The loop might only contain four teams, but the Lockerby Vikings, St. Charles College Cardinals and Lo-Ellen Park Knights all boast records of 2-1-1 just after the midway point of the season.
The Lasalle Lancers fell to 0-3-1, dropping a 5-2 decision to the Vikes on Tuesday, with the Cardinals taking the nightcap, 4-1 over the Knights.
A balanced Lockerby attack produced goals from Sean Anderson, Disal Wickramasighe, Nick Walker, Noah Blackwell and Seddik Azzouz, with Alex D'Orazio and Jordan Ross replying in a losing cause for Lasalle.
St. Charles was powered by a two-goal effort from Cody Watson, with Jacob Pitawanakwat and Ben Koskiewicz chipping in with one goal apiece, more than offsetting a solo marker from Lo-Ellen speedster Michael Zhou.
Surrendering just four goals in four games, a big part of the success of the St. Charles side is credited to a back-end tandem of Brad MacKenzie and Tshiondo N'Galamulume, teammates with the Greater Sudbury Impact U-15 boys team this past summer.
"In competitive soccer, I get leadership from other guys on our team and now here, in junior soccer, I'm one of the leaders, along with Tshiondo," Mackenzie said. "It's different."
In fact, among the defensive quartet, MacKenzie is often looked to as something of a player-coach on the field, helping ease the transition for players who have not necessarily benefited from the increased competition that rep soccer provides.
"The main thing I tell them is to never panic with the ball," MacKenzie said. "If you're in trouble, just get it out, look for your players."
Like most teams in this league, St. Charles features a mix of a small handful of competitive players combined with a majority from the local recreational ranks.
A 1-0 loss to Lo-Ellen in the season-opener did not bode well for the long-time Sudbury soccer powerhouse.
"At the start of the season, we really weren't too sure, because it's a bunch of new guys," MacKenzie said. "But now, after a few games, I'm thinking we're looking pretty good. The teams are really even."
True enough. Lo-Ellen has split with St. Charles and beaten Lockerby, but also tied Lasalle.
The Cardinals and Vikings played to a 1-1 draw in their only head-to-head matchup to date, with the next installment set for next Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Queen's Athletic Field.
"Against teams like Lockerby that are good defensively, we have to find a way to put the ball in the net," Mackenzie said.
Come Oct. 23, the day of the championship final encounter, the team that does that best is likely to walk away with the 2012 SDSSAA banner.