Benjamin Tembo and Casey Phillips aren’t the only ones responsible for The Master’s University men’s soccer team’s eight-game unbeaten streak and a top 25 national ranking. But they have a lot to do with it.
Partial proof of that was on display once again Thursday afternoon when Tembo recorded his second consecutive hat trick and Phillips posted his third shutout in four outings as the Mustangs blanked San Diego Christian 5-0.
The 25th-ranked Mustangs, who haven’t lost since August 25, won their third match in a row to improve to 8-1-2 overall and 3-0 in the GSAC where they share first place with No. 16 Vanguard and Hope International.
Mustang coach Jim Rickard was satisfied with his squad’s play, calling it a “full team effort.”
“It was a very satisfying shutout win today,” he said. “Everyone was able to contribute.”
Tembo’s three-goal outing was the perfect encore to last Saturday’s hat trick and pushed his season total to a career, and GSAC, high 15. Along with four assists, the junior striker’s 34 points also pace the conference.
Tembo didn’t score first, though. That honor went to junior transfer Leonardo Anjos, who scored in unassisted fashion just 5:18 into play. It was the Brazilian’s fourth goal of the season, tied for the second-highest total on the squad.
Then, it was Tembo’s turn. Less than 15 minutes later (20:05), Tembo turned playmaker-extraordinaire Luis Garcia-Sosa’s pass into a goal that doubled the Mustang advantage to 2-0. Garcia-Sosa’s assist was his team-high sixth of the year.
Tembo was at it again just over a minute later when he took a pass from Trevor Mangan and put it past Hawk keeper Zachary Satton for a 3-0 lead.
That same combo traded places for the match’s fourth score at the 29:41 mark when Mangan scored his fourth goal of the season off a pass from Tembo.
The Mustangs took that 4-0 advantage to halftime after outshooting the Hawks 10-2 over the opening 45 minutes.
Interestingly, the Mustangs put even more pressure on Satton in the second half, firing off an eye-popping 19 shots, including 11 on goal, 10 of which the Hawk goalie saved.
One that Satton couldn’t stop found the back of the net at 61:39 when the Tembo-Mangan duo produced the match’s final score. Tembo, who has scored eight times in the past three games, notched his second straight hat trick on Mangan’s second assist of the match.
Phillips, who was untested en route to his career-high fifth shutout of the campaign, registered his only save of the game at the 62:51 mark.
That lone stop was a testimony to an overshadowed defense which kept the ball on the other side of the field for much of the match and limited the Hawks to just three shots over 90 minutes.
Rickard acknowledged the defense following the match, calling it “very organized.”
Here’s the box score.
The Mustangs’ brief, two-game road trip wraps up on Saturday when they take on Arizona Christian in Phoenix.