Boys Soccer: St. Francis proves it belongs on top


Above: St. Francis celebrating an impressive win over rival Loyola on Friday night.

Well, the verdict is in: St. Francis is still the No. 1 team in the WSGV. There’s little, if any, evidence that proves otherwise. Friday was a good day for boys soccer. At 3 p.m. you had No. 2 La Caada hosting No. 3 Monrovia. The Spartans won 2-0 to keep their Rio Hondo League record intact at 3-0. My honest opinion is the Wildcats had better individual talent, with Mathias Ibaez leading up front, but La Caada was a much better team tactically and is fundamentally sound. Cameron Meeker and Matt Caatta lead the way for the Spartans. Both draw plenty of attention and both found away to create scoring opportunities. First-year La Caada coach Barry Riston is doing a wonderful job over there. Things may be different in the second-leg, but the site may not. Monrovia’s field is currently under construction, meaning the second meeting could be played again at La Caada High.

After the La Caada game I headed over to St. Francis (4-8-1, 2-2-1) to check out the Golden Knights against rival Loyola (7-6-3, 1-1-1). The stands were packed and the crowd was boisterous as expected. St. Francis took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute of play after Christian Swart faked a defender and took another step inside the penalty area before unleashing a blistering shot into the far corner of the net. St. Francis lost quite a handful of players to the developmental academy, and they’re not the sophisticated team it was last year when it went on to win the CIF Southern California Regional. But what they lack in sophistication the Golden Knights more than make it up with relentless effort. St. Francis outplayed Loyola in every facet of the game. The Golden Knights showed signs of great things to come. Sewart continually slipped through defenders and pressured the keeper. When Loyola did make a push up front, the Cubs were stymied by misdirected shots or stellar deflections by the St. Francis defense. All in all, the Golden Knights proved they belong at the No. 1 spot despite my being ridiculed for placing them there because of a record that is all but misleading.

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  • DudeCmon

    Stop spending so much time trying to defend you decision to have them number one. We get it.

  • logic

    Using that same logic Miguel, you had Rio Hondo Prep ranked fifth in your final football poll. Are you saying they’re the fifth best team in the area? They would have beaten Rosemead, La Canada and Pasadena

  • GCH

    They prove they belong at the number 1 spot by beating a team only a single game above .500? Interesting reasoning

  • San Gabriel Valley High School Soccer

    OK Miguel,

    You did your homework, you went to both games, as I did, and you picked St Francis over La Canada… that’s fine… I still disagree, but at least now you’ve seen both the teams so you can speak from experience.

    But, holy cow, I’m SHOCKED to hear you say Monrovia has more individual talent than La Canada. Ibanez did NOTHING against La Canada… no shots, no good passes even, he was a complete non-factor… Cannata and Meeker and even Arash Mahboubi on La Canada are ALL better attacking players than him. Gomez (#7) looked dangerous for Monrovia, but again, zero shots.
    La Canada took a two goal lead after 10 minutes and then just sat on it… I like the little freshman midfielder that Monrovia used in the second half, James Alewine (#6)… he’s going to be a good player.
    But, La Canada’s defense is awesome – 8 goals against in 17 games???? And, Monrovia never seriously threatened to score. What talent advantage?

    It does feel a little like you’re just trying to justify your own original pick.

  • highschoolsoccer

    Pasadena vs Muir today at 3:30 at Pasadena
    Its a great soccer rivalry. Should be a great game.

  • highschoolsoccer

    Can we get an update on the boys soccer rankings?

    By the way, Pasadena vs Muir got cancelled half way through the game last wednsday. They were tied 0-0. The game was going back and forth yet Pasadena was still more dominant. It we be played today 1/25 at Pasadena at 3:30.

  • Oh Oh!!

    Don’t look now, but CV is in first place… beat Pasadena… where have they been in the rankings?

  • Bob Anon

    I don’t know if CV is in the coverage area (Personally, I think they should be..)

    Keep in mind, LC has beaten CV twice this season.

  • highschoolsoccer

    CV is not in our coverage area.

    Theres still another Pasadena vs CV game. Pasadena will come out of it with the W.

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