Santiago Canyon looks in full control of the Orange Empire Conference midway through the conference schedule. The Hawks are 8-0 in OEC play and 11-0 overall, looking for a 15th straight conference crown.
The preseason rankings came out in mid-August and all seven sports information directors in the conference listed Santiago Canyon as the favorites to capture a 15th straight OEC title. The SID's have been right on the money thus far, as the Hawks have dominated OEC play through the first round of competition.
Santiago Canyon has a 2.5-game lead on its closest competitor with eight games remaining, and without a handful of slip-ups should be one of the top seeds in the Southern California Regional Playoffs in mid-November.
Santiago Canyon has outscored opponents 48-4 for the season and 36-4 in OEC play. The Hawks have tallied eight shutouts on the season, including five in conference play. Ofelia Sosa has been a dominating force for Santiago Canyon, scoring 13 goals with nine assists in just 11 games. Other main contributors on offense for the Hawks are Angelica Ortiz (9 goals, 7 assists) and Tara Hansel (6 goals, 4 assists) while the defense has been stifling to opposing offenses.
Giving chase to Santiago Canyon is a trio of teams that are still in the hunt should they be able to jump up and pull off an upset. Fullerton and Golden West are both 5-2-1 in OEC play while Cypress is 4-2-2 heading into the second half of the conference schedule. The Hawks beat Fullerton (6-1), Golden West (3-1) and Cypress (5-2) in the first round and their closest match of the first half was a 2-0 win against Saddleback.
Other leading scorers and good bets to make the all-conference squad at the end of the season include Santa Ana's Leyna Wood (12 goals, 1 assist), Cypress' Morgan Patea (7 goals, 8 assists) and Golden West's Rachel McClure (7 goals, 5 assists) while Saddleback's back line on defense led by Collette Halloran has been stingy, allowing just 1.25 goals-per-game.