William Leighley asked Brendan McDougal if he was ready.
The Lynbrook boys lacrosse coach wanted to assess how his starting junior goalie was handling the pressure moments before a county championship game.
It was also a challenge, Leighley added, and McDougal was honest with his reply.
"It was a confident 'Yes,' " McDougal said. "I was definitely ready."
He looked it. McDougal recorded 15 saves, many from point-blank range, as Lynbrook beat Manhasset, 8-4, Tuesday night at Hofstra to claim the Nassau Class B championship.
"This was the best I've seen him play in his career," Leighley said. "We put the pressure on him and he stepped up big time."
It's Lynbrook's first county title since 2003. The Owls (18-1) will play Rocky Point or Miller Place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Hofstra for the Long Island championship.
"I was in the zone, and I was seeing the ball really well," McDougal said. "But I couldn't do it without the rest of the defense."
Eddie Bouhall, Zach Barrett and Quentin Herrmann (along with McDougal) led a defensive unit that held Manhasset scoreless for a 37-minute stretch.
"No one was stopping me from getting the ball. I think our defense is highly underrated and we use that as motivation," said Bouhall, who had a game-high seven ground balls.
"Eddie Bouhall is a beast and he's been playing like that all year," Leighley said. "Some coaches would kind of try to rein him in because he's a bit all over the place, but we just let him play. He's a superstar and he's fun to watch; we put the quarter in the machine and just let it go."
Michael Toy had two goals and Mike McVeigh had a goal and two assists for the Owls. Owen Daly scored off an assist from Gordon Purdie (two goals, one assist) with 8:13 left in the third quarter to give Lynbrook a 6-1 lead.
Manhasset (11-7), which was led by Jack Miller's two goals, cut it to 7-4 with 3:24 left, but a takeaway by Bouhall thwarted a late comeback.
Said an overjoyed McDougal: "It's surreal and unbelievable to get this far."