(records based on games submitted to the Daily Times through Sept. 25)
1. Haverford School (6-1-0) Last Week: No. 1
Brett Campbell has nine goals in seven matches, meaning he hasn’t really turned it on yet. The marquis meeting with Conestoga last Tuesday was rained out – not to mention a pair of losses for the Pioneers dampening the specter of the meeting, but more on that later.
2. Strath Haven (5-3-1) Last Week: No. 2
An overtime loss to Lower Merion is the Panthers’ first set back in the Central League. But with a relatively easy start to the league slate – only Springfield ranks as a challenging win – the Panthers have more to prove.
3. Springfield (4-2-1) Last Week: No. 5
The Cougars bested Conestoga last week, the reigning state champions. They’ve got a tremendous backline, an outstanding goalie in Dave Sousa and the ability to win 1-0 games. They could be dangerous in district play.
4. Upper Darby (6-2-0) Last Week: NR
The Royals are in this spot thanks to a win over Radnor, and they are sleepers in the Central League. Their only two losses are to Conestoga and W.C. Rustin, each by one goal. We’ll see what they can do against the two Lower Merion teams, but things look good so far. The fact that Ansu Corneh isn’t being asked to shoulder the entire scoring burden alone is a good sign.
5. Radnor (5-1-1) Last Week: No. 3
I have to have the Red Raiders a spot lower than the Royals simply because of their 2-1 loss last week. But Radnor is another team who’s held their own with the non-Delco contingent, drawing Lower Merion and handing Conestoga another defeat. Chris Martin’s 8 goals make him one of the Central League’s most dangerous scorers.
6. Penn Wood (5-2-0) Last Week: NR
OK, from an objective point of view, Penn Wood looks like an odd choice given that they have two blowout losses at the hands of Ridley and Penncrest, which are hovering in the lower half of the Central League. But behind Elijah Ema, one of the best scorers around, the Patriots have run the table in the first turn of the Del Val schedule by a combined score of 21-5. That’s worth something.
7. Episcopal Academy (3-2-1) Last Week: NR
My hesitation to include the Churchmen may be as much a product of their tough schedule. They don’t have the high-scoring pastings of inferior opponents to pad the schedule (though they did beat Abington Friends 8-1 last time out). They’re a sound team that will only get better as the season goes on.
Drops out: Haverford (4), Bonner-Prendergast (6), Marple Newtown (7)