*There are 10 county teams in this draw: three each from the Empire and Freeway leagues, and four from the Golden West League. Orange Lutheran is the highest county seed (No. 2). Costa Mesa, Fullerton and Sunny Hills are seeded fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Sunny Hills is defending its 2005 co-championship.
*Fullerton (17-5-2) enters the tournament with as much momentum as anyone. The Indians won their first-ever Freeway League championship by beating Sunny Hills and snapping the Lancers' 28-game league unbeaten streak, then defeating La Habra in the last minute of play one day later. Orange Lutheran steamrolled through the Empire League. The Lancers (18-2-4) have 18 shutouts on the season. Costa Mesa (18-3-2) won another Golden West League title -- the Mustangs have won four consecutive since joining the league.
*An interesting potential quarterfinal-round match is between No. 1 seed Walnut (16-6-3) and Sunny Hills (20-3-4). These two teams tied, 1-1 in last year's championship to share the CIF-SS title. Sunny Hills' offense is capable of taking it deep into the playoffs. The Lancers have racked up a school record 56 league goals and 114 total goals this season. Junior Tanya Taylor and senior Jessica Sharpe are Sunny Hills' biggest offensive threats.
*This draw includes a number of tough out-of-county teams, notably Walnut, La MIrada and Mayfair. Mayfair would have been the top seed in this draw, but Suburban League rules dictated that La Mirada had to be the top seed from that league because the Matadores beat Mayfair , 1-0, in the second round of league play. Mayfair finished the regular season an impressive 27-1, recording victories over Division II No. 2 seed Brea Olinda (twice), Fullerton, Sunny Hills and Division I opponent Mater Dei, which was ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation, according to StudentSports.com.
*The top half of the draw is going to be a battle. It incluldes defending co-champions Walnut and Sunny Hills, as well as Costa Mesa and unofficial top-seed Mayfair.
*Saddleback is hosting its first home playoff game in school history against Los Altos on Saturday.
*My final four: Sunny Hills; Mayfair; La Mirada; Orange Lutheran. The title is Mayfair's to lose. Fullerton and Orange Lutheran both have excellent young teams that will have their time to shine -- this year could be too early.