Inland Area Prep Soccer Top 10

1. Claremont (22-2-5) – The Wolfpack are the Inland Area’s No. 1 team after defeating both No. 2 Moreno Valley Valley View and No. 3 Riverside King en route to a CIF-Southern Section Division 2 title. Coach Fred Bruce-Oliver’s side outscored its opposition 69-25 in 2010-’11, with junior striker Denes Kantor tallying 11 goals and four others netting seven or more.
TITLE GAME TRIUMPH: def. Capistrano Valley, 3-2 in OT, in CIF-SS D2 championship on 3/4.
LAST GAME: lost, 1-0, to No. 5 Hesperia Oak Hills in a CIF-State SoCal Regional semifinal on 3/9.

2. Moreno Valley Valley View (16-4-4) – The Eagles won their second consecutive Inland Valley League title, and looked like the team to beat until running into No. 1 Claremont in second round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs. A one-goal defeat to the eventual champion is an honorable end for FOMB Player of the Year Alex Turkson, and teammate Miguel Hernandez, who combined to form Inland Area’s most dynamic duo this season.
SECOND ROUND SQUELCHING: lost, 2-1, to No. 1 Claremont in the CIF-SS D2 playoffs on 2/23.

3. Riverside King (17-6-6) – The Wolves were on a magical run until, like No. 2 Valley View, they ran into the buzzsaw that was No. 1 Claremont, losing in overtime to the eventual champion. Coach Todd Mapes is on the doorstep now. FOMB expects he’ll be knocking some wooden rectangles of their hinges from here on.
SEMIFINAL SILENCE: lost, 1-0 in OT, to No. 1 Claremont in the CIF-SS D2 playoffs on 3/1.

4. Corona Santiago (15-3-2) – The Sharks won the Big VIII League but seemed to exhaust all their energy in doing so, losing badly to MoVal Canyon Springs in the first round of the CIF-SS Division D2 playoffs. Winning an ultra-competitive league saves Santiago from falling out of the Top 5.
LAST WEEK: (No. 5).
FIRST ROUND FLOP: lost, 3-0, to Moreno Valley Canyon Springs in the CIF-SS D2 playoffs on 2/21.

5. Hesperia Oak Hills (25-4-3) — The Wolfpack were a CIF-SS Division 4 finalist and a CIF-State Southern California Regional Division 2 finalist — all in their first season a member of the Mojave River League (which they won). Senior F/MF Anthony Caudle was a statistical giant with 19 goals and 17 assists, and even had his coach Darren Goodman spitting some rhymes in the postseason. FOMB likes them, and they probably deserve a higher ranking, but they play in the Inland Area equivalent of Siberia and are all but inaccessible for the majority of their games.
LAST RANKED: Not Ranked.
FINAL STEPS: lost, 4-2, to El Rancho in CIF-SS D4 championship on 3/5.
LAST GAME: lost, 3-1, to Santa Barbara in the CIF-State SoCal Regional championship on 3/11.

6. Riverside Arlington (16-4-4) – The Lions were a streaky XI, running off an unbeaten 11-game streak in the middle the year, and followed it up with a seven-game winning streak that included two playoff victories. First-year coach Kevin Watson, 25, was definitely up to the challenge of keeping pace with No. 2 Valley View in the Inland Valley League. He could produce top-notch results for many years at Arlington, but his coaching future will probably arch above the prep level.
QUARTERFINAL QUESTIONS: lost to Capistrano Valley, 2-1 in OT, in the CIF-SS D2 playoffs on 2/25.

7. Perris Citrus Hill (11-5-5) — The SkyHawks went from relative obscurity to a CIF Division 6 title in just 15 days. The No. 3 team from the Mountain Pass League, Citrus Hill entered the playoffs as a wild-card team. Then they won five consecutive games en route to the school’s first-ever soccer championship. Coach Kelly Reck had this team believing, and road the lightning.
LAST RANKED: Not Ranked.
CHAMPIONSHIP CHOPS: def. Desert Hot Springs, 2-1, in the CIF-SS D6 championship on 3/5.
LAST GAME: lost, 2-0, to San Diego University City in the CIF-State SoCal Regional quarterfinal on 3/7.

8. Temecula Great Oak (15-7-2) – The Wolfpack were a riddle wrapped up in an enigma, surrounded by mystery. Winners of the competitive Southwestern League, coach Geoff Houck, in perhaps his final season, guided this team to two 2-1 playoff wins. What happens next remains to be seen.
QUARTERFINAL CATASTROPHE: lost, 3-0, to No. 3 Riverside King in the CIF-SS D2 playoffs on 3/1.

9. Lake Elsinore Lakeside (17-2-4) — The Lancers produced a little magic in the playoffs but weren’t strong enough in midfield to make a deep run. Coach Colin Gilliland is neck-deep in young talent, though, and will feature potent attacking options like underclassmen Oscar Gonzalez and Ricky Ruiz in 2011-’12.
SECOND ROUND SURPRISE: lost, 4-3 in OT, to Baldwin Park in the CIF-SS D5 playoffs on 2/23.

10. Murrieta Valley (17-7-3) – The Nighthawks did probably the least with the most talent, and end the season at No. 10. College-bound seniors Chris Sanders, Dale Howard and Kyle Haecker may have been too focused on their own futures to fully maximize this team’s potential.
FIRST ROUND FLAME OUT: lost, 1-0, to Fullerton Sunny Hills in the CIF-SS D2 playoffs on 2/23.

DROPPED OUT: No. 5 Corona (10-4-7), No. 10 Riverside La Sierra (14-6-3).

JUST MISSED: San Bernardino Cajon (20-7-3), Temecula Chaparral (10-7-5), Moreno Valley Canyon Springs (13-9-5).

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