Atholton vs. Centennial

Centennial's Mary Anderson winds up to kick the ball. (Staff photo by Jen Rynda / September 17, 2013)

After a few weeks of solid play, there’s no better time to unveil this fall’s first installment of the Howard County girls soccer team rankings.

Every week, I’ll be ranking the top five teams in the county, followed by “teams on the rise” and “teams on the bubble.”

In my first year as the girls soccer reporter for the Howard County Times and Columbia Flier, I have attended almost a dozen games since the start of the season. That said, it's still important that I hear from you, the reader.

Disagree with the rankings? Think I forgot about your favorite team or player? Or maybe you want to let me know that I’m spot-on with my analysis. I want to hear from everyone.

Follow me on Twitter (@MattOwings) for Howard County girls soccer updates. Tweet me with your thoughts and opinions and use #HoCoGirlsSoccer. Also, don’t forget to “Like” explorehoward Sports on Facebook for Howard County Sports coverage.

And now for the rankings:

1. Centennial (5-0 overall, 3-0 county)

The Eagles are off to a fast start and players like Anna Mitchell, Megan Oliver, Reese Western and Carolyn Eichhorn are major reasons why. Mitchell has nine assists in five games this season, which exceeds her total in her first two years at Centennial combined. The Mitchell, Oliver, Western and Eichhorn group is fast and isn't showing any signs of slowing down.

With county wins against Howard, Atholton and Hammond, the Eagles look primed for a long run this season.

Centennial will travel to Wilde Lake on Tuesday, and host Oakland Mills Friday.

2. River Hill (3-2, 3-0)

It's difficult to hold season-opening losses to Good Counsel and Bishop O’Connell against the Hawks, given that they were coming off a perfect year in 2012. Any coach will tell you that going undefeated in back-to-back years is a tall order.

Still, River Hill has recovered nicely, tallying its first win against county foe Reservoir 1-0.

The combination of Sheridan Street and Alex Hamer is still lethal, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see this squad making moves now that the early season jitters have passed.

River Hill has a busy week ahead. The Hawks will welcome Glenelg on Tuesday, then travel to Long Reach on Thursday.

In what looks like it could be the game of the week, the Hawks will travel to McDonough on Saturday.

3. Marriotts Ridge (5-0-1, 2-0-1)

Following the Mustangs’ overtime win at home against a powerful Century Knights offense, Robin Grey spoke about her team’s heart, and how it played a crucial role in such a big comeback.

The Mustangs have county wins over Glenelg and Mt. Hebron, and a 1-1 draw with a budding Wilde Lake squad that we’ll get to later.

Marriotts Ridge gets a big test Tuesday, as Reservoir comes to town — a game that is sure to have big implications on these rankings. The Mustangs will then travel to Hammond on Friday.