That's all that stood between the Randolph boys soccer team and a chance to be etched into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association record books.
Alas, it wasn't meant to be, and after racking up 10 straight shutouts and after nearly 1,000 minutes of holding their opponents scoreless, it was a free kick in the 89th minute of their Section 6 Class C quarterfinal with Portville that finally snapped the streak.
Nevertheless, it was certainly an incredible run.
"It was amazing," Randolph coach and Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 2 Coach of the Year Dave Levandowski said. "Almost 1,000 minutes of shutout soccer and just (forty-two) seconds away from a tie for the seventh-longest (streak in NYS boys soccer history). The kids worked so hard for that."
Most incredible, however, wasn't exactly the streak itself; no, it was the fact that the coach leading the charge was one that had always put scoring goals much higher on his list of priorities than stopping them.
A lot of that has to do with his own past.
Levandowski, a Maple Grove graduate, first played soccer his junior year, which was, not coincidentally, the first season that the school made "the most beautiful game" (as it's often called around the world) a team sport.
He started out as a defender.
"And I hated it," he said with a laugh.
Soon, though, he was moved up front and began scoring goals, and despite his late start proved talented enough to play college soccer at Jamestown Community College.
It was with a focus on offense that he took over the Randolph soccer program four years ago.
"I was offensive minded," he said, "and in the previous three years (that I'd coached the boys) we were never defensively oriented. I mean, this year nine of the starting 11 were offensive players."
But that offensive-heavy roster required that Levandowski make adjustments, and he was unhesitating making them - which is just about the surest sign of a first-rate coach.
"I had to ask people if they'd be willing to learn how to play defense," he said. "Austin (Schapp), a senior, offered to do it, I put him at sweeper and after a few games it all came together."
After allowing 11 goals over their first six games (they still managed to go 5-1 over that span due to their ever-present offensive firepower) Schapp and the rest of the defense, which included goaltender and sophomore Nick Carpenter, became an impenetrable wall.
Over their final 12 games the Cardinals allowed just four more goals, the aforementioned one against Portville and three in a loss -just their second of the season - in the Class C semifinal to International Prep.
"It all came together so quickly," Levandowski said. "They really had to buy into the system, and trust me as a coach to put them in the right spots. One of the big things that we talked about at the beginning of the season was that we were a family, that the faces you look around at in the huddle pregame and post-game are the guys you're going to see everyday and are the guys you have to work extra hard for.
"That's what makes a team successful and this group bought into that."
That defensive and, of course, offensive prowess (seven different players recorded at least 10 points for the squad, which scored the most goals in all of the CCAA and averaged over three goals per game) led the Cardinals to their second league title in three years, and second in Levandowski's four years as head coach.
What's more, the Cardinals went a perfect 12-0 in league play, with solid victories over talented Allegany-Limestone and Salamanca along the way.
"The credit goes to the kids and their parents," Levandowski said, all too humbly. "They came in prepared, the parents make the transition smooth by coaching the kids (in the style we want) during the summer (leagues) and they worked together, put aside individual statistics, focused on what's best for the group and did what was needed to be done (to win).
"It was an amazing season."
And some credit goes to The Post-Journal's co-coach of the year.