In recent seasons, Palos Verdes has been the Bay League boys' soccer power, as well as in the South Bay, and the Sea Kings are expecting another outstanding season.
The Sea Kings tuned up for the Bay League with non-league wins over South Torrance and North Torrance last week. At P.V. on Jan. 2, the Sea Kings let loose for four second half goals to down the Spartans, the defending Pioneer League champions. At North last Friday night, Palos Verdes scored in the first minute and let the goal stand in a 1-0 victory.
Playing one of their few night matches, which they will be playing several league matches on the road, the Sea Kings wasted no time as junior forward Charlie Keating scored his ninth goal of the season on an assist by Kevin Vondrak.
Behind Thomas Hutchings, Eddie Mendoza, Kevin Cotter and Vondrak, P.V.'s defense held the Saxons at Bay.
With the win, the Sea Kings improved to 12-2-1, while North fell to 3-6-2.
"This was something we wanted," P.V. head coach Derek Larkins said. "We wanted a night game, since we will be playing some road games in league. We had an offensive force. We scored in the first minute. We had more opportunities. North put on good pressure. We played a smart game, defensively."
Palos Verdes begins league on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in what could be a showdown at Lawndale Leuzinger. The Olympians are very impressive, already getting two wins over CIF-Southern Section Division I power and defending champion Long Beach Millikan and another power, Santa Margarita.
The league could be very even from top to bottom with all six squads already having winning records.
North is struggling but has played a rigorous preseason, that also included another outstanding Moore League team, Long Beach Wilson.
The Saxons are led by seniors, midfielder Matthew Aldama and center-midfielder Ricky Taira.
Against South, both teams were tied at one at halftime, before scoring four times.
The Sea Kings had two goals by Hans Seraphim and one each from Thomas Hutchings, Sam Higgins and Daniel Mailkyar. Goalkeeper Lucas Kingner recorded three saves.
Matt Mitchell had two goals for the Spartans and one by Rysuke Inaba. Goalkeeper Andrew Perfus had seven saves.
West explodes: During most of preseason, the West Torrance High boys' soccer team has not scored a lot.
At West last Friday, the Warriors let loose for six goals in a 6-1 victory over nearby Bishop Montgomery in non-league action.
Steven Ingramham led West with two goals. Guy Rappleyea added one. Rappleyea was returning from a suspension.
Joseph Barakat also scored a goal and had two assists. Ian Melnyk added one goal and a assist and Dane Silverlake, who was also a key junior wide receiver and kicker on the Warriors' CIF-Southern Section Northern Division finalist football team, added one goal.
Sergio Valdovinos scored for the Knights.
Two days earlier at Lawndale, West blanked the Cardinals, 4-0.
Lady Spartans outlast Peninsula: Charlie Tavormina scored the game's only goal off a free kick as host South Torrance edged Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula, 1-0, in non-league girls' soccer action last Friday.
The Lady Spartans are expected to be strong contenders for the Pioneer League and CIF-Southern Section Division IV championships this season. South is 11-0-6, while the Panthers are 6-3-4 and should be among top contenders for the Bay League crown.
Snyder's South Bay Top 10:
1. Leuzinger---The Olympians had a very impressive showing in preseason that includes two wins over powerful Long Beach Millikan, last season's CIF-Southern Section Division I champion, and a third place showing in the highly regarded San Juan Capistrano Serra Tournament. In the very balanced Bay League, Leuzinger appears to have the edge. The Olympians were ranked fifth in the most recent Southern Section Division I poll.
2. Palos Verdes---Palos Verdes, again, will be in the thick of the race for the Bay League crown. The Sea Kings are ninth in Division I.
3. Animo Leadership---Animo is a small schools power and should continue to be so. The Aztec-Eagles are a top contender for the CIF-Southern Section Division V crown.
4. Mira Costa---Mira Costa's boys' soccer team had a very good preseason that included an impressive 4-0 win over always tough South Torrance. Look for the Mustangs to be in the very close Bay League race.
5. Redondo---It's been awhile since Redondo has enjoyed success in boys' soccer but the Sea Hawks are off to their best start since their last league title team of 1996. Right after Christmas, Redondo finished second in the Marina Tournament in Huntington Beach.
6. Banning---Banning is a Marine League and CIF-Los Angeles City Section power and the Pilots should continue to be that with a lot of talent.
7. West Torrance---After a slow start, a more full West Torrance High team had an impressive last week outscoring Lawndale (4-0 win) and Torrance Bishop Montgomery (6-1 win) by a combined total score of 10-1. The always powerful Warriors have very good depth and the they hope to carry those impressive performances into the Bay League.
8. South Torrance---Last season, South Torrance won the Pioneer League and made the CIF-Southern Section Division IV quarterfinals. The Spartans appear to be the league favorites, again, but the race will be close.
9. Lennox Academy---Lennox Academy is the top ranked team in the Southern Section Division VII and are already doing very well in preseason play.
10. Peninsula---Peninsula High's boys' soccer team is on the rise and have a shot at the Bay League crown.
Others to watch: Narbonne, Torrance, El Segundo, North Torrance, Gardena, San Pedro, Serra.
1. South Torrance---South Torrance is 11-0-6 in preseason play and is a top contender for the CIF-Southern Section Division IV crown.
2. Mira Costa---Mira Costa has very good experience and appears to be the Bay League favorite, but four other teams should also compete well against the Mustangs.
3. Peninsula---Peninsula High is expected to be Mira Costa's top challenge for the Bay League crown with very good experience and depth.
4. Torrance---Torrance finished third in a recent highly competitive South Torrance Tournament and will contend for the Pioneer League and Southern Section Division IV crowns.
5. Palos Verdes---Palos Verdes is a Bay League power and will continue to contend for the championship.
6. Animo Leadership---Animo's girls, like their boys, have always enjoyed success and should contend for the Southern Section Division VI crown.
7. Redondo---Gone is Samantha Whiteman, who is now at University of California, but the Sea Hawks have good depth and did well in preseason play.
8. San Pedro---The Pirates are favored to win the Marine League and will be contenders for the CIF-L.A. City title.
9. West Torrance--- West Torrance's girls had a fine showing last week, including a third place finish in the recent San Pedro Pirate Classic. The Lady Warriors should make some noise in the highly competitive Bay League.
10. Bishop Montgomery---The Lady Knights are improved and already have ties against two top teams in South Torrance and Mira Costa. Bishop Montgomery is a strong contender for the Del Rey League title.
Others to watch: El Segundo, North Torrance, Narbonne, Banning.