Kamani Hill scored his sixth hat trick of league play as the Berkeley High boys’ soccer team beat a game De Anza squad, 5-0, on Tuesday in Berkeley.
The win kept the ’Jackets (11-2-1, 10-1 ACCAL) in first place in the ACCAL, with upcoming games against Alameda and Richmond likely to decide the league’s participant in the North Coast Section playoffs.
“We’d better be ready when we go to Richmond on Thursday,” Berkeley head coach Janu Juarez said. “We’ll be champs or we’ll be chumps.”
Berkeley beat Richmond earlier this season, but then took a surprise loss to Alameda, leaving them tied with Richmond in first place.
Hill, a sophomore, now has 30 goals in Berkeley’s 11 ACCAL contests, making him by far the league leader. His first two goals on Tuesday came off of corner kicks, the first a header from a Chris Davis service. The second came off the foot of William Vega, with Hill flying through a crowd of players to volley the ball into the net.
Hill’s final goal came when he passed the ball to Vega on the right side. Vega beat his man and took the ball all the way to the end line, where he passed the ball back to Hill for an easy score. Liam Reilly and Davis also scored goals for the ’Jackets.
De Anza (8-6, 5-6) never really got a shot on goal from open play, but they nearly scored in the final minutes of the game, when Berkeley defender Sam Geller was called for a foul in the box. But Joao Ferreira’s penalty kick wasn’t good enough to break the shutout, as Berkeley goalkeeper Alex Goines dove to his right to save it.
The first meeting between Berkeley and the Dons was a 4-0 Berkeley win in a mud pit in Richmond. Juarez said he wasn’t surprised De Anza was able to give his team some problems, despite the final score.
“They have a new coaching staff over there, and they’re getting better every time we see them,” he said. “They’ve had time to scout us, so we can’t go out and score 10-12 goals every game.”