ESPNBoston has released its first soccer rankings of the 2011 season, and there wasn't much of a surprise at the top. Ludlow, winner of two of the last three Division 1 state championships, opens the campaign at No. 1.
The top-ranked Eastern Mass team is Concord-Carlisle, which checks in at No. 2. The Patriots won the Division 2 state title last year. New Bedford is ranked third coming off a 19-2-4 season.
Team Name Last year's record 2010 final ranking
1. Ludlow (16-1-5) 8
The defending D-1 state champions will be looking to head back to the state finals having won two of the last three championships.
2. Concord-Carlisle (21-1-1) 2
Defending D-2 champs graduated 15 players, but return top scorer Mikey O'Brien (17 G, 5 A in 2010) and 2-year starting defender Chris Walker-Jacks. Last season marked the 26th season in a row the Patriots have qualified for the state tournament.
3. New Bedford (19-2-4) 3
The D-1 South sectional champs will be looking to go a step further than their state final loss to Ludlow last fall.
For the complete rankings, click here.