By Brandon Stoneburg
Now that we're a few weeks into the soccer season, the YAIAA pecking order is starting to shake itself out. Some of the contenders (Central York, Gettysburg) are back while others (Hello, South Western) have surprised us. It's never too early to analyze, so here are the first power rankings for the 2015 season. Enjoy.
Gettysburg (5-0, 3-0 Division II)
After reaching the second round of states last season, Scott Hancock's squad has picked up right where it left off. The Warriors are undefeated and have outscored their opponents, 23-4. Matt Yingling kept the undefeated start intact with an overtime goal against West York on Sept. 8.
The only knock on Gettysburg is that it hasn't defeated a team with a winning record yet (Penn Manor, West York, Dover, York Suburban, Biglerville). They get Susquehannock, who are tied with Gettysburg at the top of the division, at home on Thursday.
South Western (5-1, 3-0 Division I)
Who saw this coming? The Mustangs, who suffered through a dire 2-14-1 season in 2014, are currently atop Division I and have two key wins over division rivals Spring Grove and Dallastown. Jacob Wells scored the game-winning goal against the Wildcats with 28 seconds left in the game.
The Mustangs are an exciting team on the rise and they get another chance for a statement win when they host Central Sept. 21.
Central York (4-1, 2-0 Division I)
The defending league champs are off to a 4-1 start in 2015. The lone blemish on Central's resume is a 2-1 loss to undefeated Lower Dauphin. Other than that game, the Panthers have outscored four opponents, 18-1. Head coach Frank Lenno returns eight starters and the Panthers are primed for a run at a third straight league title. They get upstart South Western and rival Dallastown on back-to-back days next week.
Bermudian Springs (3-0, 3-0 Division III)
The Eagles are riding high after finally knocking off Biglerville earlier this week. Their other two wins (York Catholic, Fairfield) were by a combined ten goals.
With returning Division III Player of the Year Johnny King and second-team junior Samuel Johnson, the Eagles have a solid chance to win their first division title since 2004.
Susquehannock (3-2, 3-0 Division II)
The schedule has not been kind to the Warriors, who have one-goal losses to undefeated Central Dauphin and defending YAIAA champ, Central. Susquehannock has managed to stay undefeated in the division so far with wins over West York, Kennard-Dale and Eastern York, but the schedule gets even tougher in the next week. The Warriors next four games come against the other top three Division II teams (Gettysburg, York Suburban, Dover) and Dallastown.
Honorable mention: York Suburban (2-2, 1-1 Division II), Biglerville (2-3, 2-1 Division III), Dallastown (2-2-1, 2-1 Division I), New Oxford (2-1-1, 1-1-1 Division I), Red Lion (0-0-2, 0-0-2 Division I)