For the first time since the 2013-14 season, both the girls and boys Berkeley High School (BHS) soccer teams have won the West Alameda County Conference league. The girls team ended the regular season with a 13-3-2 record; notably, two of those wins were against long-time rival Bishop O’Dowd. The boys team ended their season undefeated, with an impressive 19 wins and 4 ties.
Ever since the girls soccer team secured their first West Alameda County Conference-Foothill Division championship in 2014, they have been working hard to regain this success. This year, they succeeded. Olivia Maturana, a senior on the team, said their number one goal for the season was to win league while maintaining “a positive team environment for everyone.” Maturana emphasized the significance of the victory. “It feels awesome knowing that the seniors have left a legacy and made their mark at BHS,” she said. Tegan Wekwerth, a senior and captain of the team, said this season has been one of the best seasons Berkeley girls soccer has had in a long time. Following a great league season, the team is now looking forward to playing in their upcoming North Coast Section (NCS) games. Wekwerth said that one challenge they are anticipating is facing fierce opponents who they have lost against in the past. “Our challenge will be to push past our apprehension around these games and lay it all out on the field,” said Wekwerth.
Beyond the success of the team on the field, the girls have also built an exceptionally strong community. “The soccer team is really like another family to me,” said Wekwerth. Regardless of the outcome in the postseason, this team will continue to support one another. “We always pick each other up and have each other’s backs, on and off the field, which is something that is very meaningful to me,” said Maturana.
Both the boys and girls teams have done remarkably well in the regular season. The boys soccer team recently attained a rare and impressive feat: ending the regular season undefeated. Following numerous successful seasons, including winning both league and the NCS championship in 2017, the team had high expectations going into the season. In addition to goals such as winning league and eventually NCS, this year the team also aimed to provide strong leadership. BHS senior Jack Ferris said that the team “really wanted to pave the path for the younger players on the team and show them what it meant to play Berkeley soccer.” As the team prepares for the postseason, they face the challenge of complacency. “Winning league means nothing if we can’t take it farther and put in the work to win the upcoming games,” said Ferris. BHS senior Philip Dierks emphasized the importance of maintaining their high level of play and continuing their winning mentality. “We need to keep the same mentality we had throughout the regular season so we can accomplish the unimaginable: a completely undefeated season,” said Dierks.
Similarly to the girls team, the theme of community was evident in the boys team. As Dierks said, “My favorite thing about being a part of the BHS soccer team is that we treat each other like family.” This is one factor that Dierks said was a key part of what made the 2016-17 season so successful. While both teams have already experienced great success in winning league, it is evident that they’re prepared for the postseason’s challenges.
Note: The girls beat College Park 1-0 and the boys defeated James Logan 8-2 in the first round of NCS on Wednesday, February 13.