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’Jackets come out flat, still get a win

By Jared Green, Daily Planet Staff
Friday March 29, 2002

The Berkeley High boys’ lacrosse team played without inspiration against Marin Catholic on Thursday, but the ’Jackets’ tough defense carried them through for a 6-1 victory. 

Berkeley held the Wildcats without a goal until the final minute of the third quarter, holding possession for the majority of the game and keeping shooters away from goalie Marc Bloch. Marin Catholic got off just 11 shots in the game, while the ’Jackets peppered the goal with 30 shots. 

Six different Berkeley players scored goals, including five in the first half, but their offense stagnated in the second half as they didn’t score a goal for the final 20 minutes. The drought was a combination of complacency and weariness after a barn-burner of a game against St. Ignatius on Tuesday, an 8-7 loss. 

“I think the players were probably emotionally drained after Tuesday,” Berkeley head coach Jon Rubin said. “But we talked about really coming out strong. It shouldn’t matter who the opponent is. Great teams play their best regardless of who their opponent is.” 

Team captain Nick Schooler said the ’Jackets’ poor offense was a result of an unusual defensive scheme by Marin Catholic. 

“We were worn out from the SI game, but (Marin Catholic) pressured the ball really hard today,” Schooler said. “We’ve never played a team that pressured the ball that far out before.” 

The Berkeley offense looked solid early in the game, getting goals from Sam Geller and Schooler in the first quarter. Julian Coffman scored on a long bouncer 48 seconds into the second quarter for a 3-0 lead, and the Wildcats shot themselves in the foot with four second-quarter penalties, keeping them on defense for most of the half. 

Ed Hill scored the next goal for the ’Jackets from an assist by Erick Lindeman, and Daniel Jarvis scored with just two seconds left to end the half for a 5-0 halftime lead. Berkeley’s last goal came from Cameran Sampson in the second minute of the second half. 

“We just lost focus on offense in the second half,” Rubin said. “We had no sense of urgency, and you can’t play offense being passive.” 

Thursday’s game was the final test of a two-week stretch against tough opposition. The ’Jackets dropped one-goal decisions to University and St. Ignatius, but they are unquestionably a better team for playing in two close games against good opponents. Rubin didn’t relish the thought of heading into league play with nothing but blowout wins under their collective belt. 

“It was hard to see today, since this was probably our worst game, but you can’t discount all we’ve learned in the last two weeks,” he said. “There’s no question we’re better prepared than we were before playing University and St. Ignatius.” 

The ’Jackets have next week off thanks to spring break, and jump right into Bayshore Lacrosse League play against College Prep the following Tuesday. That should be an easy win over a brand-new program, but a stiffer challenge will come on Thursday as Berkeley takes on Bishop O’Dowd, which Rubin considers the main challenger for the league title. 

“O’Dowd is going to be tough, no question,” Rubin said. “They have a lot of experienced players and they can put a lot of points on the board. It’ll be a big challenge to come back after a week off and play them.”