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’Jackets demolish Piedmont to complete regular season

By Jared Green, Daily Planet Staff
Saturday May 11, 2002

xThe Berkeley High boys’ lacrosse team wrapped up their regular season with a dominating 19-3 win over Piedmont on Friday, as 13 different Yellowjackets scored at least one goal. 

Berkeley will play its first-round Northern California regional playoff game on Tuesday and are almost assured of a home game, so Friday’s game was little more than a formality. The ’Jackets improved to 13-3 overall and 7-1 in the Shoreline Lacrosse League, while the Highlanders dropped to 5-9. 

Berkeley took over the game quickly, taking a 4-0 lead after less than five minutes. Although they allowed two goals in the first half, the ’Jackets scored 12 straight goals before the Highlanders would score again with five minutes left in the game. By that time, Berkeley head coach Jon Rubin had ordered his players to stop shooting, and the clock was left running for most of the second half due to league rules. 

Jesse Cohen and Cameran Sampson led the ’Jackets with three goals apiece, with Nick Schooler and Jonah Hill pitching in with two goals each. Even the defensemen got into the attack for Berkeley, with Demetrius Sommers scoring a goal to finish the third quarter and Chris May just missing a shot in the fourth. 

Midfielder Crosby Freeman scored two of Piedmont’s three goals. 

Berkeley’s likely opponent in the first round will be Marin Catholic, a team it beat 6-1 on March 28. If the ’Jackets get past Marin Catholic, they would probably face University in the semifinal, with either Bishop O’Dowd or top-ranked St. Ignatius waiting in the championship game. Berkeley’s only losses this season have come to those three teams, although the ’Jackets did beat O’Dowd earlier in the season. 

“I’m nervous because we’re going to have to face at least two of the teams who have beaten us,” Schooler said. “We’re going to have to get through them if we want to win the championship.” 

Schooler and his teammates should have an easy time with Marin Catholic on their home AstroTurf, where they lost just one game this season (to St. Ignatius). But if University wins its first-round game, the ’Jackets would have to hit the road, which has not been kind to them this season. 

“We’re so dominant on our turf, I think we get intimidated by other fields,” Rubin said. “My biggest fear is going to play on grass and my guys being out of it.” 

Rubin thinks his players lose some intensity on the road, and he’s not sure he knows what to do about it. 

“When we’ve lost away games, I think it’s because we weren’t as intense (as the opponent),” he said. “The difference in the playoffs will be blue-collar-type play. The key to the playoffs for us will be how we do on groundballs.”