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BETHLEHEM: Eagles ride roller coaster

The Bethlehem boys lacrosse team has the offense to compete with any Section II team.

The defense is another story.

The Eagles (4-3) got on a good run last week with victories over Shenendehowa, Colonie and Schenectady, but their defense couldn't hold up in a 16-15 non-league loss to Queensbury Saturday.

When the Schenectady game was rescheduled to Friday night, I knew that would be a problem for us because 10 hours was not going to be enough rest to face a team like Queensbury, said Bethlehem coach Dave Rounds. "But we still battled them all the way."

The Eagles have one of the best offenses in the section this year. They are averaging nearly 13 goals per game, including a 14.5 goals per game average in their last four games.

Defense has been the area where Bethlehem has struggled. Opponents are averaging 10 goals per game against the Eagles.

"Coming into the season, we knew defense was going to be a concern for us because we weren't returning a lot of players," said Rounds. "We're scoring goals, but we're also giving up a lot of goals."

Bethlehem's best defensive effort came last Monday in a 15-6 Suburban Council victory over Shen. The Eagles limited the Plainsmen to one goal in each of the first three quarters as they built a 13-3 lead.

But Bethlehem's schizophrenic nature showed up in last Wednesday's 12-10 victory over Colonie. The Eagles jumped out to a 5-0 first quarter lead, but Colonie bounced back with six consecutive goals to push in front. The lead went back and forth before Bethlehem regained command in the fourth quarter.

"What hurt us (against Colonie) was their first goal was created by a mental mistake on our part. They stole a clearing attempt and scored," said Rounds. "The second (Colonie) goal was after we committed a penalty. So, their first two goals were on our mistakes."

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