On Saturday, Maria Carrillo of Santa Rosa, Calif., the No. 1 team in the Top Drawer Soccer Fab 50 and co-No. 1 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) rankings, hosts Issaquah in a 4 p.m. showdown of nationally ranked prep girls soccer teams.
Maria Carrillo, the No. 1 team in the final NSCAA poll in 2012 and 2013, will brace for the Eagles’ best shot. The Pumas are 5-0-0 and have outscored opponents 32-1 heading into matches Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Issaquah, a three-time state champion, is 3-1-0 and ranked No. 25 in the Fab 50.
Here’s what they are saying:
Maria Carrillo coach Debra LaPrath:
“We are very excited to host such a quality program like Issaquah. Our program has steadily risen to the top for several reasons. The dedication and work ethic of the student-athletes here is second to none. There is a tradition of hard work and playing for your teammates next to you, they are sisters on the field. We get gifted and talented athletes who care about their school and approach each game with humility knowing that teams will bring their best game when playing MCHS.”
“Playing Issaquah will continue to support the national rankings by competing against other west coast teams and getting a true sense of the strengths of each program and we continue to play in our prospective leagues.”
“California does not have a state title, we have sectional titles and high schools in our state play three different seasons making a state title impossible at this time. We have won five North Coast Section titles and attained back-to-back national titles in 2012 and 2013 in addition to the Max Preps Tour of champions No. 1 ranked team.”
Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell:
“I really believe that we’ve got a shot. We play a different style than they are used to. We’re going to run at them and run at them out of the back. And, if the girls are motivated and fired up, and it all comes down to that, then they are going to do great. If they are not, and are intimidated, it’s going to be hard for them.”
“This is just a cool thing. Kids don’t get to do fun stuff like this that often. It’s like Bellevue football [facing nationally ranked teams] only this is girls soccer.”