Foxes ranked third in nation |

Foxes ranked third in nation

Fox Chapel’s undefeated boys soccer team is proving it’s one of the top clubs in the WPIAL and the state.

Now the rest of the country has taken notice.

The Foxes — 10-0 entering this week — are ranked third in the nation among high school boys soccer teams by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Sacramento Jesuit (Carmichael, Calif.) is the top-ranked boys team, followed by No. 2 Marquette (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Fox Chapel is No. 1 in Region III, which includes Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“It’s a great honor for our program,” coach Mark Perry said. “The kids are excited about it. It adds a little more pressure, and it adds incentive for every team we play.”

This is not the first time Fox Chapel’s program has received national recognition. The Foxes ended the 1990 season ranked fifth in the country by USA Today after winning the PIAA Class AAA championship.

That was former head coach Jim Perry’s final season. His son, Mark, took over the program the following year, and the Foxes were ranked as high as third in the nation at one time during the 1991 season.

That was the last time the Foxes were nationally ranked until last week, when the NSCAA released its first rankings for this season.

“If we lose a game, we’re going to drop out. That’s the way it works,” Perry said. “You have to win every game to stay in it all season, and that’s a really tough thing to do.”

The Foxes have posted nine shutouts in 10 games and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 38-1.

“It helped us playing in the East-West Classic. We shut out two highly-regarded teams from the East,” Perry said. “We were told that Fleetwood was the best (Class) AA team from the east, and Wilson was the best (Class) AAA team. Beating both of them gave us instant credibility in the state.”

To prove they belong among the top programs in the country, the Foxes must first prove they are the best team in the WPIAL and the state.

“Our goals remain the same,” Perry said. “And it starts with winning the section.”

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