It’s been almost a month since the Berkeley High boys lacrosse team last played Acalanes, but you can bet that March 21’s road victory is still on the Yellowjackets’ minds. After all, the 5-3 win marked the last time Berkeley beat any league opponent.
The ’Jackets look to snap a four-game league losing streak this afternoon, when they host Acalanes at the BHS football field. The 4 p.m. showdown matches up the two Bay Area teams which Berkeley High coach Chris Sparhawk thinks are most similar to each other.
“(Acalanes) is probably the most analogous team to us in the league,” the coach said. “They play well as a team, like us, but they’re not individually strong.”
Despite the Yellowjackets’ losing skid, Sparhawk had been encouraged by his squad’s recent play, especially its showing at April 1’s Golden Gate Tournament in Novato. According to the coach, Berkeley is beginning to shed its obvious signs of inexperience, and blossoming into a more cohesive unit.
“I think the main thing is we need to play smart, like we did in the tournament last weekend,” Sparhawk said. “Each guy has to count on his teammates, rather than try to do too much.”
Nearly all of Berkeley’s recent losses have been decided in the final quarter – a fact which Sparhawk says testifies to the team’s youth. While he considers Acalanes a similarly youthful squad, he stresses the potential danger of entering the match too confident, especially with an emotional team like BHS.
“(The momentum) could go either way,” Sparhawk said about today’s game. “The truth of the matter is, we have a young team. Typically, young teams win games they shouldn’t win and lose games they shouldn’t lose.
“This win could really bolster our confidence.”
After today, Berkeley heads into the final three games of its 2000 league schedule, starting with San Francisco’s St. Ignatius on the road on Thursday. That game is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m.