For the first time since the start of the season, I have updated the LoHud Boys Soccer Power Rankings. It’s still very early, and some teams have still only played one game at this point, so these rankings are largely based on which teams are considered to have the most returning talent. But as you’ll read, there have been a handful of teams that have vaulted themselves up in the rankings with strong starts. My plan moving forward will be to update the rankings biweekly…
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TOP 10 OVERALL
1. Arlington (2-0) – We’re going to have to see a Section 1 opponent beat the Admirals before we take the reigning Class AA state champs out of the top spot, and that hasn’t happened yet. They’ve cruised with wins over Panas and Beacon so far, and their first real test likely won’t come until they travel to John Jay-East Fishkill on Sept. 26.
2. Mamaroneck (3-0) – Who’s the hottest team in the section right now? My answer would probably have to be the Tigers, who have gotten off to a rousing start with wins over Ossining, Lakeland and Port Chester. Mamaroneck has won those games by a combined score of 11-1, with a four-goal win over PC serving as an eye-opener for teams across Section 1. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Tigers so far, but we’ve seen them start hot in the past. Can they maintain this pace?
3. John Jay-East Fishkill (1-0) – The Patriots only have one game under their belt, but they displayed the type of firepower that has made them so dangerous in the past in a 9-0 win over Panas. The schedule will pick up, starting today with a big test at White Plains.
4. Scarsdale (1-0) – A postponement due to weather against Greeley left the Raiders with only one game played coming into this week, but there’s little doubt that Scarsdale is a top contender in Class AA this season. After hanging five goals on Edgemont in their season-opener, the Raiders will play at Pelham on Tuesday, but the one to circle on your calendar is coming on Sept. 27. That’s when Scarsdale will travel to No. 2 Mamaroneck.
5. Port Chester (1-1) – It’s been an up-and-down start for the Rams in their first season as a Class AA team. An exciting comeback win in their opener against White Plains was a positive step, but a more recent blowout loss at Mamaroneck has left a lingering bad taste. PC has enough talent to be a threat to some of these bigger schools this year, but the Rams are quickly learning that being consistent at the Class AA level may be a tougher challenge than they originally anticipated.
6. Byram Hills (2-0) – As of today, the Bobcats look like the clear-cut No. 1 team in Class A. They’re receiving offensive contributions from a handful of players, and the defense – led by senior center back Sam Ganeles – looks like the strength of the team. Byram only got to play one half against Pelham in a highly anticipated match last Thursday, but were still able to come away with a 1-0 win to establish early-season supremacy.
7. White Plains (2-1) – The Tigers had an opportunity to jump up in the rankings if they could have held onto a late lead against Port Chester in their opener, but they’ve bounced back with two straight wins. Losing last season’s top scorer, Shiloh Alexander, to the U.S. Academy has forced WP to make some unexpected changes on the fly, but there are enough skilled players here to give you confidence that it will be sorted out.
8. Mahopac (1-0) – The Indians only put up one goal in their opener against Brewster, but one goal will probably be enough often times this season with junior keeper Mike Bernardi in goal. Scoring could be an issue with Joey Iraola now playing at American University, so that will be something to keep an eye on. Mahopac’s next two games – at Greeley on Wednesday and at JJEF next Monday – should give us a better indication.
9. Horace Greeley (1-0) – In their first game under new coach Bobby Herodes, the Quakers hung four goals on a talented New Rochelle team. We’ll learn a lot about Greeley in the next two weeks, with games coming against Byram, Mahopac, Blind Brook and Port Chester. Just two years removed from a Class AA title, the Quakers will be considered right back in the mix if they come through that stretch with a handful of wins.
10. Nyack (1-0) – The Indians had an extremely tough draw in their opener against North Rockland, but they came through it with flying colors. A 3-1 win over last year’s Class AA finalist establishes Nyack as the team to beat in Rockland county, but the question is how will they stack up against the top teams in Class A?
On the fringe: North Rockland (1-1), Pearl River (3-0), Pelham (0-1), Somers (1-0), Valhalla (2-0-1)
1. Arlington (2-0)
2. Mamaroneck (3-0)
3. John Jay-East Fishkill (1-0)
4. Scarsdale (1-0)
5. Port Chester (1-1)
6. White Plains (2-1)
7. Mahopac (1-0)
8. Horace Greeley (1-0)
9. North Rockland (1-1)
10. Carmel (1-0)
On the fringe: Fox Lane (2-0); New Rochelle (1-1); Ossining (0-2)
NOTES: Class AA looks stacked this season, and I feel pretty confident with my top 10 at this point. They’ll shuffle around a bit throughout the season, but I think each of the ranked teams feels that they can be competitive this year. This should be fun. … Eight of the 10 teams in my top 10 overall are from Class AA, which tells you where I think most of the talent resides. … Although North Rockland is coming off of a section finals appearance, the Red Raiders are replacing a lot of starters. A loss to Nyack proved that they have work to do, but I expect them to improve as the year goes on. … Carmel, coming off of a nice run in the playoffs last year, started with a win over North Salem.
1. Byram Hills (2-0)
2. Nyack (1-0)
3. Somers (1-0)
4. Pearl River (3-0)
5. Pelham (0-1)
6. Lakeland (2-1)
7. Keio (1-1)
8. Lourdes (3-1)
9. Beacon (1-1)
10. Rye (2-0)
On the fringe: Edgemont (0-1); Yonkers (2-1); Sleepy Hollow (2-0)
NOTES: It’s hard to argue with Byram in the top spot right now, but it’s a crapshoot after that. … I went with Nyack at No. 2 because the Indians return a lot of talent from last year’s quarterfinalist team and probably have the most impressive individual win (North Rockland) of any of the team’s that I considered. … Somers’ beat John Jay in its only game so far, but the Yorktown tourney this week should show us where the Tuskers are at. … Maybe Pearl River likes flying under the radar. The Pirates are very young this season, but have started off well with three straight wins. … Pelham has only played half of a game this season, so ranking the Pelicans right now is a difficult task. But I still believe they can be one of the top three teams in the class this year. … Lakeland has a couple of wins over relatively weaker opponents, but had a real wake-up call in a 4-0 loss to Mamaroneck. The Hornets are banged up at the moment, particularly in goal. … Keio plays a brutal schedule, which could mean the Unicorns will hover around .500 this season, but they are a legitimate threat. … Neither Lourdes nor Beacon has a win over a ranked opponent, but it’s hard to blame them for beating the teams that are put in front of them. … Rye forces its way into the top 10 with early wins over Harrison and Yonkers.
1. Valhalla (2-0-1)
2. Bronxville (2-0-1)
3. Briarcliff (2-2)
4. Blind Brook (0-1)
5. Westlake (2-1-1)
6. Irvington (1-1-1)
7. North Salem (1-1)
8. Rye Neck (1-1)
9. Hastings (1-1)
10. Woodlands (1-0)
On the fringe: Croton-Harmon (1-0); Dobbs Ferry (1-1); Pleasantville (0-3);
NOTES: Picking a No. 1 here was probably my toughest choice for any of the four classes, but I’m going with Valhalla in large part thanks to the Vikings’ capturing the Mount Pleasant Cup. To do so, they had to beat third-ranked Briarcliff in the final. … Aside from Valhalla, Bronxville is one of the few teams in Class B without a loss, but we’re still looking for a signature win from the Broncos. A tie against Irvington proved that they still have work to do. … Hard to fault Briarcliff for losses against Byram and Valhalla, and each of the Bears’ two wins came over ranked teams (Westlake and Irvington). … Blind Brook lost in its only game against Keio, but that would probably be a loss for almost any team in Class B. The two-time defending champs remain in the top five for now. … Westlake has really opened some eyes with wins over Pleasantville and Rye Neck, plus a tie against top-ranked Valhalla. … Irvington has looked good with a tie against No. 2 Bronxville and a win over Class C champ Solomon Schechter. … North Salem started with a loss to Carmel, but bounced back with a win against John Jay. … Rye Neck has a win over Pleasantville. … After the top eight, everything is pretty much up in the air.
1. Solomon Schechter (1-1)
2. Haldane (2-1)
3. Tuckahoe (1-1)
4. Hamilton (0-3)
5. YMA (0-1)
NOTES: The defending champs remain in the top spot as this early stage with so many key players back from last season. The Lions have beaten Riverside and lost to Irvington. … Haldane is the clear No. 2 with wins over Poughkeepsie and Peekskill. The Blue Devils lost to Arlington B.