By Nelson Coffin
Ada Clare Tempert said that her love of soccer is growing.
The senior standout showed why she is so enamored with the sport by posting a hat trick plus a pair of assists in a 6-1 win over Glenelg Country School in an A Conference match Tuesday afternoon in northeast Baltimore.
So it’s understandable why the Loyola University Maryland signee would be head-over-heels with something with which she’s had that kind of success.
Yet this year, Tempert has even enjoyed the hard times during the Magic’s 7-2 campaign, including recent shutout setbacks to Notre Dame Prep and Our Lady of Good Counsel.
“People don’t understand how much I love playing the game,” said Tempert, who upped her seasonal totals to 14 goals and six assists. “But it’s not just about winning. Sure, I’d love winning a championship, but sometimes things just don’t go your way. I’ve been here four years, and I’m just trying to make the most out of every moment, every practice and every game.”
She certainly did that against the injury-plagued Dragons, whose goalie, Brianna Chun, drew rave reviews from Glenelg Country coach Christy Cole, Mercy coach Doug Proctor and Mercy assistant coach Nick Gill for her outstanding effort.
In fact, Chun snuffed Tempert’s penalty-kick attempt in the fifth minute for her second outstanding save in the first five minutes of the opening half before the Magic’s leading scorer fought through two defenders to deposit a left-footed shot that skidded into the net for a 1-0 Magic advantage.
Tempert then found sophomore midfielder Laine Reddish midway through the period for a 2-0 lead until sophomore midfielder Emma Aviles dribbled around a couple of Dragons and made a perfect pass inside to Tempert for a finish and a 3-0 cushion with 12:39 remaining inn the first half.
Considering the deficit, a short bench at her disposal and the match being played on a pitch with grass, Cole knew the odds of a comeback were long at best.
Still, Cole said that she liked what she saw from her team in the second half and liked what she saw from her keeper — a converted field player with only two practices under her belt — throughout the contest.
Chun made back-to-back saves on sturdy shots by freshman midfielder Aexandra Jankowski and then lucked out when Tempert whistled a shot off the crossbar. The senior netminder who made 14 saves then turned away junior Palina Jordan’s breakaway to keep the score 3-0 at the intermission.
Tempert then bullied her way through a couple of defenders to complete the hat trick for a 4-0 cushion in the 45th minute.
Jordan was denied on a brilliant Chun save later in the second half on a booming shot that was barely deflected off her hand to the crossbar and out of harm’s way.
Senior midfielder Lydia Morris and sophomore midfielder Mickey Burnett completed the scoring for the Magic, who finally yielded a goal on a nice shot by senior midfielder Addison Schmidt in the late going for the Glenelg Country’s lone goal.
Proctor said that Chun was “phenomenal” in the goal for the Dragons, who he described as “scrappy. For the first 30 minutes, they really made us play.”
For her part, Cole said that “we knew we had to mark (Tempert),” so she tried a combination of sophomore defender Cecila Pell and freshman midfielders Josephine Pell and Corrine Grimes to mark Mercy’s leading scorer.
They won’t be the only defenders in the league who were unable to control Tempert, although it’s obvious that keeping her under wraps is the best way to stop the Magic.
The next team with designs on doing just that will be McDonogh when a rematch of last year’s championship game is slated to be played on Friday at Poly at 7 p.m.