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Buccaneers set their goals high


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 4, 2001

TAMPA -- The consensus opinion about Berkeley Prep in November was that anything less than a trip to the final four would be a disappointment.

And after winning its third consecutive district championship Friday, those expectations might be increasing. The Buccaneers (26-2) host St. Petersburg Catholic (15-9-2) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the region quarterfinals.

Academy of the Holy Names, who lost to Berkeley Prep in the Class A, District 7 final, faces powerhouse Clearwater Central Catholic. For Berkeley Prep, it's business as usual.

"These are the results we were expecting," Berkeley Prep coach Ken Roberts said. "We've been doing some things well, but we know we still have work to do."

After Paloma Lehfeldt's goal gave the Bucs a 1-0 victory over AHN in the final, Berkeley began focusing on the letdowns that led to losses to Maitland Orangewood Christian in the past two regional semifinals.

An improved offense might give Berkeley a better shot of reaching the final four. The absence of injured star forward Alyssa Riess forced others into more prominent roles, and they've responded. Melissa Aylor, Evan Pruitt and Alexie Riofrio have played well, as have younger players like sophomore Sarah Deal and freshman Cally Stolbach, who netted a hat trick in the 5-0 district semifinal win over Tampa Prep.

"Cally ... has been doing some things really well for us," Roberts said. "She still has a lot to learn, but she's really fit in well with this team."

AHN, meanwhile, must take on CCC, which brings its potent offense into the regional tournament and is looking to improve on last season's 2-1 state semifinal loss to Plantation American Heritage.

The Marauders (20-2) scored 16 goals in their two district tournament wins, with forward Jessica Hallgren leading the way. Hallgren netted five goals in the tournament while Amy Wirth and Sarah Shehan scored two each.

Academy, though, is capable of producing goals as well.

The Jaguars (11-9-3) have solid scorers in Kathryn Steffens, Rachel Gilman and Christina Berry.

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