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Guilderland pulls away from Suburban Council pack

With one week left in the regular season, the Guilderland girls lacrosse team remains on track to win its second consecutive Suburban Council title.

The Lady Dutch solidified their hold on first place with two convincing victories in the past week. They downed Bethlehem 18-6 last Tuesday and doubled up Niskayuna 16-8 last Thursday to raise their Suburban Council record to 8-0 (12-0 overall). The next-best league record is 5-1, which is shared by Columbia and Shaker.

We're in a good place right now, said Guilderland coach Gary Chatnik. "We had a tough week, and we came out of it well."

If it was a tough week, the Lady Dutch didn't make it look like it was. They jumped out to an 11-3 halftime lead on Bethlehem before cruising to the 12-goal victory, and they had similar first half success against Niskayuna as they built a 10-4 advantage.

The only game that Guilderland didn't have a dominating first half was Saturday's 16-8 non-league victory over Section I power Nanuet. The Lady Dutch led 9-5 at halftime before pulling away with a seven-goal second half.

The one constant during all three games was Guilderland's balanced attack. Though some players had breakout performances including a six-goal effort from Jen Madsen in the Bethlehem game, there were at least four players in each game that scored two or more times.

"Depending on (the) game, we have seven players who usually hit the score sheet and as many as 10 players who score," said Chatnik.

Chatnik said the three wins will help his team build more confidence as it prepares for the Section II, Class A playoffs.

"The Bethlehem game, we didn't play well the first time we played them (a 13-7 victory April 12), so they came out with something to prove," he said. "The Niskayuna game we came out and did what we had to do. Nanuet is a very good team, and they pass the ball around well. So, we had to adjust to that."

Guilderland still has some tough opponents to deal with before it can lock up the league title, starting with Wednesday's game at Shaker. The Lady Dutch then host Averill Park Friday before visiting Saratoga Springs Monday, May 5.

"Every team we're playing is a good team," said Chatnik. "Shaker is going to be extremely difficult, Saratoga is going to be extremely difficult and Averill Park is playing well right now. If we don't show up, we'll have it taken to us.""

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