Boys soccer matches to see this week
Two weeks to go in the soccer regular season and the daily jumble is well underway to make the top 16 in power rankings.
So, without further ado………
(All power rankings records are as of Tuesday morning. All matches at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted):
Corona del Sol at Dobson: The Aztecs (No. 3 at 6-1) have quietly put together a strong season and have played some solid competition (Hamilton, Desert Vista, Mountain Pointe) to boot. The Aztecs won this matchup, 2-1, last Saturday. Mesquite arrives on Thursday followed by two consecutive meetings with Mountain Pointe and then Mesa, so there’s still a lot of fluctuation possible for Corona against some good competition. Dobson (No. 21 at 3-5) has to win its final three matches (CDS, Desert Vista, Mesquite) to have any chance.
Chandler at Hamilton: The defending-champion Huskies (No. 15 at 6-2) and neighborhood rival Chandler (No. 19 at 7-2) are firmly on the bubble, and face each other again on Thursday (at Chandler H.S.). The Huskies are coming off a strong performance in a win against Perry late last week, and with Casa Grande (Jan. 22) and Mountain View (Jan. 24) left after the Chandler matches, have a good chance to win out and move close to the top 8. Chandler has a tough road to haul with consecutive matchups against Hamilton and then consecutive matchups against Desert Vista (Jan. 22 and 24) to end the regular season.
Mesa at Red Mountain: These rivals forged a tie in the first meeting of the season back in mid-December, and the Lions (No. 27 at 4-2-1) would get a big boost with a win here, because the schedule plays out in its favor for the final three matches of the season after this one. Of course, even winning out doesn’t guarantee anything and the strength of schedule won’t be helped much either. Mesa (No. 17 at 5-2-1) needs this match in a big way because Mountain Pointe (Friday) and Corona del Sol (Jan. 24) are two of the final three opponents on the schedule, with Westwood (Jan. 22) in between.
Chaparral at Pinnacle: The Pioneers (No. 2 at 7-0) won the first matchup, 4-2, and are in very good shape with a favorable schedule for their final five matches. Chaparral (No. 36 at 4-4-1) actually can make big leaps and bounds but has to get through brutality of its schedule (at Brophy on Wednesday), which is a huge haul to navigate when you have to win out to have a chance.
Cactus Shadows at Greenway: Huge collision in Div. II. Cactus Shadows (No. 5 at 7-1) could move into the top 2-3 spots with a win here, but the Falcons still have four more matches after this one (including Wednesday against Paradise Valley), notable two in two days against Notre Dame (three matches in three days overall next week). Greenway (No. 2 at 8-0) won the first matchup, 2-1, in mid-December.
Scottsdale Christian at Phoenix Christian (4 p.m.): The best Div. III matchup of the day. SCA (No. 6 at 8-1) is coming off its first power rankings loss of the season, 3-2, at the hands of Fountain Hills, a team they’ve seen more than enough already this season. PC (No. 9 at 7-1) has a more favorable two matches other than this one and the rematch between these two teams to end the regular season on Jan. 24.
Trevor Browne at Red Mountain: An interesting cross-sectional matchup. Red Mountain (No. 27) has to be “up” for this match a day after a big one against Mesa. Trevor Browne (No. 10 at 6-1-1) has an easier schedule down the stretch, but wins against Millennium, Maryvale, Westview and Cesar Chavez this season are worth heeding.
Saguaro at Queen Creek: Saguaro appears to be out of the playoff picture. Queen Creek (No. 19 at 6-1) is firmly on the bubble but has a favorable schedule to play out (San Tan Foothills, Combs, Apache Junction). Of course, that means one slip-up moving forward could wind up being too high a hurdle to clear elsewhere.
Mountain Pointe at Mesa: A meeting of the desperate (sort of). Thanks to a whopping 10.03 strength of schedule rating, by far the highest in Div. I, the Pride are No. 16 at 3-5, and one spot ahead of No. 17 Mesa. Mountain Pointe won this matchup on Jan. 9, 1-0, while they still have to play Corona del Sol twice (and win at least one of those) followed by Perry to end the season (and probably have to win this match).
Basha at Perry: Basha won this Chandler-rivalry matchup, 1-0, to begin the power rankings schedule in late November. The Bears, however, are No. 38 at 3-5 and still have to play red-hot Gilbert, so this could be spoiler duty for Basha in keeping Perry (No. 28 at 6-3) out of the postseason picture. The Pumas are still seeking a win that would vault them up the rankings, and neither Tuesday’s match vs. Skyline, nor this one will help. Without a lot of help from the opponents’ records, the 2-1 and 4-1 losses to Hamilton are looming large for Perry’s playoff hopes right now.
Fountain Hills at Notre Dame: A cross-division matchup will be big for both Notre Dame in Div. II (No. 13 at 6-0) and Fountain Hills in Div. III (No. 14 at 3-4). The Saints won the first matchup, 1-0, in late November. The Saints need to win this and Friday (vs. Saguaro) because the season ends with No. 5 Cactus Shadows on consecutive days next week, and it’s hard to know whether two losses – even against a good team like CS – will still allow the Saints grab one of the final playoff spots.
South Mountain at Tempe: Not only did South Mountain win the first matchup of these schools, 4-2, in late November, but South Mountain (No. 1 at 9-0) pushed Arcadia around as well. Two matches against Carl Hayden will also help its competitive cause. That November loss remains the only blemish for Tempe (No. 8 at 7-1) during its power rankings schedule, but the Buffaloes struggled against top-notch Div. II competition during tournaments, and Arcadia and Seton Catholic remain to be played after this matchup.
Corona del Sol at Mountain Pointe (12 p.m.): A huge two-match series matchup for both teams trying to stay in the playoff hunt. It falls in the midst of a difficult stretch for both the Aztecs (No. 3 at 6-1) and the Pride (No. 16 at 3-4). The two teams will meet again on Jan. 22 at CDS after which Corona will have to play at Mesa and Mountain Pointe will face Perry to end the season.
Tags: Basha, boys soccer, Cactus Shadows, Chandler, Chaparral, Corona del Sol, desert vista, Dobson, Hamilton, Mesa, Mountain Pointe, Notre Dame, Perry, Pinnacle, Queen Creek, Red Mountain, Saguaro, scottsdale christian, Tempe