After losing a game and a player last Tuesday, the Bethlehem boys soccer team needed a win to get back on its feet.
The Eagles got what they wanted with last Thursday's 2-1 overtime victory over Saratoga Springs in Delmar.
Dan Carillo scored off a pass from Kenny McDirmith midway through the second 10-minute overtime period to help Bethlehem improve its record to 4-1, tops in the South Division.
I'm happy about the way we played, said Bethlehem coach Phil Ridgway. "I wish we could have closed the deal a couple of times in the second half, but we had problems finishing."
The Eagles flew out of the gate against Saratoga (3-2). They had several scoring chances early in the first half before they capitalized when Carillo sent a through pass ahead to a streaking Mike Mulhall, who knocked the ball into the net.
"We talked before the game about being mentally prepared [to play], and I think we were more mentally prepared to play Saratoga than we were going into [last Tuesday's 3-1 loss to] Shaker," said Ridgway.
The Blue Streaks tied the game when Caz Rafalik scored off a Noah Cadet assist, but Bethlehem's defense stopped Saratoga cold after that in its first game since junior defender Tyler Kessler broke his leg in the loss to Shaker.
"Defensively, it hurts us a little bit," Ridgway said of Kessler's injury, which will sideline him the rest of the season. "But his replacement, Brian Spina, came in and did a great job."
Goaltender Dan Maddock stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced for Bethlehem, which has allowed five goals in its first five games. Maddock is one of several seniors who were part of a sophomore class Ridgway brought up in 2007 that Ridgway is now counting on to lead the Eagles back to the top of the Suburban Council.