Maryvale Prep (MD) — — -Ada Clare Tempert felt like the band was back together on Thursday as Mercy defeated St. John’s Catholic Prep, 15–6.
Tempert led the Magic with four goals in the IAAM B-conference semifinal game. But for her, having junior teammate Kaitlyn Kozlowski back out on the field was more important. Kozlowski, had been sidelined for several games with a hamstring injury.
The junior midfielder has been the glue who keeps the Mercy team together. Kozlowski was still not running at 100%, but her just being out on the field in a pivotal game meant a ton to her teammates.
“I think the whole whole team was not ready to be without Kaitlyn (when she was out). With her being back today the whole game changed a lot. We really needed her back and now that we do (in the postseason) is really good for us,” said Tempert.
The Magic lead 8–4 at the half. And then in the second half Tempert and Kozlowski gave the Mercy a boost. scoring four unanswered goals — Tempert scored 3 and Kozlowski (3 goals) had a goal, after the Vikings opened the half with a goal.
It was a great team win for the Magic who heads to Saturday’s championship game with tons of momentum. Mercy will play Friends School who beat Park, 11–9. The Quakers and Magic split their regular season two-game series. Friends beat Mercy 17–8 on April 28 which is one the Magics two loses.
“This is a great group of kids that come out and work hard everyday in practice and they do everything we ask of them,” said Mercy head coach Brian Casserly. “We told them all last week just do your job. They are a group of kids that really like being around each other and playing hard.”
Even the goalie play came up big on Thursday for Mercy as netminder McKenna Shay made 10 saves, scooped up 6 grounballs and had a 66% save percentage.
Mercy is looking for their first conference championship since 2011. But the Magic have been runners-up the last several years in the title game.
Kozlowski told her team that to give everything they got and leave it all out on the field on Saturday no matter of the result. “Even without me a lot of girls stepped up, like Katie (Yeagle) and Riley (Rumbley) — both each had a goal. “They all knew they needed to step up to there and they were. That’s what put us here.”
The IAAM B-Conference title game is set for 5 p.m. on Saturday at Archbishop Spalding high school.