TAMPA — Berkeley Prep's swarming offense produced plenty of opportunities.
If not for a few inches of post, this one might have ended early.
The Buccaneers flourished in a 5-1 win over Clearwater Central Catholic in a Class 3A, District 9 region semifinal Wednesday.
Berkeley Prep (21-2-2) scored twice in the first 23 minutes, then added a third goal before the half. Now the Buccaneers get a chance to defend their district title.
"We had to go at them right from the get-go," Buccaneers coach Tim Cooper said. "…We had to go out and go right at them."
CCC (7-8-5) managed to generate some shots, though the Marauders were outshot 10-5.
Berkeley Prep was led by junior forward T.J. Roehn, who scored twice and had three assists.
In the other semifinal, Tampa Catholic topped St. Petersburg Catholic 4-3. The Crusaders looked in command until SPC (7-8-2) forward Adam Skonicki scored three unanswered goals with the third coming in stoppage time of the second half.
It wasn't enough as Tampa Catholic advanced to the final in a rematch of last year's title game.
TC (11-6-4) scored two goals in less than a minute, first on some nifty tip-toeing in the penalty area on a quick shot by junior forward Andrew Buckley to go ahead 1-0. Crusaders junior midfielder Matt Moore then made it 2-0 as the last to touch the ball among a pile of players, then scored again to make it 3-0 heading into halftime.
Buckley scored again in the 58th minute to make it 4-0, but Crusaders coach Kevin McCarron never felt safe.
"When are you up 4-0 and you don't feel good about it?" he said. "I didn't because they're a good team with a bunch of good players. It was just a matter of time."