BERKELEY -- When it comes to the top seeds in the North Coast Section Division I boys soccer playoffs, it's common to see teams like De La Salle High, California and other East Bay Athletic League schools in those spots.
But Berkeley is trying to change all of that, and has a very good chance to do so this season.
The Yellowjackets entered this week on an 11-game winning streak, undefeated in West Alameda County Conference play and with a 2-0 victory earlier in the year against San Ramon Valley, winning out could equal the top seed in the NCS Division I playoffs.
"We've had a strong schedule so far," Berkeley coach Behzad Golemohammadi said. "The team has also successfully challenged a number of top teams in the NCS. I see no reason that we could not finish first in WACC league this season and perhaps qualify for one of the top seeds."
Berkeley has had some very good teams in recent years, but the difference in this year's club is the balance. Not only can players play multiple positions, making them deep all over the field, but they have six players with four goals or more and six players with three assists or more. Nigus Solomon leads the team with 12 goals.
"We have multiple talented players for each position which gives me the opportunity to maintain the intensity in the system of the play," Golemohammadi said. "We are well balanced this year in all areas of the field. In addition to two experienced, strong keepers, we have a solid defense, skillful midfield and a number of talented finishers up top."
As it stood entering this week, the 2-0 win over the Wolves is the trump card for the Yellowjackets. If the Wolves win the EBAL, or finish near the top, and the Yellowjackets continue this impressive run, being the No. 1 or No. 2 seed is not completely out of the question. A 2-2 draw with EBAL-leading Monte Vista also helps.
However, the team knows that it must continue to improve to play deep into February and grab the NCS title.
"We need to get prepared defensively against the counter attacking style that many of the top teams in the NCS utilize," Golemohammadi said. "Things like direct play, set pieces, long throws and the physical aspect of the game."