division I programs, the defending FAB 50 national champions seemed poised for a repeat.
Key Players: F Celio Pompeu (UCLA), M Henrique Cruz (Akron), D Boti Ebenezar (Manhattan), F Ronald Mafunzwaini, D Cao Chavez, M Azriel Johnson, M Abdoul Quedrago, GK Aurie Briscoe.
Key Matches: Sept. 1 vs. Summit Country Day (Ohio); Sept. 8 vs. Walt Whitman (Md.); Sept. 15 vs. Christian Brothers; Sept. 25 vs. Pennington School; Sept. 28 vs. St. Ignatius (Ohio); Oct. 7 vs. Salesianum (Del.); Oct. 10 vs. The Hill School (Pa.); Oct. 13 vs. Chaminade (N.Y.).
Summary: It is very possible every senior in St. Benedict's starting 11 will sign with NCAA Division I programs this year. Another perfect season against a schedule that includes opponents from six states will certainly justify a No. 1 ranking.
2 Naperville North Naperville, IL 0-0-0
Outlook: Defending state champions appear loaded for a another run at a title in the highly competitive Illinois 3A, the most demanding state tournament among fall-playing states.
Key Players: GK Tommy Welch, D Colin Iverson (Bowling Green), F Ty Konrad.
Key Matches: Aug. 25 vs. Morton; Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at Best of the West; Sept. 27-29: at Go 4 The Goal Fall Classic.
Summary: In addition to a pair of all-state returnees, Naperville North brings back Ty Conrad, the Golden Boot winner after leading Galaxy 2001 to a US Youth Soccer national title in July.
3 St. Ignatius Cleveland, OH 0-0-0
Outlook: St. Ignatius returns 20 players from last year's 15-win team. With a lineup of six seniors and 15 juniors, this could be the start of another special run at St. Ignatius. The team has seven NCAA Division I prospects in the starting 11.
Key Players: M/F Matthew McLaughlin, M Kyle Healy, M Kyle Folds (Louisville), GK Peter Van Euwen, F Bryce Horton, F Kory Nekoloff, F Henry Curtis, D Austin Zeleznik.
Key Matches: Sept. 8 vs. St. Xavier (Ky.); Sept. 15 vs. St. Charles; Sept. 28 vs. St. Benedict's (N.J.); Sept. 29 vs. Chaminade (N.Y.).
Summary: St. Ignatius and St. Benedict's have been FAB 50 fixtures over the last 20 years and this year's meeting will have national title implications. Of course, regardless which team wins they will need to take care of business in their respective state tournaments to have a crack at the final No. 1 ranking.
4 Salesianum Wilmington, DE 0-0-0
Outlook: The last time Salesianum had this many returning starters, it made a run at the national title -- finishing No. 2 to a loaded McDonogh School (Md.) program. The Sallies have the perfect platform to prove its ranking, competing at the top high school showcase in the county -- the Go 4 The Goal Fall Classic -- and facing preseason No. 1 St. Benedict's in what has become an intense rivalry in recent years.
Key Players: F Casey Kurlej, GK Emmett McCloskey, D Tommy McGrail.
Key Matches: Sept. 27-29 at Go 4 The Goal Fall Classic, Oct. 7 vs. St. Benedict's Prep (N.J.), Oct. 17 vs. C.M. Wright (Md.).
Summary: A state title is almost a given for Salesianum in Delaware, but its ranking will be determined on how it fares against the nine out-of-state foes, which could hail from as many as six states.
5 St. Xavier Louisville, KY 0-0-0
Outlook: St. Xavier has taken a backseat in Kentucky in recent years, but that might not be the case in 2018 with both its leading goal scorer and assist producer back this season for the defending state champs.
Key Players: F Connor George, M Case Cox (Kentucky), M Max Gordinier.
Key Matches: Aug. 30 vs. Louisville Collegiate; Sept. 8 vs. St Ignatius (Ohio); Sept. 14 at Indiana/Kentucky Challenge; Sept. 26 vs. Louisville Trinity.
Summary: St. Xavier gets the nod over Trinity and Collegiate in what is a strong year for Kentucky soccer. The team's match against St. Ignatius (Ohio), which will be played in Cincinnati, will be important to size up the top programs in these border states.
6 Blue Valley Southwest Overland Park, KS 0-0-0
Outlook: The top team in Kansas last year looks to be the easy preseason favorite in 2018. Despite a head coaching change, BV Southwest will be favorite to repeat as the Class 5A state champs in a competitive field that includes FAB 50-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas.
Key Players: F Adian Bates (Wisconsin-Green Bay), F/M Luke Rafanan, GK Matthew Ricci.
Key Matches: Aug. 30 vs. Rockhurst (Mo.), Sept. 25 vs. St. Thomas Aquinas; Sept. 27-29 Go 4 The Goal Fall Classic.
Summary: BV Southwest will be under the leadership of Erik Jones this season. The team';s national standing is likely to be determined the final week of September with a killer week of four matches, possibly all four against nationally ranked opponents.
7 Libertyville Libertyville, IL 0-0-0
Outlook: Libertyville graduated the TopDrawerSoccer Fall Player of the Year in Ryan Wittenbrink, yet remains a solid state title contender.
Key Players: M Evan Rasmussen (Michigan), D Grant Herbek (DePaul) , GK Thomas Pearson.
Key Matches: Aug. 25-Sept. 1 at North Shore College Showcase; Sept. 20 vs. Waukegan.
Summary: Libertyville will find its place real early in the season with the North Shore College Showcase, featuring fellow Top 25-ranked New Trier.
8 Martin Luther King Manhattan, NY 0-0-0
Outlook: MLK has won 17 of the past 21 PSAL titles and carries a 39-match win streak into the 2018 season. The Knights finished No. 4 in last year's FAB 50.
Key Players: GK Rashawn Best (Jamaican U17 National Team member), F Yaya Bakayoko, F Aly Camara, Prince Amposah, Sekou Fofana, Gasseou Coulibaly, Akeem Shelton, Jahmali Peterson.
Key Matches: Parkland (Pa.); St. Francis de Sales (Ohio).
Summary: MLK rolls through the PSAL, but its national standing is based on its few matches outside of the league. The Knights need wins over Parkland and St. Francis to justify a place among the nation's elite.
9 Morton Cicero, IL 0-0-0
Outlook: With nearly 8,000 students from which to pull, it's easy to understand why Morton is competitive year-in and year-out. This perennial power has scene its season end with losses to the eventual state champion each of the last four years.
Key Players: D Israel Carranza, M Isaac Carnalla, F Adrian Barrera.
Key Matches: Aug. 25 vs. Naperville North; Sept. 8-18 at Pepsi Co Showdown; Sept. 27-29 at Go 4 The Goal Fall Classic.
Summary: Morton faces the FAB 50 No. 2 team early in the season, then plays in two of the top high school events in the country only a couple weeks apart. If the Mustangs can get through that stretch undefeated they will be making a very strong case for FAB 50 No. 1.
10 Delbarton School Morristown, NJ 0-0-0
Outlook: Delbarton graduated seven starters, five of them now an NCAA Division I programs. Despite the losses, the Green Wave simply reloaded.
Key Players: GK Kyle Swift, D Chris Noriega (Guatamala Youth National Team), D Sam Burvill, M Will Donovan, D Trey Donovan, F Ryan Ruffo, F Matt Pease, F Ivan Scotto, F Brendan McSorley, M/D Luke Geleta.
Key Matches: Sept. 22-23 Delbarton Invitational; Sept. 27 vs. Delran.
Summary: Delbarton might not be as loaded as 2017, but a solid defense will keep this team in every match this season. A contest Sept. 22 against Chaminade (N.Y.) might prove to be a key for ranking purposes.
11 McDonogh School Owings Mills, MD 0-0-0
Outlook: McDonogh's connection to Baltimore Celtic has helped this program stay loaded. Graduation might finally be catching up to the Eagles, yet this team remains the MIAA favorite until someone can prove otherwise.
Key Players: M Andrew Privett (Penn State).
Key Matches: Aug. 29 vs. Haverford School (Pa.); Aug. 30 vs. Pennington School (N.J.); Sept. 21 and Oct. 17 vs. Archbishop Curley.
Summary: McDonogh was scheduled to compete at the Go 4 The Goal Fall Classic, but backed out during the summer. The Eagles will need to dominate its schedule to remain ranked among the nation's best.
12 Seton Hall Prep West Orange, NJ 0-0-0
Outlook: Seton Hall Prep was the Non-Public A North runner-up to eventual state champ Delbarton. These two private school powers again figure to be the frontrunners to rematch in the North final again in 2018.
Key Players: F Jon Ned (Columbia), F Aidan Dunphy.
Key Matches: Aug. 25 vs. Calvert Hall (Md.); Sept. 16 vs. Delran at Mainline HS Jamboree; Sept. 29 vs. South Kent School (Conn.).
Summary: Seton Hall Prep plays an interesting mix of public and private schools, along with out-of-state and Prep Top 10-type schools. The Pirates' results against that varied mix of teams helps shape the national rankings.
13 Louisville Trinity Louisville, KY 0-0-0
Outlook: On paper, this might be one of the strongest seasons for Kentucky high school soccer in recent memory. St. Xavier, Trinity and Collegiate are all up this year, but the unfortunate news is only one can make the state tournament as they hail from the same region.
Key Players: F Brandon McManus (Kentucky).
Key Matches: Aug. 14 vs. Ballard; Sept. 5 vs. Louisville Collegiate; Sept. 22 vs. Evansville Memorial (Ind.); Sept. 26 vs. St. Xavier.
Summary: Trinity and St. Xavier are figured the early frontrunners in Kentucky. They will settle the issue on the field in September, and they could meet again in the postseason.
14 Milwaukee Marquette Milwaukee, WI 0-0-0
Outlook: Marquette always finds a way to reload and remain a Wisconsin powerhouse. The Hilltoppers have won 13 state titles since 2000.
Key Players: GK Carter Abbott, M Thomas Bruneau, M/F Osvaldo Sanchez-Arellano, F Mikey Herrera.
Key Matches: Sept. 7 vs. Chaminade (Mo.), Sept. 8 vs. Peoria Notre Dame (Ill.); Sept. 21-22 at Jesuit Classic in D.C.; Sept. 27-29 at Go 4 The Goal Fall Classic; Oct. 13 vs. Whitefish Bay.
Summary: Marquette might be the most important team in the rankings -- every year. In addition to being a perennial power, the team's diverse schedule helps connect programs from D.C. to Denver.
15 New Trier Winnetka, IL 0-0-0
Outlook: New Trier is coming off a 19-win season, and expectations are high for this team to claim their 14th regional title in the past 16 seasons.
Key Players: M Logan Weaver (Northwestern).
Key Matches: Aug. 25-Sept. 1 at North Shore College Showcase; Sept. 20 vs. Evanston; Sept. 27-29 Go 4 The Goal Fall Classic.
Summary: New Trier could see as many as five FAB 50-ranked teams before Oct. 1. Going undefeated against that level of competition would jump New Trier into the national elite this season.
16 Kearny Kearny, NJ 0-0-0
Outlook: On paper this was shaping up as a potentially special season for the Kardinals. Then it all changed as standout Jose Escandon, last year's NJ.com State Player of the Year, moved back to Ecuador with his family.
Key Players: FD Ryan Silva, D Nikolas Fiallos.
Key Matches: Sept. 15 vs. Harrison; Oct. 22 vs. Seton Hall Prep.
Summary: Kearny figures to remain strong, but another undefeated season will be quite a feat given the loss of Escandon, who was involved in 41 goals last year (22 goals, 19 assists). He also was playing with the New York Red Bulls Academy team.
17 Christian Brothers College St. Louis, MO 0-0-0
Outlook: With the all-time winningest high school soccer coach at the helm, CBC fields highly competitive teams every year. There's no reason to thinking differently about the 2018 squad.
Key Players: D Nolan DeWeese, MF Nate Temm.
Key Matches: Aug. 30 vs. Edwardsville (Ill.); Sept. 1 vs. Chaminade; Sept. 3-8 at MCC Tournament; Sept. 11-15 at CBC Soccer Tournament; Sept. 24-29 at CYC Tournament; Oct. 12-13 at Art Firley Shootout.
Summary: CBC and Chaminade are the preseason favorites in what is one of the strongest high school soccer conferences in the country. Both teams will take some defeats along the way -- it simply impossible to go undefeated against a schedule of that quality -- but both should remain state title contenders again this year.
18 Conestoga Berwyn, PA 0-0-0
Outlook: Conestoga became the first public school in more than a decade to post back-to-back FAB 50 Top 5 finishes in 2017. Gone are a lot of the key offensive pieces to that amazing run, but this is a program that tends to reload instead of rebuild.
Key Players: GK Luke Smith, D Jason Ivey, D Jack Murphy.
Key Matches: Sept. 11 vs. Haverford School; Sept. 29 vs. Cumberland Valley; Oct. 11 vs. Lower Merion.
Summary: If Conestoga can find an offense, this team could make a run for a three-peat in one of the stronger fall-playing states.
19 Rockhurst Jesuit Kansas City, MO 0-0-0
Outlook: When it comes to predicting which teams will reach the Missouri Class 4 state semifinals, Rockhurst is the safe bet. The Hawklets, defending state champions this year, have at least made the semifinals the past six years and 19 of the past 21 seasons.
Key Players: D Jake Hiss, D Kyle Ziegler, D Isaiah Cherry, D Liam Bailey, GK Jackson Ebersole.
Key Matches: Aug. 30 vs. Blue Valley Southwest (Kan.); Sept. 4-8 at Blue Spring South Tournament; Sept. 21-22 at Jesuit Classic in D.C.; Sept. 27-29 at Go 4 The Goal Classic; Oct. 9 vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.).
Summary: Rockhurst graduated nearly 100 percent of its offense from last year's state title-winning team. The good news is all four backs and keeper return. If Rockhurst can find an offense, another state title run could be in the cards.
20 Christian Brothers Academy Lincroft, NJ 0-0-0
Outlook: CBA made its third straight state final appearance last year, but fell to Delbarton for the second time in three years. The programs graduated three players in 2018 who are now at NCAA Division I programs this fall.
Key Players: M Dominic Bellomo
Key Matches: Sept. 5 vs. Delran; Sept. 15 vs. St. Benedict's Prep; Sept. 22-23 at Delbarton Invitational vs. La Salle (Pa.) and Chaminade (N.Y.).
Summary: Coach Tom Mulligan spent 20 years as the school's JV coach as Dan Keane, one of the state's all-time winningest coaches guided the varsity program. Mulligan's first two seasons resulted in a state title and a state runner-up finish. CBA has an easier path to the final than their Non-Public North foes, but its not a given and the team will see plenty f high-level opponents in September.
21 Chaminade Creve Coeur, MO 0-0-0
Outlook: Chaminade and Christian Brothers figure to be the frontrunners in an always-tough Metro Conference. With a 20-goal scorer and a four-year starting goalkeeper back, Chaminade certainly has reason to be excited for 2018.
Key Players: F Joe Reed, D Scott Ross, GK Joe Mitchell.
Key Matches: vs. Milwaukee Marquette (Wis.), vs. Totino-Grace (Minn.), Sept. 3-8 at MCC Soccer Tournament; Sept. 24-29 at CYC Tournament.
Summary: Reed scored 21 goals last year and is getting interest from the likes of SLU, SIUE and Yale. Ross is a four-year varsity player who is garnering interest from Wisconsin, SMU, SLU and SIUE. Mitchell was the starting keeper on the Scott Gallagher club team that went to the US Youth Soccer nationals in July. Those key players with a strong supporting cast, which includes two former Academy players back this fall, makes Chaminade a real threat in Missouri.
22 Springside Chestnut Hill Philadelphia, PA 0-0-0
Outlook: A youthful side ended up winning the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state title last year, handling perennial Prep Top 10 Hill School in the final. Springside Chestnut Hill had seven all-league players last year, five of them underclassmen, including Inter-Ac MVP Phil Burckhardt.
Key Players: M Phil Burckhardt, GK Owen Elliott, D Jack Myers, Luke Greenburg, Dane Harmaty.
Key Matches: Sept. 13 vs. Princeton Day (N.J.); Sept. 29 vs. Hill School
Summary: SCH swept the PAISAA boys and girls state titles last year, and expectations are high in 2018 for the boys. The team's scheduling mix of prep schools and traditional high schools will provide a season full of challenges.
23 Archbishop Curley Baltimore, MD 0-0-0
Outlook: Archbishop Curley has reached the MIAA semifinals the past four years, twice advancing to the final in what is probably the strongest high school soccer league in the country. Every member of the MIAA A has been in the FAB 50 rankings in recent years.
Key Players: M Anthony Dragisics (Villanova).
Key Matches: Aug. 30 vs. Haverford School (Pa.); Sept. 4 vs. C.M. Wright; Sept. 14 and Oct. 10 vs. Loyola; Sept. 21 and Oct. 17 vs. McDonogh.
Summary: Early projections have Curley anywhere from No. 2 to No. 5 in the MIAA A Conference. Given the number of high-end matches, don't expect three MIAA A teams to finish in the Top 25 as losses will mount for one of the preseason favorites. Curley's track record and key players keep it among the threats to win the conference title.
24 Peoria Notre Dame Peoria, IL 0-0-0
Outlook: With nine returning starters, PND should be a strong favorite in the Illinois 2A ranks.
Key Players: F Noah Madrigal, M Myles Sophanavong, D Ethan Miller.
Key Matches: Aug. 31 at Tradition Classic; Sept. 8 vs. Marquette (Wis.); Sept. 27-29 at Go 4 The Goal Fall Classic.
Summary: PND always plays a loaded schedule and this year is no different. The Irish will have plenty of chances to earn their ranking as they likely will face at least five FAB 50-ranked teams this season.
25 Stillwater Stillwater, MN 0-0-0
Outlook: Even years tend to be good for Stillwater. Two years ago the Ponies went perfect to earn a lofty FAB 50 ranking. This year's team brings back its top two scorers and top defender from a squad that went 18-2-2 and carries the position as preseason favorite in Minnesota.
Key Players: D Logan Huber, F Spencer Scott, M Max Stauffer.
Key Matches: Aug. 23-25 Stillwater Tournament; Sept. 7-8 Hudson/Stillwater Tournament.
Summary: Stillwater is 40-2-2 over the two two seasons and looks to be a frontrunner in 2018. The team's national standing will be tied to its few out-of-state matches against Wisconsin opponents.
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