Bethlehem came to life late in the first half of Wednesday’s Section II Class A semifinal contest against Guilderland, but by then, it was too late.
With its scoring depth and quick-strike ability on display, the Lady Dutch piled up 10 goals before the matchup was 18 minutes olds, and soared past the Eagles, 17-7, to earn their third title-game date in four years.
Six players accounted for those 10 goals, and six of the scores came without a Bethlehem response, as the state’s No. 5-ranked team opened a 10-2 advantage.
“What’s nice about our runs is that four people are touching the ball,” Guilderland coach Gary Chatnik said. “They have a good feel for the game, and they move the ball well. They’re exciting to watch, and they had some nice finishes.”
Chelsey Newman notched five goals for the 19-0 defending Section II champions, and Danielle Tetreault collected four goals and one assist. Jen Madsen, Courtney Davis, Abbey Fashouer, Amanda Best and Bridget Daley combined for another eight goals and four assists to help Guilderland move on to the championship game one week from tonight at Union College against Shaker (16-4).
“Hopefully, we can do it again,” said Chatnik, whose team beat Shaker in the 2007 title game, 9-7. “They’ve risen to the challenge in every game so far.”
Bethlehem (10-10) did its best to derail Guilderland, closing the half with goals by Shirah Fudin, Brittany Howland and Michelle Primomo to make it 10-5.
“We would have liked to see it tighter in the first half, but the fact that we tightened it up gave us incentive and momentum,” said Bethlehem coach Dawn Austin.
Momentum swung back in Guilderland’s direction when Newman scored 2:54 into the second half. The sophomore midfielder scored again before Tetreault made it 13-5, and the Eagles were held scoreless until Howland connected with 10:55 to play.
“We were smiling inside, but outside, it was ‘Let’s make sure we keep it up,’ ” said Chatnik. “Bethlehem is athletic, and they play hard. We knew that they had a run in them at some point, and when they did, we answered.”
“When we get a goal, we all get so excited,” said Newman, one of nine double-digit goal scorers on the Lady Dutch roster. “We want to get the ball and do it again.”
Guilderland often beat Bethlehem to loose balls, and used its superb transition to get into scoring position.
“Speed is a big factor for us, but we pass and catch well, too,” said Newman, who, along with Tetreault, scored two goals in the 6-0 first-half spurt.
“Guilderland is very fast, and they don’t drop the ball,” Austin said. “We knew if they had their transition going, they’d be tough to beat.”
Guilderland scored on its first seven shots, with Best and Newman delivering in the opening minutes, and goals by Tetreault and Madsen made it 4-1. After Fudin scored for Bethlehem, the Lady Dutch went on their six-goal run which included goals by Davis and Daley.
Bethlehem 5 2 — 7
Guilderland 10 7 — 17
Bethlehem scoring: Shirah Fudin 3-1, Meg O’Donnell 0-1, Brittany Howland 2-0, Michelle Primomo 1-0, Kaitlyn Martin 1-1. Guilderland scoring: Amanda Best 1-0, Chelsey 5-0, Danielle Tetreault 4-1, Courtney Davis 2-1, Jen Madsen 2-2, Bridget Daley 1-0, Abbey Fashouer 2-1.
Goalkeepers: Bethlehem, Kristina Maksuti, 8 saves. Guilderland, Amanda Santandrea, 2 saves.
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