WEST ORANGE, NJ - Following a, 2-0, win over Millburn High School on Oct. 7, the West Orange High School boys’ soccer team, which also beat Orange on Oct. 9, was nationally ranked at No. 8 by Top Drawer Soccer.com. The website tracks and publishes articles on soccer programs for competitive youth soccer, soccer player development and college soccer in the USA. West Orange was ranked No. 8 in the “Fall FAB 50 High School Soccer Team Rankings" for the week of Oct. 5.
"West Orange -- with a perfect record -- makes a major jump in this week's rankings since it defeated Livingston, which tied former Top 10-ranked Seton Hall Prep," wrote Top Drawer in its Fab Fifty article.
While being ranked No. 8 in the country is unexpected, according to West Orange Head Coach Doug Nevins, it is not the first time West Orange soccer has been nationally ranked. However, it is the second highest a West Orange soccer team has even been ranked in the country. In 2006, the team was ranked No.4. The Mountaineers were also ranked nationally in 2005, 2010, and 2011.
“We are excited and proud but are keeping it realistic,” said Nevins. “If at the end of the season, we are ranked No. 8, then we will know we did something big.” He added that right now, the team is focused on winning more games and championships.
Nevins credits the experience of the teammates as being a key factor in the teams’ attaining of a (12-0) winning record so far year. Editor's Note: The Top Drawer rankings for the wek of Oct. 5, were based on West Orange's (9-0) record.
“This years’ team is made up of really mature guys,” said Nevins. “We have six juniors and five seniors who all played varsity soccer before.”
He shared that together, the teammates all have strengths needed to succeed on the field.
“The teams’ blend of athleticism, skill and strength are all qualities needed for a strong team,” he said.
Nevins explained that during a game, when the team is playing one way and then for example being technical is needed, they can quickly change the strategy on a dime to use another player’s ability on the field.
The Mountaineers (12-0) next play on the road at Columbia (3-7) on Oct. 13 at 4 p.m.