By MATT MASSEY
Special to The Seattle Times
The first week of high-school girls soccer action proved one thing: It’s going to be tough to stay at the top.
That proved to be the case in the Class 3A rankings as Metro League teams traded spots in the standings. Seattle Prep, thought to be rebuilding a touch, moved into the No. 1 spot, knocking fellow Metro rival Eastside Catholic out of the top perch.
The Crusaders (1-1-0) fell out of the top spot, thanks to a 4-0 loss to Prep on Thursday.
The Panthers (2-0-1) have already proven they won’t fall off much, if at all, after winning two consecutive 3A state crowns.
“We’re kind of mid-generation with this group,” Seattle Prep coach Andy Hendricks said. “We still feel positive. We obviously graduated a lot of senior [nine]. We still have a number of seniors, three freshman and a number of sophomores.
“Those kids are going to be the anchors for the future of the program. It’s one of the things that has made us strong over time, we are able to bridge those gaps.”
Hendricks knows playing in Metro will help the team improve, because his team will be tested.
“I’ve done this a long time and I’ve coached where we’re state-caliber squad and then we’ve kind of dropped off,” he said. “I don’t see a lot of drop-off. That being said, it’s tough playing in Metro. There’s no guarantees you’re going to come out.”
Prep rallied from down two goals to tie defending 4A state champion, Skyline, 2-2, in their season opener at the Sammamish school on Tuesday.
Despite losing five starters and All-KingCo goalkeeper Tina Vargas (now at University of Denver), Skyline’s reputation for rebuilding is certainly maintaining respect on a national scale.
The Skyline girls soccer team, the defending Class 4A state champions, debuted in a tie for No. 4 in the first National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll, which came out Sept. 4, 2012. No other Washington school’s were in the Top 25 to start the season. C;lick here for the opening poll.
Tuesday’s match was a good test for the Spartans and learning tool.
“Certainly we are kicking ourselves after giving up a couple of goals,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “But we’re glad the scheduling allowed us to play Prep, because we know they are good team and they certainly provided good competition for us. I thought we should’ve worked harder to create better chances. I can’t be disappointed in our effort.
“I thought we played really great in that second half. We made them chase the game, but we made mental lapse right before halftime and give up a goal. We had a lot of possession.”
“We should score more goals, but we didn’t do that tonight,” Braman added.
Here are this week’s top matchups:
– Tuesday, Sept. 11 – Metro League 3A, Seattle Prep at Holy Names (Miller Playfield), 3:30 p.m.; KingCo 3A, Liberty (Issaquah) at Interlake, 7:30 p.m.
– Wednesday, Sept. 12 – Nonleague, 4A Skyline at 3A Auburn Mountainview, 7 p.m.
– Thursday, Sept. 13 – SPSL 4A North Division, Kentridge at Kentwood (French Field), 7:30 p.m.
– Friday, Sept. 14 – Metro League 3A, Bishop Blanchet at Eastside Catholic, 3:30 p.m.
– Saturday, Sept. 15 – Nonleague, 4A Redmond at 3A Meadowdale (Edmonds Stadium), 3 p.m.; Nonleague, 4A Skyline vs. 3A Everett at Juanita High School, 5 p.m.
Here are The Seattle Times 2012 rankings for Class 4A, 3A and 2A for Week 2 (current 2012 record in parentheses):
Class 4A, 3A & 2A girls soccer state rankings – Week 2
1. Tahoma (2-0-0)
2. Gig Harbor (0-0-0)
3. Issaquah (4-0-0)
4. Skyline (Sammamish) (2-0-2)
5. Bellarmine Prep (1-1-0)
6. Kentridge (2-0-0)
7. South Kitsap (1-0-0)
8. Gonzaga Prep (Spokane) (2-0-1)
9. Kentwood (1-0-0)
10. Mead (Spokane) (3-0-0)
On the bubble: Central Valley (Spokane) (2-0-0), Ferris (Spokane) (2-0-0), University (Spokane) (3-1-0), Jackson (Mill Creek) (1-1-0), Auburn Riverside (0-1-1), Camas (2-0-0), Redmond (1-0-0), Skyview (Vancouver) (1-0-0), Kentlake (0-0-1), Edmonds-Woodway (1-0-0), Beamer (Federal Way) (0-1-0), Lake Stevens (1-0-1), Snohomish (1-1-0), Eastlake (1-1-0, Inglemoor (2-0-0), Curtis (2-0-0), Emerald Ridge (2-0-0), Puyallup (2-0-0), Arlington (1-0-1), Kamiak (1-1-0), Cascade (Everett) (1-0-0), Moses Lake (1-0-0), Pasco (1-1-0), Richland (2-0-0) Davis (Yakima) (1-0-0).
1. Seattle Prep (2-0-1)
2. Interlake (1-0-0)
3. Holy Names (1-1-0)
4. Eastside Catholic (1-1-0)
5. Meadowdale (2-0-0)
6. Auburn Mountainview (1-0-1)
7. Everett (2-0-0)
8. Mount Spokane (3-0-0)
9. Bishop Blanchet (2-0-0)
10. Kamiakin (Kennewick) (3-0-1)
On the bubble: Lakeside (1-1-1), Shorecrest (1-1-0), Kennedy Catholic (0-1-0), Bonney Lake (1-1-0), Capital, Columbia River (2-0-0), Enumclaw (2-1-1), Liberty (Issaquah) (0-2-0), Hanford (3-1-0), Mercer Island (2-0-0).
1. Sumner (2-0-0)
2. West Valley (Yakima) (3-0-0)
3. Archbishop Murphy (2-0-0)
4. Sehome (2-0-1)
5. Fife (1-0-0)
6. Klahowya (2-0-0)
7. Cedarcrest (Duvall) (0-2-0)
8. East Valley (Spokane) (1-2-0)
9. Pullman (1-1-0)
10. Squalicum (1-0-1)
On the bubble: Lakewood (0-1-1), West Valley (Spokane) (1-0-0), Clarkston (1-0-0), Hockinson (0-1-1), Lake Washington (0-1-1), East Valley (Yakima) (2-1-0).