Lindenhurst forward Brianna Doran, an understanding smile spreading across her sweat-soaked face, admitted, "Obviously you get a little frustrated, but at this level, someone is always marking you."
Such is life in the playoffs when you are an offensive threat in a tight, defensive game.
Doran persisted, however, and with 17:30 remaining in the game, her cross was inadvertently headed into the Huntington net. The own goal was the lone goal in host Lindenhurst's 1-0 victory Thursday in a Suffolk AA girls soccer playoff game.
"I was a little deeper than I wanted to be so instead of putting it in front, I was playing to get it over the keeper's head," said Doran, who got credit for the goal that moved No. 6 Lindenhurst (12-3) into the quarterfinals at No. 2 Smithtown West on Monday at 2 p.m. "A defender got in the way. I've never had an own goal before."
No. 14 Huntington, which upset Ward Melville on Monday, finished 9-5-1.
Lindenhurst had an extra player for the final 28:22, after a Huntington player was ejected for drawing a second yellow card. That allowed Lindy's stellar defense to play more conservatively once it got the lead.
"If a ball came at us, we just tried to get it out so there would be no counterattack," said defender Rebecca Conway, who was part of a group that succeeded in limiting Huntington's scoring chances. "We try to keep our goalie as safe as possible. We knew that No. 20 [Katie Reilly] was good and we kept an eye on her."
Huntington's Katie Nugent had her team's two best scoring chances, both coming in the second half. In the sixth minute, her header from in front went just over the crossbar. Five minutes later, her low shot was stopped on the dive by Lindenhurst goalkeeper Stephanie Roberts, who made seven saves. Huntington goalie Taylor Moreno made five saves and was also used on free kicks because of her strong leg.
"She's an incredible goalie," Lindenhurst coach Charlie Brostowski said. "She had an assist in the game against Ward Melville. She's not an easy keeper to beat."
In fact, it took a little serendipity for Lindenhurst to advance. "The goal came from a good combination of passes in the middle of the field to get it to Bree on the wing," Brostowski said. "Bree was trying to find the back post. They were a bit unlucky, but that's what attacking will do. It creates opportunities."