The NSCAA takes polls regularly to find the best programs in the nation, and two Minnesota schools have found their way to the top 15.
The East Ridge Eagles of Woodbury, Minnesota (coached by Tony Bidwell and Yong Kim) are 4-0-0 this season. In four games, the Eagles have conceded only one goal while scoring 20, defeating John Marshall, Mayo High School, and Washburn away by a scoreline of 12-0, while also downing Harding High School 8-1 at home.
East Ridge High School has played host to Minnesota United’s reserves during the summer. You can next see the Eagles play on Thursday, September 8 at home at 5:00 PM. They are hosting the Stillwater Ponies.
Eagan High School in Eagan Minnesota was also placed near the top on the girls side. The Wildcats are coming off a very successful season in 2015, winning the Minnesota State 3AA Championship and being ranked 10th by the NSCAA, 22nd nationally by Top Drawer SIMA, and 21st nationally by MaxPreps. In 2014, Eagan were also 3AA Champions and were ranked 4th in the nation by the NSCAA.
The Wildcats are coached by Bulut Ozturk, who also works as the director of the Minnesota Thunder Academy (MTA), where he is the head coach of the U17 Girls’ Premier team. He also works with the Minnesota TwinStars as the head coach of the Women’s Semi-Pro Women’s Premier Soccer League Twinstars and the assistant head coach of the Men’s team.
Eagan is currently 3-0, defeating Minnetonka away, and St. Paul North and Duluth East at home. They’ve kept three clean sheets and scored 11 goals. The Wildcats are next in action on Thursday, September 8, when they travel to Rosemount to take on the Irish at 5:00 PM.
The recognition of these two programs by the NSCAA is a sign of the progress that youth/ high school soccer has made in Minnesota. It’s encouraging to see the state’s programs recognized by a national organization. You can find the NSCAA’s rankings on their website (boys and girls rankings).