What more can be said of Benjamin Tembo’s amazing junior season?
Probably volumes if you look at the past three days where the junior striker has scored five goals, including three on Saturday for his second career hat trick as the Mustangs pulled away from visiting William Jessup for a 4-1 victory on Reese Field.
The victory kept the Mustangs (7-1-2 overall) unbeaten (five wins, two ties) in their past seven matches and, more importantly, gave them a 2-0 start in GSAC play.
Much of that success is due to Tembo’s offensive exploits. His hat trick marked the fourth match in which he has scored multiple times and his tally with 17:37 gone in the first half turned out to be his sixth game-winner of the year. This one came off a pass from Daniel Smith and gave the Mustangs a 2-1 lead.
They took that advantage into halftime after outshooting the Warriors 13-4 over the first 45 minutes. Mustang Trevor Mangan scored the match’s first goal just 1:56 into play, taking a pass from Jonathan Brown and sneaking it past Jessup keeper Robert Harmelink.
The assault on the Warrior goal continued throughout the second half with the Mustangs enjoying a jaw-dropping 15-1 shot margin.
Tembo’s two second-stanza goals came in a 1:38 window and put the game away for the Mustangs. With 8:42 gone in the final half, Tembo fired one at Harmelink that the Jessup goalie turned away. However, the keeper couldn’t deal with Tembo’s rebound shot that gave TMU a 3-1 lead.
Then, at the 55:20 mark, Luis Garcia-Sosa fed Tembo in the box where he put it past Harmelink for the game’s final score. With that score, Tembo now has GSAC-highs of 12 goals and 27 points, which happen also to be career-highs.
The Mustangs finished with a whopping 28-5 shot advantage, including 18 on goal.
“It was a solid and consistent performance from everyone,” coach Jim Rickard said. “We gave up only five shots and produced 28 of our own. Benji (Tembo) continued his amazing season with the hat trick.”
At the other end of the field, Mustang goalie Casey Phillips enjoyed a rather calm afternoon. After giving up the tying goal at the 12:42 mark of the opening half, the senior was rarely challenged the rest of the afternoon. He wound up with two saves.
After a four-match homestand, the Mustangs take their high-powered offense on the road this coming week when they play at San Diego Christian on Thursday and at Arizona Christian on Saturday.