Irvine Valley's men's soccer team would have liked a victory in its match with Santa Ana on Tuesday at home.
But the 1-1 tie still kept the Lasers in a great position to win an Orange Empire Conference title.
Irvine Valley stayed one point ahead of Golden West for first place in the standings. Golden West had a scoreless draw with Santiago Canyon on Tuesday.
The tie moved IVC's record to 13-4-2 overall and 8-2-2 in conference. Golden West is 7-0-4 in conference.
Santa Ana went to 11-2-6 overall and 6-2-4 in conference.
The Dons sit in third place in the conference standings.
Both goals on Tuesday came in the second half.
Santa Ana had the best chance in the first half, but IVC freshman keeper Blake Sigler made a nice save on a hard shot by the Dons' Everado Serrano.
Irvine Valley stepped up its game early in the second half. Just two minutes in, sophomore midfielder Jose Rivera gave the Lasers the lead with a goal.
Freshman defender Alfonso Quezada-Osorno sent a ball up to sophomore forward Sean Goode, who then found Rivera in the box.
Rivera faked a defender on the left, pulled the ball back and then rifled a shot past Santa Ana keeper Stephen Sanchez. It was Rivera's ninth goal of the season.
The teams went back and forth from there, but neither had any real solid opportunities until Santa Ana found the tying goal in the 76th minute.
Oscar Navarro scored with a shot to the left corner off a pass from Matheus Cuhna. It was the 16th goal of the season for Navarro.
Neither side could come across the game winner in the final 20 minutes of action.
Sigler ended up making five saves for Irvine Valley and Sanchez had three saves for Santa Ana.
Irvine Valley has a bye on Friday and then will play its biggest match of the season next Tuesday at Golden West with the conference title on the line.
The Lasers will then end the regular season with a home game against Norco on Friday, Nov. 10.