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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 25, 2008

Lady Dutch soccer loses tight defensive struggle

By Jordan J. Michael

BETHLEHEM –– The Bethlehem girls’ soccer team players were bigger than the Guilderland girls, but Guilderland was a little quicker.

“The Eagles are undefeated and score lots of goals,” said Guilderland Head Coach Barbara Newton, before Friday’s contest. “This will be a tough game.”

Bethlehem didn’t score “lots of goals” in Friday’s game because the Lady Dutch defense was strong. The Eagles did score one goal, which was enough to win the match, 1 to 0.

“We didn’t really get much offense going, but I’m happy with the strong defense and great goalkeeping,” said Newton, afterwards. “We had a few chances to get the ball in the net, but it just wouldn’t get through.”

The only score of the game came with 31:52 left in the first half. Bethlehem’s Talyor Teal put the ball past Guilderland goalie, Marissa Page, off a corner kick. That would be all the Eagles needed. The rest of the game was a grueling defensive battle.

“My goalkeeper did an amazing job today. She was stopping shots left and right and getting run into,” Newton said. Page seemed to haul in every shot against her, keeping the Lady Dutch in the game.

Bethlehem looked very impressive in the first half. The Eagles had multiple scoring opportunities and corner kicks. Guilderland continued to hold strong on defense, led by page.

At one point, Page robbed Bethlehem’s Kristina Maksuti, after she ripped a shot on goal from point blank. Page flew through the air to stop the sure goal. “She kept us in the game,” said Newton.

Page’s excellent goalkeeping continued in the second half while the two teams fought for ball possession. The game progressively got more physical as time went on. “My girls really wanted a goal,” said Newton. “I could tell by the way they stepped up the intensity.”

The Lady Dutch had a great chance at the end of the game when Lexi Martini ended up right in front of the net with the ball. But she didn’t have enough time to get a shot off.

“It was really tense toward the end. I thought one was finally going to go in,” said Newton.

Bethlehem escaped with a 1 to 0 victory.

Guilderland has a young team with only four seniors on the roster. “We lost some offense to college, but we are doing great for being a young team,” Newton said. The team is hovering around a .500 record so far this season.

Newton doesn’t want to predict how the season will end. She knows that her team is under “a lot of pressure,” with three games a week.

“I’m very happy with this game. My girls showed some real character out there against an amazing team,” said Newton. “Although knocking off an undefeated team would have been nice.”

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