Cardinal Gibbons' Justin Dieter (right) kicks the ball away from Hough's Savon Brathwaite. The Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders beat the Hough Huskies 2-1 in the NCHSAA 4A mens soccer championship game, November 18, 2017 in Raleigh. Christine Richman www.newsobserver.com
Cardinal Gibbons' Justin Dieter (right) kicks the ball away from Hough's Savon Brathwaite. The Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders beat the Hough Huskies 2-1 in the NCHSAA 4A mens soccer championship game, November 18, 2017 in Raleigh. Christine Richman www.newsobserver.com

High School Sports

PrepsNow top 25 area rankings: boys soccer

By J. Mike Blake

mblake@newsobserver.com

November 20, 2017 11:00 AM

UPDATED November 20, 2017 10:56 AM

For the first time since 2014, Cardinal Gibbons takes the top spot in the PrepsNow 20-county area boys soccer rankings.

Gibbons is followed by the two teams it beat in back-to-back rounds to reach the title game: Heritage and Green Hope.

Chapel Hill, the 3A champ, is fourth. Franklin Academy, the 1A runner-up, is 10th.

The top NCISAA area team was North Raleigh Christian, which finished fifth, and the top 2A team was Jordan-Matthews, which finished 13th.

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PrepsNow Boys Soccer Top 25 Rankings

1. Cardinal Gibbons (Rec: 23-0-2. Last week: 1)

Notable: NCHSAA 4A state champs, Cap-7 Conference champs, nationally-ranked by TopDrawerSoccer.com, undefeated season.

2. Heritage (Rec: 25-2. Last week: 2)

Notable: 4A East runner-up to Cardinal Gibbons, Northern Athletic Conference champs.

3. Green Hope (Rec: 20-3-2. Last week: 3)

Notable: Tri-6 Conference champs, fell to Gibbons in the fourth round of the 4A playoffs.

4. Chapel Hill (Rec: 22-4-1. Last week: 4)

Notable: NCHSAA 3A state champs, Big Eight Conference champs.

5. North Raleigh Christian (Rec: 15-1-2. Last week: 5)

Notable: TISAC champs had an undefeated regular season, only loss came in NCISAA 3A quarterfinals.

6. Enloe (Rec: 14-4-7. Last week: 8)

Notable: Second place in Cap-7 Conference to Gibbons, fell in the third round of the 4A playoffs to Hoggard.

7. Lee County (Rec: 25-3. Last week: 7)

Notable: Fell to Chapel Hill in 3A East final, Tri-County 6 Conference champs.

8. Cleveland (Rec: 19-2-4. Last week: 9)

Notable: Fell to Chapel Hill in third round of 3A playoffs, Greater Neuse River Conference champs.

9. Panther Creek (Rec: 15-7-1. Last week: 10)

Notable: Finished second to Green Hope in the Tri-6 Conference, fell in the second round of the 4A playoffs to Ashley.

10. Franklin Academy (Rec: 23-1-1. Last week: 6)

Notable: NCHSAA 1A runner-up, undefeated regular season, NCAC conference champs.

11. Apex Friendship (Rec: 15-5. Last week: 12)

Notable: South Wake Athletic Conference champs, fell in second round of 4A playoffs to Leesville Road.

12. Cary (Rec: 14-9-1. Last week: 14)

Notable: Finished fourth in Tri-6 Conference, fell in second round of 4A playoffs to Green Hope.

13. Jordan-Matthews (Rec: 19-4-2. Last week: 11)

Notable: PAC-7 2A Conference champs, fell in fourth round of the state 2A playoffs to East Duplin.

14. Pinecrest (Rec: 20-3-1. Last week: 13)

Notable: Sandhills Athletic Conference champs, fell in second round of 4A playoffs to Page.

15. Apex (Rec: 14-8-1. Last week: 15)

Notable: Finished second in the SWAC, fell in the third round of the 4A playoffs in golden goal overtime to Heritage.

16. Carrboro (Rec: 20-3-2. Last week: 17)

Notable: Mid-State 2A Conference champs, fell in the third round of the state 2A playoffs to Jordan-Matthews.

17. Leesville Road (Rec: 10-11-3. Last week: 18)

Notable: Finished fourth in the Cap-7 Conference, fell in the third round of the 4A playoffs to Green Hope.

18. Ravenscroft (Rec: 11-8-2. Last week: 19)

Notable: Knocked off North Raleigh Christian in the NCISAA 3A quarterfinals, fell in the state semifinals.

19. Broughton (Rec: 13-8. Last week: 20)

Notable: Finished fifth in the Cap-7 Conference, fell in the second round of the 4A playoffs to Heritage.

20. East Chapel Hill (Rec: 14-7. Last week: 21)

Notable: Finished second in the Big Eight Conference, fell in the second round of the 3A playoffs to Lee County.

21. Orange (Rec: 14-7-2. Last week: 22)

Notable: Finished third in the Big Eight Conference, fell in the second round of the 3A playoffs to Northern Guilford.

22. Jordan (Rec: 9-10-2. Last week: 23)

Notable: Finished third in the Tri-6 Conference, fell in the second round of the 4A playoffs to Cardinal Gibbons.

23. Raleigh Charter (Rec: 16-5-3. Last week: 16)

Notable: Finished second in the Central Tar Heel Conference, fell in the East final to Franklin Academy.

24. Athens Drive (Rec: 12-11-2. Last week: 24)

Notable: Finished fifth in the Tri-6 Conference, fell in the second round of the 4A playoffs to Hoggard.

25. Millbrook (Rec: 12-12-1. Last week: 25)

Notable: Finished third in the Cap-7 Conference, fell in the first round of the 4A playoffs to Athens Drive.

Falling out: None.

Eligible counties: Chatham, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Greene, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, Nash, Orange, Person, Pitt, Vance, Wake, Warren, Wayne and Wilson.