The Bethlehem girls soccer team wrapped up another undefeated run through the Suburban Council South Division, but not before receiving a strong challenge from Guilderland.
Kristie Link scored twice in the first 14 minutes of the second half to help the Lady Eagles (15-1) pull away for a 5-1 victory over the Lady Dutch (8-5-3) in last Thursday's regular season finale in Guilderland.
The win gave Bethlehem the overall Suburban Council title and the No. 1 seed entering this week's Section II, Class AA playoffs.
That was one of our goals to clinch the No. 1 seed," said Bethlehem coach Tom Rogan. "Now, we move on to the next goal."
Bethlehem and Guilderland were tied at halftime before Link got the Lady Eagles offense going. The junior midfielder lofted two long-range shots past Guilderland goaltender Marissa Page to break the game open. Kelly Van Deusen knocked in a rebound off a missed Bethlehem shot a short time later to put the Lady Eagles ahead 4-1.
"You can't let a team like Bethlehem get ahead of you like that," said Guilderland coach Barb Newton. "But I have to credit our kids. They never gave up."
Anna Gray added two goals " one in each half " for Bethlehem, which has only lost one Suburban Council game in the last three years.
"They're absolutely ready [for Sectionals]," said Rogan. "This team has always looked at Sectionals as the most important part of the season."
Guilderland had a shot at a high seed for Sectionals when the Class AA playoff field was announced Tuesday after finishing second to Bethlehem in the South Division and fifth overall in the Suburban Council.
"I'm very happy with our record," said Newton. "We didn't have a dominant offensive player this year, but we had a lot of kids contributing."