The Week in Review

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We are down to the final week of the regular season.  Last week saw some turmoil throughout the Top 20.

So far, the same four teams have occupied the Top 4 spots since Day 1.  Two of those five, JSerra and St. Margaret’s are having difficulties.  JSerra has lost four in a row, three by one goal, and all to teams ranked in the top 10 in the state.  St. Margaret’s has lost five in a row, including a triple OT heartbreaker on Saturday to Harvard-Westlake.  Interestingly, the other four losses came to the same teams that beat JSerra: Foothill, CdM, Cathedral Catholic, and La Costa Canyon.  San Clemente has been sitting in the No. 5 spot with a 12-4 record nearly all season waiting to make their move.  Has that time arrived?

Aliso Niguel opened some eyes when they beat Tesoro to show folks that the Wolverines are serious about being a Top 10 team.

Further down the rankings, some bubble teams are making late season moves to secure their places at the May Madness dance.  Newport Harbor upset Sunset League leader Los Al and has won four in a row as they make a run for the postseason.  Trabuco Hills has won three of their last four.

What does it all mean for the playoffs?  Let’s take a look.  Games to watch this week are in bold.

No. 1 Foothill
Week Record: 2-0
Overall Record: 14-1
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 1
Up Next: Rancho Bernardo on Wednesday; at Beckman on Friday
Synopsis: With CdM holding JSerra, Santa Margarita, and St. Margaret’s to a total of 12 goals over the last two weeks,  a strong showing against LCC was a must for the Knights if they wanted to hold on to their lofty status.  The Knights responded admirably with a convincing 14-9 win.  They will close the regular season in what should be the equivalent of a playoff game.  About the only thing the Beckman seniors would like better than a regular season win over Foothill is a playoff win over Foothill.

No. 2 JSerra Catholic
Week Record: 0-2
Overall Record: 12-4

Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 3
Up Next: at Santa Margarita on Tuesday; at Mater Dei on Friday
Synopsis: The Lions have not won since being named No. 1 in the West by UnderArmour/Inside Lacrosse. The game against Santa Margarita this week will be a big one.  If Santa Margarita pulls off the upset, it will likely shake up the playoff seedings pretty good.  The Lions may be down but do not count them out.  They have shown all season long that they are a gritty team that never gives up.

No. 3  Corona del Mar
Week Record: 2-0
Overall Record: 12-1
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 8
Up Next: at Huntington Beach on Wednesday; at Coronado on Saturday
Synopsis:  Four goals allowed per game.  That is impressive.  That is all I have to say.

No. 4  St. Margaret’s
Week Record: 0-2
Overall Record: 7-7
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 2
Up Next: Dana Hills on Saturday
Synopsis:   There is probably no better argument for a deep bench than the 2014 St. Margaret’s Tartans.  Once goalkeeper Payton Fales went down with a broken hand, Coach Miles decided his best option to put his best cover defenseman, Villanova-commit Fernando Delgado, between the pipes.  Hats off to Delgado for stepping up and taking on the role–although it’s a role he’s played well since his middle school days.  A lot of players would not have accepted the change for the good of the team.  Probably no team will perplex the seeding committee than the Tartans.  Despite their recent woes, not many will want to face them in the first round.

No. 5. San Clemente
Week Record: 2-0
Overall Record: 12-4
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 5
Up Next: at El Toro on on Tuesday; at Mission Viejo on Thursday
Synopsis:  A three or four seed is not out of the question for the Tritons if they take care of business this week. Their first league title in three years is theirs with a win Tuesday at El Toro. Impressive rout of Rancho Bernardo last Friday.

No. 6  Beckman
Week Record: 1-0
Overall Record: 11-2
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 38
Up Next: at Woodbridge on Thursday; Foothill on Friday
Synopsis: Beckman has won 13 in a row, which is the longest current winning streak in the OC.  If they can pull off the upset on Friday against Foothill, a top four seed is not out of the question.

No. 7 Santa Margarita
Week Record: 0-1
Overall Record: 10-5

Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 7

Up Next: JSerra on Tuesday; Servite on Thursday

Synopsis:  Much as the Beckman seniors want to beat Foothill, the senior Eagles would love on last win over JSerra.  The JSerra seniors would love just as much to sweep the Eagles for the second year in a row.  The game has big playoff implications for both squads.  This should be a good game.

No. 8  Great Oak
Week Record: 2-0
Overall Record: 15-2
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 21

Up Next: Playoffs Baby! No more regular season games on the schedule.
Synopsis: The Wolfpack will start getting ready for the playoffs and hoping for a first round game at home.

No. 9  Tesoro
Week Record: 1-1
Overall Record: 9-7
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 6
Up Next: Trabuco Hills on Tuesday
Synopsis:  The banged up Titans (six players injured including standout attack man Blake Warner with a broken hand) have now lost three out of their last four.  The game against Trabuco Hills takes on unexpected importance as the Mustangs fight for a playoff spot and the Titans look to rebound from their upset loss to Aliso Niguel.

No. 10  Aliso Niguel
Week Record: 2-0
Overall Record: 10-2
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 48
Up Next: at Laguna Hills on Monday; Dana Hills on Tuesday; Capo Valley on Friday
Synopsis:  Saturday’s win against Tesoro put to rest some concerns about the Wolverines’ SOS.  Now they need to stay focused and win out this week.

No. 11  Los Alamitos

Week Record: 1-1

Overall Record: 7-7
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 12
Up Next: Chaparral on Monday; at Esperanza on Wednesday
Synopsis:  The Griffins have a respectable record against a very challenging schedule.  The loss to Newport Harbor may cost them a position or two in the rankings.

No. 12 Mater Dei
Week Record: 1-1
Overall Record: 10-5
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 30
Up Next: at Servite on Tuesday; JSerra on Friday
Synopsis: After winning only three games last year and none in 2012, the Monarchs are looking like a playoff team.

No. 13 Yorba Linda
Week Record: 2-0
Overall Record: 14-2
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 59
Up Next: Temecula Valley on Monday; at Tustin on Wednesday
Synopsis:  Congratulations to the two-time Century League Champs.  Low SOS will be a concern but some quality wins and competitive outings against St. Margaret’s and Great Oak should work in the Mustangs’ favor.

No. 14 El Toro
Week Record: 1-1
Overall Record: 6-9
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 9
Up Next: San Clemente on Tuesday; Trabuco Hills on Thursday
Synopsis: This is where the bubble begins in my opinion.  I think for the most part, everyone up to this point is a safe bet for the playoffs, but  El Toro, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Edison, and  Trabuco Hills will jockey for the final three spots.   A win on Tuesday would probably clinch a spot for the Chargers.  Two losses this week may cost them one. They will get credit for their SOS.

No. 15 Huntington Beach
Week Record: 1-1
Overall Record: 5-9
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 10
Up Next: Corona del Mar on Wednesday; Marina on Friday; Edison on Saturday
Synopsis: 
Huntington Beach is in a similar situation to El Toro. An upset on Monday on Wednesday probably gives them a playoff spot. Otherwise, the may have to sweep Marina and Edison.  SOS will help.

No. 16 Trabuco Hills
Week Record: 1-1
Overall Record: 7-9
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 22
Up Next: Tesoro on Tuesday; El Toro on Thursday
Synopsis:  The much improved Mustangs have two higher ranked teams this week.  Two wins may push them on to the right side of the bubble.

No. 17 Newport Harbor
Week Record: 2-0
Overall Record: 6-8
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 19
Up Next: Marina on Wednesday; Edison on Friday
Synopsis: 
The Sailors are making a playoff push.  Friday’s game may be for the final playoff spot.

No. 18  Mission Viejo
Week Record: 1-1
Overall Record: 7-7
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 30
Up Next: San Clemente on Thursday
Synopsis:  The Diablos playoff hopes brighten considerably if they can beat San Clemente..

No. 19 Edison
Week Record: 0-1
Overall Record: 6-5
Laxpower.com SOS ranking>: 53
Up Next: at Temecula Valley on Wednesday;at Newport Harbor on Friday; at Huntington Beach on Saturday
Synopsis: 
It’s been an impressive first year for the Chargers but they will probably have to beat playoff-hungry Sunset League foes Newport Harbor and Huntington Beach as well as Temecula Valley to get invited to the dance this year.