In a game where everything is unpredictable, one magical moment in the 75th minute felt simply perfect. In a culmination of hard work all year, Berkeley are your league champions for the first time since 2013-14!
In what was essentially a championship game, the Jackets had to accomplish a feat that had not been done since 2014: win at Bishop O'Dowd's field. On O'Dowd's Senior Night, the game was one of the most difficult games the Jackets had all year. In a tight game where both teams did not give much to the other team, there appeared to be no goal in sight. In the 75th minute, the Jackets won a corner. Ava Zlatchin sent a ball just outside the six yard box to the back post, where Olivia Maturana was free for the header that went off the post and in. The league title was within minutes for the Jackets. When the final whistle blew, an eruption of jubilation came from players, parents, and supporters of the Berkeley community. Assistant Coach Olivia Sekany said, "I’m so proud of the character the team has displayed this season. When things were tough, the players rallied and found ways to come out with the win, displaying incredible determination and grit every step of the way. Tonight’s game was the culmination of all of their hard work, and to be a part of something so special with such an incredible group of girls was something I’ll never forget."
Everyone on the team showed great leadership this game by being a part of the team and taking on whatever role was asked of them and being supportive of one another. Senior Captain Anna Kleinhans said, "I can’t express the pride I feel to be a part of this program. I think that we undertook a massive change in leadership and mentality this year and I’m excited to see where it takes us moving forward. Given the direction the season has gone and the energy on the team, I’m eager to find out what NCS holds."
Previously, Berkeley played in the Alameda Contra Costa League where, the Jackets would win league essentially every year. When Berkeley made the jump to the WACC (West Alameda County Conference) in 2012-2013, league became a whole new challenge that was far from guaranteed. In this league, Berkeley had only won a single league title in 2013-14, which was the senior year of Assistant Coach Carlin Hudson. She has become a beloved figure on the coaching staff among all the players. After the game, Carlin said, "It just feels right to be back on top. Credit to our girls for working as hard as they did to secure that win and to have had such an incredible season so far. The work they put in daily powers their success."
The Jackets improve to 13-3-1 record on the year and look to keep this momentum going forward! Go Jackets!
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