Christian Brothers Academy's quick-strike capability was too much for Bethlehem to handle.
The Brothers (18-2) from Syracuse scored twice in the first five minutes and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Lady Eagles in Saturday's Class AA girls soccer regional final at Stillwater High School.
This is icing on the cake, said CBA coach Mike McQuatters. "Each win is another milestone for this program."
"They got up early on us, and we just couldn't quite come back from that," said Bethlehem coach Tom Rogan.
Caitlin MacConnell got the Section III-champion Brothers on the scoreboard quickly when she scored off a corner kick. A short time later, Alexis Koval tallied to make the score 2-0.
"We started off strong, which helped us set the tone," said McQuatters. "We were able to play from ahead."
"The last time we were down two goals was probably in 2006," said Rogan. "It was a unique experience to be down two goals, but the kids handled it well. They took a couple of seconds and said, 'OK, let's get one and see what happens.'"
Bethlehem (18-2) got that first goal five minutes later when Anna Gray launched a long direct kick into the CBA net. Both teams had scoring chances in the remaining 30 minutes of the first half, but neither side could capitalize as the rain began to fall heavily in the Hudson River town of Stillwater.
CBA regained a two-goal cushion early in the second half. A crossing pass landed at the feet of Michelle Wiese, who knocked the ball into the Bethlehem goal to put the Brothers ahead 3-1.
Bethlehem refused to go away, though. Michelle Primomo tallied midway through the second half on a touch pass from Kristie Link, and the Lady Eagles nearly tied the game several minutes later on a shot that missed wide by inches.
"It says a lot about that team [Bethlehem] that they kept battling," said McQuatters. "They had me nervous. No lead is safe against them."
"They kept fighting. They had a couple of good looks [at the net]," said Rogan.