DELMAR After out-shooting Bethlehem and losing the first time they met, the Guilderland girls soccer team out-shot the Lady Eagles and got the win this time.
Rebecca Golderman's first-half goal proved to be the game winner as the Lady Dutch edged Bethlehem 1-0 in Saturday's Suburban Council girls soccer game.
The win pushed Guilderland (9-3-1) past Bethlehem (8-4-1) into the South Division lead with three games left in the regular season.
"It's still a long season, but as I told our team, it's now in our hands," said Guilderland coach Curtis Snyder.
Just as it was on Sept. 6 when Bethlehem prevailed 1-0 despite being outshot 17-3, the Lady Eagles had trouble sustaining offensive pressure in Saturday's rematch. Bethlehem managed only one savable shot on goal in 80 minutes, which Guilderland netminder Jenna Cubello easily handled.
"Trying to score goals is one of the hardest things to do," said Bethlehem coach Tom Rogan. "Sometimes in games, we struggle with it."
It didn't help Bethlehem's cause that Guilderland kept a pair of defenders in Tara Teal's vicinity the entire afternoon. Teal had a hard time finding the space she needed to put quality shots on net.
Not that Bethlehem had the ball for very long, either. Guilderland dominated time of possession and sent 13 shots on goal, which forced Bethlehem to hurry its counter attack and send long passes down the field without any organization.
"We knew possessing the ball was big for us because the more we possessed the ball, the fewer opportunities they had of pushing the ball up to Tara (Teal)," said Snyder.
Bethlehem goaltender Katie Nickles stopped 12 shots to keep her team in the game, but it didn't help the Lady Eagles avoid being shut out for the third time in their last eight games.
"We need to get scoring from some other positions on the field," said Rogan. "Tara Teal has scored something like 18 goals for us this year, and the next highest total on our team is two goals."
Guilderland can draw closer to its second consecutive South Division title Tuesday when it plays Mohonasen in Rotterdam, while Bethlehem hosts Colonie.