Boys soccer matches to see this week
It’s back to a full slate of soccer post-holidays (boys and girls) and it’s quickly approaching crunch time for many schools.
Three weeks are left in the regular season, and with the first power rankings to be known on Tuesday, let the jostling, posturing and hypothesizing begin.
(All matches at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted):
Desert Vista at Dobson: After a tremendous start to the season, Desert Vista was tripped up twice against top California schools in the Southern California High School Classic around Christmas time in California. Whether that’s an issue with the Thunder moving forward seems doubtful, but we’ll find out with Dobson and at Corona del Sol (Friday) on the slate this week. The Mustangs had a good run through the Mustang Classic before New Year’s before falling very late in the tournament to a really good Campo Verde team. Brace yourself: six matches in nine days upcoming for Dobson.
Seton Catholic at Tempe Prep (4 p.m.): The Cactus Cup wasn’t kind to the Sentinels in early December, but they notched a couple consecutive wins against Gilbert Christian in mid-December to gain a little momentum for this stretch run in Div. III. Valley Christian, Chandler Prep (Tuesday) and Horizon Honors (Thursday) are on the upcoming docket. The Knights, meanwhile, fared OK at the Phoenix Christian Holiday Tournament, but things are going to get tight as they face a series of schools a second time most of the rest of the way.
Chandler at Basha: Chandler has won three consecutive matches (two against Mesquite) including a 3-2 decision over Basha early last week. Both it’s losses in Power Rankings matches have been 1-0 affairs to Dobson. The losses have piled up on the Bears during December, but three of the five defeats have been one-goal differences (plus 3-0 losses to Hamilton and Desert Vista in early December).
Pinnacle at Chaparral: Pinnacle finally suffered a loss this season, 4-1, to San Clemente, a California powerhouse program during the Arizona Soccer Showcase before New Year’s. The Pioneers, however, haven’t played the toughest schedule, and a couple upcoming matchups with Chaparral are among the toughest they’ll face moving forward. Chaparral lost 3-0 to the same San Clemente squad during the AZ Showcase, plus Brophy, Cactus Shadows and Camelback earlier in the season. The Firebirds need to get hot but face a much more daunting schedule (Horizon, Pinnacle again, Brophy) than Pinnacle.
Corona del Sol at Hamilton: It’s a rematch from Jan. 4, in which Corona slipped past the Huskies, 2-1, at CDS. An excellent win for Dan Salas’ squad, but they might need to do it again. Desert Vista (which beat CDS 2-1 to begin the season), Mesquite (twice), Dobson (twice) and Mountain Pointe are upcoming. The Huskies get three consecutive home matches (Perry and Chandler) followed by three road matches to end the regular season, but the Huskies have a good shot at stringing 4-5 consecutive wins.
Gilbert at Highland: Gilbert has rolled so far with six consecutive wins in power rankings matches (one goal allowed in those six matches), the tightest of which was a 1-0 win against Highland in mid-December. Jeff Perry’s team will get a heavier dose of talent, however, as Mountain View, Dobson and Desert Ridge are next on the agenda. Every one of Highland’s power rankings matches have been decided by one goal (win or lose), and the Hawks got an interesting draw in the AZ Soccer Showcase tournament. The Gilbert loss, along with falling twice to Perry and Westview, is partially offset by wins over Basha and Desert Ridge. But the Hawks will need to make a run to reach postseason.
Mountain View at Mesa: Despite some rough results, the Toros got a big competitive boost during the AZ Soccer Showcase (including San Clemente), but it’ll be a tough week with Mesa followed by Gilbert (Wednesday) for Kevin Burke’s young bunch before five of their last seven matches of the season are at home. Mesa topped Mountain View to win the Jackrabbit Invitational right before Christmas, a better outing for Mountain View than the 3-0 loss to Mesa early in the season. A big test is here with Mesa followed by Mountain Pointe (Wednesday) this week, and a schedule with Red Mountain, Corona del Sol and Mountain Pointe again is coming.
Campo Verde at Queen Creek: This should be a great Div. II showdown against two of the elite. Campo won 8-1 against QC in late November but that was an eternity ago in this case. The other three losses of QC’s have been to Div. I schools, most recently the semifinals of the Mesa Jackrabbit Invitational. A big problem for QC could be that this is the third match in three days, with a fourth in four days (vs. San Tan Foothills) on Friday. Campo Verde rolled past Cesar Chavez to win the Dobson Mustang Classic and haven’t lost since Coronado on Dec. 8. If the Coyotes get past this one, there’s a decent chance of running the table.
Red Mountain at Desert Ridge: Desert Ridge kinda laid an egg against Perry and Mesa in mid-December tournaments, but came back to win matches they probably should have the rest of the way in Jackrabbit Invite. Despite matches on consecutive days this week (RM followed by a home match against Basha on Friday), the Jaguars might want to savor because the following two weeks are a major logjam of matches. Red Mountain has, unfortunately, found a pattern of win, loss, tie (repeat) through the Diablo and Mustang Classic tournaments.
Arcadia at Tempe: Arcadia has to play South Mountain first (Tuesday), and that’s no joke. South Mountain already beat the Titans 6-1 early this season. The Titans have played a couple quality opponents, but the current three-match winning streak hasn’t been against the toughest teams (Saguaro, McClintock), so this week will be a big (re-) leap. Tempe gets rival-McClintock on Monday night, but the Buffaloes’ three-match winning streak has also not been against the best. They’ll meet again on Jan. 22
Perry at Hamilton: First, Perry needs to get past consecutive matchups with Mesquite this week before facing the Huskies, and that won’t be easy even after a 1-0 win against Mesquite earlier this season. Hamilton took the first matchup, 2-1, on Dec. 20, but the Pumas salvaged the Dobson Mustang Classic tournament after an ugly 5-1 loss to Dobson in the earlygoing. Hamilton needs to exact revenge on Corona del Sol first this week after falling to the Aztecs last week.
Tags: Arcadia, boys soccer, Campo Verde, Chandler, Chaparral, Corona del Sol, Desert Ridge, desert vista, Dobson, Gilbert, Hamilton, Highland, Mesa, Mountain View, Perry, Pinnacle, Queen Creek, Red Mountain, Seton Catholic, Tempe