The undefeated Foothill Knights maintained their top position in the last Top 20 poll that will be conducted by MaxLax this season. US Lacrosse will administer the coaches poll for the remainder of the season, and it is this poll that will help to determine post-season selections and seedings.
Trailing the Knights are No. 2 St. Margaret’s (7-0) and No. 3 Tesoro (8-0). Picking the Top 3, seemed pretty straightforward to us this week. After that things get a little murkier. Here is our Top 20 for the week ending March 24 with thumbnail summaries of our rationale. Have a different opinion? Feel free to comment.
No. 1 Foothill: As the reigning OC champions, Foothill entered the season as No. 1. With a 10-0 record, they have done what they need to do to maintain that position. The Knights travel to the Bay Area this week to play St. Ignatius and San Ramon Valley.
No. 2 St. Margaret’s: With a 7-0 record including wins over Cathedral Catholic, Harvard-Westlake, Loyola and Santa Margarita, the Tartans
also have a strong case for No. 1. However, the Tartans may have to wait for Foothill to stumble or take matters into their own hands when the two teams in April 17 to take over the top position.
No. 3 Tesoro: The Titans have earned the No. 3 position with an 8-0 record that includes wins over Santa Margarita and Beckman. Through no decision of their own, the Titans are slotted in the Sea View League, and questions about their strength of schedule will likely arise as the season progresses. The Titans appear to be legit though and they will have chances to solidify their position with games against CdM on Saturday, San Clemente on April 14, and Trabuco Hills.
No. 4 Santa Margarita: The Eagles are struggling having lost three of their last four games. We gave the nod to Santa Margarita the no. 4 spot because of their strength of schedule (the losses were to St. Margaret’s, Palos Verdes, and Tesoro) and a first-ever win over Corona del Mar.
No. 5 Corona del Mar: It feels a bit odd placing a team that has not missed a Semis Saturday or lost five games in a season since 2011 at no. 5, but with a 4-3 record when the vote was taken and a first-ever loss to Santa Margarita, this seems about right at this point in the season.
No. 6 San Clemente: With only four games under their belt, the 4-0 Tritons are more of a question mark than the other teams in the County, especially considering their opponents are a combined 13-25. A trip to Arizona and games against Foothill and Trabuco Hills coming up in the next two weeks will help to answer the questions.
No. 7 Trabuco Hills: The 6-2 Mustangs’ only losses are to Santa Margarita and Foothill. Two games against San Clemente and one against CdM in April will tell much about whether the Mustangs should move up or not.
No. 8 Beckman: Beckman seems to be the most competitive against the higher ranked teams having given Tesoro their closest game of the season (6-3). That factored in our decision to make the 4-3 Patriots No. 8.
No. 9 Yorba Linda: The 6-2 Mustangs have lost only to CdM and Beckman. Their victims include Los Al, Santiago, and Aliso Niguel. The Mustangs are playing like a Top 10 team right now.
No: 10 Servite: Servite’s strength of schedule makes it difficult to evaluate how indicative their 3-5 record is of their potential. Their losses include CdM, St. Margaret’s and Trabuco Hills. Recent wins over Santiago over Brighton, UT and Santiago make us think they are a Top 10 team.
No. 11 Santiago: The 5-4 Sharks with a win over Newport Harbor and recent losses to Yorba Linda and Servite are our pick for No. 11.
No. 12 Newport Harbor: The 5-5 Sailors beat No. 8 Beckman but lost to No. 10 Servite and No. 11 Santiago.
No. 13 Great Oak: The Wolfpack may be an undervalued asset because we don’t get to see enough of the Temecula program. They beat Los Alamitos and Servite and lost to St. Margaret’s and Loyola. Their other games are against Inland Empire and San Diego teams that we admittedly have not had a chance to evaluate. Upcoming games against Santiago and Trabuco Hills should give us more insight.
No. 14 Los Alamitos: The 2-6 Griffins are another team that are difficult to evaluate because of schedule strength. Their losses are all against higher ranked teams. Their Sunset League schedule will tell us more about where they fit in.
No. 15 Aliso Niguel: The 6-3 Wolverines are helped by wins over Huntington Beach and Edison as well a competitive 8-7 game against Yorba Linda.
No. 16: Huntington Beach: The Oilers (3-4) may be a sleeper. They played Tesoro tough in the season opener (11-8). All their other losses are by two goals or less. They have knocked off Murrieta Mesa, Woodbridge, and Irvine.
No. 17 Murrieta Mesa: The Rams are the mirror image of Los Al with a 6-2 record with the losses coming against the only two Top 20 teams on their schedule so far. Upcoming games against Yorba Linda, Great Oak, and Santiago will tell us more.
No. 18 Mission Viejo: The 6-2 Diablos may be poised for one of their better seasons.
No. 19 Woodbridge: It is hard to justify leaving a 9-2 team out of the Top 20.
No. 20 Mater Dei: The Monarchs (1-7) have not since opening day and are struggling. However, we think they are better than that and may be poised for an April turnaround.