Blue Streaks earn important league victory

The Saratoga boys soccer team recorded one of its biggest wins in several years.

Kyle Toyama and Jonathan Rosebrook scored goals less than two minutes apart, and Warren Gross stopped six shots to lead the Blue Streaks to a 2-1 victory over Bethlehem Monday.

The kids have worked hard and improved a lot, and it was nice to see the dividends, said Saratoga coach Doug Leininger.

Saratoga spent much of the first 20 minutes in its half of the field as Bethlehem applied constant pressure. But then, Gross created an offensive opportunity by punting the ball deep into Bethlehem's side of the field. Toyama collected the ball, turned and fired a 25-yard shot past Jason Daniels to give the Blue Streaks the lead.

"It was our first shot of the game, and it was a good one," said Leininger. "(Toyama) realized he wasn't being pressured, so he just turned and fired."

Ninety seconds later, Toyama sent a pass ahead to Rosebrook, who broke in on Daniels and got the ball by him for a 2-0 Saratoga lead.

Darko Knezevic got Bethlehem (4-1-1 league) on the scoreboard with a penalty kick late in the first half, but Saratoga held the Eagles in check the rest of the game to improve its Suburban Council record to 3-0-2 (3-3-2 overall).

"This was a big win early in the season, but this group has the potential to do great things," said Leininger. "If we can become more consistent with our offense, we should do well. We'll see what happens."

After hosting Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Wednesday, Saratoga hits the road to face Colonie Friday and Shaker next Tuesday.""

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