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One is enough for Buccaneers

Alexa Richardson's goal pushes Berkeley Prep past Shorecrest.

By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published February 9, 2005


TAMPA - As Berkeley Prep teammate Chelsea Hatcher raced downfield with the ball, Alexa Richardson tried to keep pace. With Hatcher moving left of the goal, Richardson sprinted from the other side toward the net and excitedly hollered, "Chelsea, center it." Hatcher did, and Richardson converted with a shot that sailed just past Shorecrest keeper Alex Wendkos.

"She passed it perfectly," Richardson said.

In a defensive battle, Richardson's goal, which came 11 minutes into the game, was the difference as Berkeley Prep stayed alive with a 1-0 victory over its district rival. The Buccaneers (15-7-4) also defeated Shorecrest (13-6-2) by a goal in the district final. The teams played to a scoreless tie during the regular season.

"They converted their scoring chances and we didn't," Chargers coach Neal Wolfrath said.

Credit the Berkeley Prep defense for that. Led by midfielder Katie Mariani and keeper Callie Raymond, the Bucs held Shorecrest to six shots and most of those were from outside the box. Berkeley Prep put constant pressure on Shorecrest's offense and Raymond kept the Chargers from getting many good looks.

"She gets to the line and cuts off the opponent," Berkeley Prep coach Ken Roberts said. "That's why they didn't get many shots off in the box."

Shorecrest had only a few decent opportunities to tie it. But a 24th-minute shot attempt went right into Raymond's hands and a header off a corner kick in the 59th minute sailed wide. In the final minutes, the Chargers had little success creating any serious scoring chances. Berkeley Prep's offense controlled the ball for longer periods but managed only three more shot attempts than Shorecrest. "I don't think they established much on offense either," Wolfrath said. "Both teams really stopped each other from doing what they wanted to do."