Kaan Ilgin's confidence at the time, he said, was so low that he was willing to try anything. So early in the second half, the Mattituck forward removed his black gloves and tossed them toward the sideline despite the cold air, heavy rain and constant wind.
It didn't immediately work. Ilgin missed another shot and his hands were just colder.
Then, Ilgin remembered what Mattituck soccer coach Mat Litchhult instructed him to do at halftime. "If the wind is at your back and you can get a left foot on it, even from 30 yards, just let it go," Litchhult said he told Ilgin.
With about 22 minutes left Saturday, the wind was at Ilgin's back. He got the ball on his left foot. And, yes, he was 30 yards from the net. So he let it go.
It was the winner.
Ilgin added another goal in the final minute as top-seeded Mattituck captured its fifth straight Class B county championship with a 2-0 win against rival Center Moriches, which was seeded second, at Diamond in the Pines in Coram.
Mattituck (14-2) will play the winner of Saturday night's Wheatley vs. Oyster Bay at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Adelphi for the Long Island championship.
The Tuckers will be with a now-confident Ilgin.
"Before that first goal, my confidence level was so down," said Ilgin, who made the All-Long Island team as a junior last year. "That's because in the first half, I didn't think I played good. But at the start of the second half, I told myself I didn't want this to be my last game."
Just to be sure of that, he scored again with 24 seconds left on a play that Mattituck's defense created.
With Center Moriches (14-4) threatening with less than one minute left, Mattituck defender Paul Hayes made a clear and sent the ball downfield.
"I just wanted to kick it out as far as I can because everyone was up and no one was back for them and their goalie wasn't at midfield, so I thought that was rare," Hayes said. "I knew someone was going to chase it down for us."
It turned out to be Ilgin, who beat the goalie and chipped it in.
"Two goals in one day for him," Hayes said. "That was one of the best games I've seen him play."
The defense wasn't so bad either, though.
The Tuckers utilized a five-back system. With a solid foundation of five defenders, Mattituck prevented the Red Devils from moving the ball and held them to five shots.
Initially during Friday's practice, Kevin Williams, who has played mostly center back this season, played right back and Hayes, usually the team's right back, played center back. After 30 minutes, however, Litchhult said the players told him they weren't comfortable with the switch.
Playing comfortably worked for the defense. Playing confidently worked for Mattituck's star offensive player.
"Maybe," Ilgin said, "it was the gloves."