The Times-Union highlights the top high school boys soccer teams across the Jacksonville area.
Here are this week’s Times-Union’s high school boys soccer Power Rankings, highlighting the leading teams from across Northeast Florida. The rankings are released each Tuesday through the end of the regular season. Records are through Jan. 13 games. The girls soccer rankings appear each Monday.
T-1. Mandarin (13-0-1, 7A).
Last week: 1
Quality wins: Bolles, Fleming Island, Fletcher, Stanton.
This week: The wins keep on coming for the Mustangs, though it wasn't easy this week. They needed an Adel Iriskic goal to break down Episcopal in a 1-0 victory, then topped Tallahassee Chiles 2-1 Saturday on goals from center back Aaron Pruett and powerhouse central midfielder Amar Mesic. Though deployed in midfield, Iriskic (11 goals) and Mesic (10 goals) lead Mandarin in scoring thus far, followed by Pedro Alarcon and Antonio Mancinotti at eight each. The Mustangs have outscored opponents 59-9. Mandarin holds the top seed for this week's Gateway Conference tournament, which could include serious tests against the likes of Stanton or Fletcher.
2. Fleming Island (9-1-2, 6A)
Last week: 2.
Quality wins: Creekside, Fletcher, Gainesville, Nease.
This week: Two games and two routs. The Golden Eagles didn't have any trouble with Orange Park, which went down 9-1, or First Coast, beaten 8-0, during an unbeaten week of regular season action. They also routed St. Augustine 8-0 in the opening round of the St. Johns River Athletic Conference tournament. The Golden Eagles wrap up this week in the SJRAC competition.
3. Fletcher (7-2-0, 6A).
Last week: 4.
Quality wins: Creekside, Ponte Vedra.
This week: Technically no official games last week for the Senators, although Fletcher did defeat three strong opponents in Merritt Island, Ridgeview and St. Thomas Catholic — ranked first among private schools in Texas — during the recent showcase at Jacksonville University's Southern Oak Stadium. The next challenge for Fletcher comes in the Gateway Conference tournament.
4. Ponte Vedra (7-2-1)
Last week: Not ranked.
Quality wins: Creekside, Matanzas, Nease.
This week: It's Chomp Mode for the Sharks, winners of their last five games. Going down most recently were Flagler Palm Coast, handily beaten 4-1, and Tallahassee Chiles, topped by a 3-1 scoreline. Big things are happening around the net, where David Morales is scoring at more than a goal per game and Nico Gosendi stands out as one of the area's top assist providers. In the Sharks' own net, keepers Dylan Hess and Matthew Sifontes have combined to allow only 10 goals thus far. Ponte Vedra welcomes Bolles to town in a major battle on Friday.
T-5. Bolles (7-4-1, 3A)
Last week: 3.
Quality wins: Bishop Kenny, Tallahassee Leon, Nease.
This week: A trip down the state didn't go as hoped in the results columns for the Bulldogs, who lost 3-2 to Mater Lakes Academy and 2-0 after making the long trip to meet Key West. Alonso Munoz and Nick Bengermino netted the two Bolles goals on the road. Bolles plays at home Tuesday against Fernandina Beach, then faces a busy weekend against Ponte Vedra on Friday and Berkeley Prep on Saturday morning.
T-5. Stanton (10-3-1, 5A)
Last week: T-5.
Quality wins: Bishop Kenny, Sandalwood.
This week: Always a big one for the Blue Devils: They defeated rival Paxon 6-1 on Tuesday, with a pair of goals from Jake Faltemier and one apiece from Miles Andre, Brandon Diaz, Mahmoud Elbatouty and Jackson Spencer. That helped build a winning streak for Stanton, which went 2-2 at the Mike Stone Invitational in Tavares with a shutout of Bishop Kenny along the way. Diaz and Elbatouty now have a combined 26 goals this season. Stanton now enters the Gateway Conference tournament, beginning Tuesday night against Sandalwood.
On the bubble: Bartram Trail (6-2-4, 7A), Bishop Kenny (9-5-2, 4A), Creekside (5-3-2, 6A), Englewood (10-1-0, 6A), Nease (7-4-2, 7A), St. Johns Country Day (7-1-0, 2A)