By SCOTT PURKS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 16, 2002
TAMPA -- There's no getting around the fact Tampa Catholic and Berkeley Prep have records that, well ... stink.
After the Buccaneers defeated the Crusaders 2-1 on Tuesday, Berkeley Prep improved to 7-10-3 and TC dropped to 2-12-1.
But, as the well-played game demonstrated, these teams are far better than their records indicate.
"It's just that we've played a very challenging schedule," said Berkeley Prep coach Dave Zimmerman, who starts no seniors. "We've lost to some very tough teams. And yet we're better for it. Playing against those better teams makes you better, win or lose."
A few minutes after Zimmerman said that, Tampa Catholic coach Chris Meyer said, "We've simply played a lot of competition over our heads. It's been tough."
The Crusaders, have played Bradenton Manatee (ranked in the nation's top 10 in a couple of polls) three times, and lost by a combined 20-1.
"This loss, however, might hurt a little more," Meyer said. "This was a game where we felt the competition was pretty even.
"I don't think the coaches are too worried about the record, but I think the kids would have enjoyed getting a win."
This season, TC has one loss and a 1-1 tie against Berkeley, a Class A, District 6 rival. The teams will meet again in the district semifinal because there are only three teams (Clearwater Central Catholic is the other) in A-6. The winner will move onto the state playoffs.
"So yeah," Meyer said, "we could have two or three wins and still make the playoffs. That's definitely a possibility."
On Tuesday, TC outshot Berkeley 12-7, but the Bucs made more of their chances, scoring 10 minutes into the game when Joe Jaffe scored off a Demetri Aranoutakis pass.
Berkeley increased its lead to 2-0 7 minutes into the second half, when Tyler Davis scored following a pass from Adam Birch.
TC, which applied much more pressure than Berkeley down the stretch, scored its lone goal on a breakaway with Jimmy Wyatt slipping the ball into the right corner.
"We had some more chances, but once again we just couldn't get the ball into the back of the net," Meyer said. "That's been one of our big problems all year. We need to start finding the back of the net."