SANTA ANA — In football, it is sometimes said that a tie game is like kissing your sister.
But the depleted Estancia High girls' soccer team found Tuesday afternoon's 1-1 Orange Coast League draw against Godinez to be a more enjoyable experience.
Ties are nothing new to the Eagles (5-2-8, 1-0-2 in league). Eight of their 15 matches have ended that way.
"We're good at that," Coach Jessica Perry said before Tuesday's match at Centennial Park.
But tying a team that came in leading the league was a good result for Estancia, which was playing without six players. Senior defender Teresa Romero, junior forward Samantha Smith and junior defender Julissa Arroyo have knee injuries. Senior defender Ashley Cervantes has a back injury and junior midfielder Cassandra Garcia a possible ACL injury, Perry said.
And Estancia also was missing its leading goal-scorer, junior Jackie Hubbard, who was out with the flu.
Estancia still came close to beating Godinez (9-2-3, 2-0-1 in league). The Grizzlies, tied for 10th in CIF Southern Section Division 4, dominated play in the first half, but the Eagles still went into the break with the advantage.
Alba Barrios scored in the 29th minute on a pass from fellow sophomore Alondra Guzman. It was Estancia's first shot on goal.
"They had a little bit of jitters," Perry said. "They've heard a lot of good things about Godinez, so I think some of our girls were playing very reserved. It took about 20 minutes for us to kind of settle in and find our groove, instead of just adjusting to them. I think that's how we ended up getting the goal."
The Eagles nearly added to their lead early in the second half. A corner kick by freshman Brandi White was headed in the box by junior Haley Flores, but the attempt went smack off the crossbar.
Godinez quickly countered after Estancia's near-miss. Senior Sandy Jimenez found the back of the net on the other end.
"If [Flores' shot] goes in, it's a new ballgame," Perry said. "Then we just had a failure to clear the ball. They've got some very talented girls, and they've got some speed as well. We just couldn't shut it down ... We'll see them again [Feb. 4 at Estancia]. Playing them on a bigger field will be more to our advantage, I hope."
Neither team scored again in Tuesday's contest. Estancia's defense was anchored by goalies Caitlin Leahy and Gianna Guyot. The two sophomore goalkeepers each played a half, combining for three saves.
Seniors Marlene Calderon and Shantel Romero, along with White and sophomore Sarah Leahy, were also solid in the back for the Eagles. White said Estancia had to get used to Godinez's playing style, which featured two forwards up top at all times.
"I thought it went pretty good," White said. "We weren't doing our best, as good as we could have done, but I think we did OK. It was a different style of game; we'll have to adapt to it in practice."
Estancia next plays host to Saddleback, which now is alone in first place with a 3-0 league record, at 5 p.m. Thursday at Jim Scott Stadium.
"It's kind of a rough week for us," Perry said.
Her team will probably take another tie.