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The countdown begins at BC

Bethlehem soccer teams take to the field for first day of practice

Bethlehem’s Ethan Strauss gets some footwork in during the first day of boys soccer practice Monday. Strauss is one of 15 players returning from last year’s Section II Class AA championship squad.

Bethlehem’s Ethan Strauss gets some footwork in during the first day of boys soccer practice Monday. Strauss is one of 15 players returning from last year’s Section II Class AA championship squad. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— As Bethlehem’s boys soccer team started its preparations for defending its Sectional title, the school’s girls soccer team was busy preparing to take back the Class AA championship it lost to Guilderland last year.

“For a number of years, we’ve won the last game played in Section II,” said girls soccer coach Tom Rogan. “This is the first time in a long while where we’ve gone into a season coming off a loss in that final game.”

Like the boys team, the Bethlehem girls team faces the prospect of replacing several key players from last year’s team. Among the seniors who graduated last year are leading scorer Tara Teal and goaltender Katie Nickles.

“We lost our goal scorer and our goal stopper,” said Rogan.

“It’ll be a challenge, but we’ll spend each day trying to figure it out.”

Bethlehem will have an opportunity to avenge last year’s 2-1 loss to Guilderland in the Class AA finals right off the bat. The Lady Eagles visit the Lady Dutch in their season opener on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

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