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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, October 7, 2010
Lady Dutch still can’t figure out the Bethlehem Eagles, as the hex continues
By Jordan J. Michael
GUILDERLAND A steady rainfall slowed the Bethlehem girls’ soccer team a little bit, but the Lady Dutch players are still trying to beat the Eagles, which they haven’t done in more than five years.
In a wet affair last Thursday in Guilderland, Bethlehem took a 2-to-0 lead in the second half after the Maksuti twins, Marjana and Kristina, hooked up for a give and go. Kristina Maksuti got the goal and the Eagles ran away with a 2-to-1 victory.
Sophomore Kara Carman scored for the Dutch off a rebound in the 75th minute, but the rally came too late. A win over Bethlehem would have to wait.
“We’re discouraged because we really want to beat this team,” said Carman after the game. “But, we put our hearts into it and didn’t give up. We played them close all the way to the end.”
The Lady Dutch and the Eagles were matched evenly throughout, but Bethlehem finished its chances on goal. Guilderland played hard, but didn’t have too many solid scoring opportunities.
“I think we produced enough to score more than one goal,” said Dutch Head Coach Barb Newton. “We keep getting shut down by Bethlehem because we don’t score.”
Guilderland followed up the Bethlehem loss with a 5-to-0 win at Averill Park on Friday and then lost to Niskayuna on Tuesday, 2 to 0. The Lady Dutch are 4-5-1 and have been held scoreless in four different games this season.
“Each player needs to increase their work rate and we’re struggling with shooting,” Newton said last Thursday. “We’re sporadic at times and we need better marking on defense. In addition, we need more goals.”
The Eagles’ first goal against Guilderland came off a messy scrum in front of the net after a restart. Dutch keeper Jenna Cubello came out to attack the free kick, but ran into a few of her defenders. This freed Bethlehem’s Tara Teal, who knocked the ball off the post, only to get her own rebound and score as Cubello lay helplessly on the ground.
The Lady Dutch played an intense first half, but the Eagles got lucky and were in the right place at the right time.
“I’m frustrated about that restart because I didn’t see a foul,” said Newton of the first goal. “We let down for 30 seconds and we can’t do that against a team of that caliber.”
Cubello, a sophomore, has been keeping Guilderland in games this year and she did again last Thursday. She made a nice diving save in the first half and in the second half she leaped up high to grab a towering free kick by Marjana Maksuti.
“Cubello is doing wonderful for such a young player,” Newton said.
While most of Bethlehem’s bench players sat out of the game, the Dutch kept making changes. The team had a constant flow of substitutions in hope of getting some offense going.
Newton told The Enterprise that her team is “18 to 20 players deep.” Newton has confidence in subbing without losing a step. “Subbing is good,” she said. “Each player has their own dynamic.”
Most soccer teams keep the star players out on the pitch, but Guilderland prefers to get ahead by playing almost every team member.
“We can win with the whole team,” said senior Megan Malamood. “There’s a strong group of girls who start and then there’s more waiting on the bench. We have a lot of potential.”
“It’s a long way to sectionals,” Newton said. “We need to believe that we can win at all costs.”
Newton said that the drive to win hasn’t sacrificed the camaraderie and sportsmanship of the team. “The girls are very close together and nice to others,” she said. “We’ve had few fouls called against us and we have no cards.”
Referees hand out cards to players and coaches for overly aggressive play or inappropriate remarks.
Guilderland travels to Burnt Hills today and to Mohonasen on Tuesday. But, the team can’t wait to face Bethlehem again in the final game of the regular season.
“There’s still one left and it’ll be ours next time,” said Carman. “That’s what we all believe.”