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TAMPA — Two weeks didn’t make much of a difference.
In their Jan. 11 matchup, Berkeley Prep blasted St. Petersburg Catholic 5-0. Fast forward to Wednesday night, and the outcome was worse for the Barons. Kurt Akman scored a hat trick to lead the scoring barrage as Berkeley Prep defeated St. Petersburg Catholic 7-0 in the semifinals of the Class 3A, District 10 tournament.
The win sends host Berkeley (15-3-2) to Friday’s district title match against Clearwater Central Catholic.
The Buccaneers, winners of seven of their past eight games, dominated from the outset. Berkeley got two first-half goals from Akman and cruised for the rest of the match. In addition to Akman’s second-half goal, other goal scorers included Kevin Harvey, Cameron Kenny and freshman Daniel Felman.
In the other semifinal, Clearwater Central Catholic got an early goal, then matched it late to get past Tampa Catholic 2-1.
The Marauders (18-5-0) jumped on the scoreboard just 20 seconds into the game, scoring on a Grady Trimble goal. And although both teams’ offenses kept attacking, neither team could convert for the next 68 minutes.
Tampa Catholic finally broke through with 12 minutes left in the game when Kealan Mullen collected a ball about 10 yards in front of the goal, turned and put the equalizer into the net.
But CCC squashed any hopes of a Crusaders win when David Campbell scored just inside four minutes remaining in the game.
“We scored early and we scored late,” said CCC coach Jim Harte. “TC played a really great game, but we’ve got a lot of seniors and I think we just dug deep.”