TAMPA – Have Berkeley Prep’s boys re-found their identity?
Another couple of performances like the 4-1 victory against Tampa Prep would confirm it, but the Buccaneers win on Saturday would lead you to think it was very close to being so.
The Buccaneers struck early and late in the first half, taking the lead in the second minute as Andrew Harvey scored at the far post after a cross from the right by Jordan Tannenbaum.
Both sides exchanged chances following that, Alex Cardoso having a side-footed volley saved and Aaron Burrell shooting over for the Terrapins and Jake Felman having his free kick towards the right corner saved for the Buccaneers, but as the half wore on the work being done by Felman and Tanner Bailey in the Buccaneers midfield allowed their side to take control. Having to replace former Bucs standouts Joey Rosati and Eri Jacobs has been a big task for the Buccaneers midfield as a whole, but Felman said he thought the side was getting close to where it needed to be.
“It’s tough replacing players like Joey and Eri,” Felman said. “For us to come in and take over, it’s taken some getting used to, but I think that at this time of the season we’re going to find that. We started it today, and hopefully we’ll be able to continue that for the rest of the year.”
T.J. Roehn almost took advantage of his midfield’s play just before halftime, a good through ball opening up the Terrapins defense, only for Roehn’s wicked shot to be turned over the crossbar. From the ensuing corner, though, Auston Chen rose at the right side of the penalty area and headed back across goal, finding Chris Murphy, who headed into the top-right corner of the net.
Conceding a second goal just before the break appeared to deflate the Terrapins, who were without both center back Travis Simmons and midfielder Anthony Bauman. Terrapins coach Doug Smith said he thought his side didn’t play well inside either penalty area.
“That’s something we need to clean up defensively,” Smith said. “Overall, we played fairly well, we just had some lapses in front of their net and in front of our net, and that was the difference in the game.”
As evidenced by his earlier chance, Roehn had already been dangerous in the first half, but with the Terrapins pushing forward to try and get back in the game after the break, it opened up space for him to roam. He almost got on the score sheet early in the second half, his run from the left cutting into the penalty area resulting in a right-footed shot that just whistled past the right post, but in the 56th minute he capitalized on a Terrapins defensive error, flicking his finish into the net with the outside of his left foot.
Five minute later, Wes Sever pulled a goal back for the Terrapins as he scored on the rebound after Berkeley’s goalkeeper saved, but then lost, his initial shot. Roehn restored the three-goal cushion a minute later, though, tapping in from close range after the Terrapins goalkeeper had mishandled a cross from the right.
The Buccaneers came from two goals down on Friday night to tie North Broward Prep 3-3, and close out their district schedule on Tuesday night against St. Petersburg Catholic before a road-trip to Jacksonville next weekend to face Episcopal, and a rematch of last season’s Class 3A state final against Bolles. Coach Tim Cooper will certainly hope his side can maintain its momentum as the playoffs beckon in a little over two weeks.
“For us to come out and put in a good solid performance, especially coming back against a very good team last night, … I think it will help their confidence as we push forward towards the postseason,” Cooper said.
Earlier in the afternoon, Berkeley’s girls scored a convincing 3-0 victory as Taylor Richardson, Megan Williams and Sam Newhaller all found the net.
Richardson gave the Buccaneers the lead in the ninth minute, and the Buccaneers doubled their lead seven minutes later through Williams.
Richardson, Newhaller and Amber Famiglietti were excellent for the Buccaneers, as was Danielle Manning, who created Newhaller’s goal on the hour-mark. Manning made a strong run down the right and cut her cross back to Newhaller, who recovered the rebound after her initial shot was blocked, and she fired home low for a 3-0 lead.
Richardson said that defeating the Terrapins was a good feeling, especially for the Buccaneers’ seniors.
“It’s the senior's last (Headmaster’s Challenge), it’s the last time we'll play Tampa Prep as a team, so it was definitely a game we wanted to win,” Richardson said. “Our team usually works where once we score one, we are able to get into a rhythm and score some more.”
Terrapins coach Cindy Schofield was disappointed with her side’s lack of composure, as the Terrapins gave away possession cheaply, giving forward Colby Maffei little opportunity in the attacking third.
“We just panicked the entire game,” Schofield said. “We weren’t composed. I kept telling them, ‘just calm down,’ I don’t know if it was the nerves because it’s the Headmaster’s playing a very good Berkeley team, we just weren’t us today.”