The Bethlehem girls soccer team wrapped up another undefeated run through the Suburban Council South Division, but not before receiving a strong challenge from Guilderland.
Kristie Link scored twice in the first 14 minutes of the second half to help the Lady Eagles (15-1) pull away for a 5-1 victory over the Lady Dutch (8-5-3) in last Thursday’s regular season finale in Guilderland.
The win gave Bethlehem the overall Suburban Council title and the No. 1 seed entering this week’s Section II, Class AA playoffs.
That was one of our goals to clinch the No. 1 seed,` said Bethlehem coach Tom Rogan. `Now, we move on to the next goal.`
Bethlehem and Guilderland were tied at halftime before Link got the Lady Eagles offense going. The junior midfielder lofted two long-range shots past Guilderland goaltender Marissa Page to break the game open. Kelly Van Deusen knocked in a rebound off a missed Bethlehem shot a short time later to put the Lady Eagles ahead 4-1.
`You can’t let a team like Bethlehem get ahead of you like that,` said Guilderland coach Barb Newton. `But I have to credit our kids. They never gave up.`
Anna Gray added two goals ` one in each half ` for Bethlehem, which has only lost one Suburban Council game in the last three years.
`They’re absolutely ready [for Sectionals],` said Rogan. `This team has always looked at Sectionals as the most important part of the season.`
Guilderland had a shot at a high seed for Sectionals when the Class AA playoff field was announced Tuesday after finishing second to Bethlehem in the South Division and fifth overall in the Suburban Council.
`I’m very happy with our record,` said Newton. `We didn’t have a dominant offensive player this year, but we had a lot of kids contributing.`