Plano West are looking defend their 5A State Championship with very high expectations. They are the #1 team in the country and proved that is were they belong, at least for now... impressive wins over Nolan Catholic, Flower Mound, St. Thomas Aquinas, and San Angelo Central move them to 4-0-0 to start the season. They outlasted Florida's St. Thomas Aquinas (#2) in game 3 by a score of 2-1 less than 5 hours after beating #9 Flower Mound.
St. Thomas Aquinas is a regular at the NEPS. They came in with a 16-0-0 record and will start playoffs when they return to Florida. They clashed with California's Liberty High School in game 1 defeating them 1-0 and then shutout #13 Kingwood before falling for the first time, 2-1 to #1 Plano West. On Day 3 they battled to a scoreless draw to #3 Marcus. Aquinas has outscored opponents 89-2 in their first 16 games giving up their first couple goals in the Timberwolf Classic in Tallahassee before heading West to Texas.
Marcus, Carroll, and Coppell were relentless on the weekend outscoring opponents 33-1, with over half those goals coming from Marcus. All 3 teams will remain in the Top 5.
Hebron and The Colony were both 4-0 on the weekend and posses dynamic attacking styles of play that with help them move forward during the first half of the season as they prepare for district play.
Allen came on strong after losing to Hebron in the opening match of the showcase getting a pair of 2-0 wins vs #26 Ursuline and Amarillo, and taking down St. Stephen's 3-0.
Keller, with 16 seniors, will be a team to look out for, as they just had one blemish this weekend to #40 McKinney Boyd, going 3-1-1.
Last years pre-season #1 team, Boyd, started #50 this year. They have something to prove and they showed signs of why they deserve to be talked about as one of the top teams in the country starting 3-1-0 with their only defeat coming to #13 Flower Mound.
Teams with high expectations in #9 Kingwood, #13 Flower Mound, and #41 Grapevine were a bit inconsistent on the weekend in terms of results but they are strong teams with tons of talent that will make waves during the year, through the district season, and into the post-season.
Strong private schools such as host Nolan Catholic (TAPPS), Ursuline (TAPPS), Bishop Lynch (TAPPS), and Hockaday (SPC), all underachieved a bit on the weekend going 4-10-2.
Texas UIL 4A Finalist from last year, Byron Nelson, only played 3 matches in the event but were 2-0-1 with wins over SA Central and Round Rock.
New to the NEPS this year was Liberty High School from Brentwood, CA. They came into the showcase at 5-4-2 and finished the weekend at 6-6-3 with a 1-0 win against Nolan Catholic, a pair of 1-0 setbacks to St. Thomas Aquinas and Carroll, while going scoreless against Coppell. Not a bad showing against the powerhouses of Texas and Florida.
Tons of quality this weekend from all the teams, coaches, and players. There will be a highlight video that will premier within the next couple weeks. Please check back as it will document the competition of one of the top high school girls showcases in the country. "Where the Best come to Play.".
Next year's event is tentatively slated for January 9-11, 2014. The NEPS always falls on the first weekend that Texas UIL competition can begin playing games.