Berkley High girls soccer wins D-1 district title

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published June 3, 2019

 Berkley High sophomore Sydney Hagaman heads the ball during a Division 1 district semifinal May 28 against Royal Oak High. Berkley went on to win the program’s first district championship since 2010.

Berkley High sophomore Sydney Hagaman heads the ball during a Division 1 district semifinal May 28 against Royal Oak High. Berkley went on to win the program’s first district championship since 2010.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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ROYAL OAK — Berkley High’s girls soccer team has made program history.

The Bears beat Warren Cousino 1-0 May 30 to win the program’s first Division 1 district championship.

Berkley’s only other district title came in 2010 when the program competed at the D-2 level.

Berkley was scheduled to play in a regional semifinal June 4, after press time.

Coach Cliff Brandmier has been a part of both of the program’s district championships.

“The girls have the biggest smiles on their face,” Brandmier said following the game. “They’ve worked since January together, working out in the winter and everything all year. So, it’s just a special moment.”

Sophomore Sydney Hagaman scored the lone goal of the district final.

“I’m really excited,” Hagaman said. “It’s amazing.”

For as “amazing” of an accomplishment as it was, it wasn’t all that long ago that the team became aware of the opportunity to make program history.

“The girls didn’t know really until maybe in the past year or so that there had only been one district championship, and that they could make history again by doing it,” Brandmier said. “They learned this year, just in the past week, that it would be the first Division 1 district that they won. I didn’t want it to get overhyped.”

Brandmier is in his third season back with Berkley after taking advantage of other opportunities. The chance to be a part of another postseason championship with the program is something he referred to as “special.”

“Coming into this season, we lost a couple really good players, but we returned a lot,” Brandmier said. “We have 10 seniors that were really motivated (and) driven. I think when I first got the job, when I came back, I could see it building into that. So, I think probably right at the beginning of tryouts I thought, ‘OK, this is a team that could be special.’”

Although a district championship provided ample reason to be in celebration mode, during the course of the season, things weren’t always so gleeful.

Brandmier hasn’t forgotten about that aspect of the Bears’ campaign.

“I think the best thing about soccer and the sport is learning life (lessons) throughout it,” he said. “They learned through hard times, good times, easy times, tough times; they learned genuinely what the word ‘adversity’ meant throughout the season and continually battled (through) it.”

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