Following some early struggles, the Guilderland girls soccer team has been picking up steam as it heads into the final week of the Suburban Council season.
The Lady Dutch (6-7-1) have won four out of their last six league games entering Wednesday night's South Division contest against Columbia in East Greenbush.
I thought we were going to be right around the .500 mark again this season, said Guilderland coach Barb Newton. "I've got a group of kids who have had a positive attitude."
The Lady Dutch needed that positive attitude during the first half of the season. They lost two of their first three Suburban Council games by one goal and tied another league opponent before rattling off consecutive 5-0 victories over Mohonasen and Columbia. Then, they went through a three-game losing streak that included a hard-fought 1-0 loss to unbeaten Bethlehem Sept. 19 and a 3-2 setback against Saratoga Springs Sept. 23.
Since then, Guilderland has come out on the winning side more often than not. Included during its 4-2 stretch are a 1-0 victory over Averill Park Sept. 25, a 2-0 win against Colonie Oct. 1, a 4-1 victory over Mohonasen Oct. 7 and a 3-2 win against Shaker Oct. 10.
The two losses were a 1-0 setback against North Division-leading Niskayuna Sept. 27 and a 4-2 loss to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Oct. 3.
"All of our games have been close," said Newton. "They all seem to be one-goal differentials one way or the other."
The Lady Dutch have put together their 4-2 stretch without the services of midfielder Amanda Best or goaltender Marissa Page, who are both out with injuries. Best has been sidelined with an ankle injury for several weeks, while Page was injured in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake game.
"We're hoping Amanda (Best) will be back before the end of the season, and hopefully Marissa (Page) will be back soon," said Newton.