St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, New Jersey) boys soccer starts the year where it last finished — No. 1

Photo: Mike Scanlan/St. Benedict's Prep

St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, New Jersey) is coming off a season in which the team finished undefeated and atop the Super 25 Boys Fall Soccer Rankings.

It’s a new season, but not much has changed: St. Benedict’s Prep is still on top.

The team has landed at No. 1 in the Super 25 Preseason Poll this year. They lose a lot of talent in graduated seniors Celio Pompeu and Henrique Cruz, both of whom were ALL-USA selections after last season. Pompeu was a first-team selection and Cruz was a second-team pick.

FULL RANKINGS: Super 25 Boys Soccer, Preseason

However, the team returns Cao Chaves, who was good enough to earn a roster spot for the Allstate Cup, a game between the 40 top high school rising senior boys and girls in soccer, per Top Drawer Soccer.

The team in the spot behind St. Benedict’s is one that wasn’t even ranked at the end of last year.

St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) received votes in the last poll of the fall, but did not rank. In the preseason poll, that all changed. The team finished last year 18-2-2.

St. Ignatius’ season ended in heartbreak last season. It entered the Ohio state DI tournament as the top seed, then was ousted my Medina in overtime, 1-0, in the semifinal, reported.

St. Ignatius returns its leading scorer from last season, Matthew McLaughlin, who is committed to Notre Dame for 2020. According to the school’s website, McLaughlin had 16 goals and 17 assists last season.

Other teams to make the list who weren’t ranked at the end of last year include: Summit (Bend, Oregon), McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Maryland), Peoria Notre Dame (Peoria, Illinois), Louisville Collegiate (Louisville, Kentucky), Fairview (Boulder, Colorado), Skyline (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Olathe West (Olathe, Kansas), Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, North Carolina), Delbarton School (Morristown, New Jersey) and Glastonbury (Glastonbury, Connecticut).

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