Jenna Badali isn’t one to just sit back and take a break.
So less than 24 hours after the Mother McAuley basketball team played in the Class 4A state title game in early March, Badali and several of her teammates were transitioning right into spring for their first soccer practice.
Continuing a blistering start to the year, Badali scored 3 goals as Mother McAuley blitzed host Reavis 7-0 in chilly conditions on March 30 in nonconference action.
The Mighty Macs improved to 7-0.
“There was really no break,” Badali said with a laugh. “We had that practice the next day, but it’s a testament to the girls on the team how tough we play. I love being able to play two sports.”
The hat trick was Badali’s third of the year, bringing her season total through 7 games to 12 goals.
However, McAuley is not just a one-woman show; the Mighty Macs have outscored their opponents 36-1, including 6 shutouts.
Freshman Bella Finnegan added 2 goals and 2 assists. Sophomore Veronica Zapata and junior Janie Termes tallied a goal each.
Sophomore Abby Grobarcik dished out 2 assists with seniors Maeve Sheridan and Grace Hynes passing for an assist each.
McAuley Coach Denny Clanton said it’s been a team effort the whole year.
“We have a lot of speed and athleticism. We have speed up top and defenders who like to get after people,” Clanton said. “The girls have a lot of pride in what they’re doing. Our midfielders do a good job slowing teams down.”
Badali ripped her first goal on a Finnegan pass, hitting an angled chip shot from about 15 yards out over the outstretched arm of the Reavis goalie.
A frenetic first-half pace saw the Mighty Macs unleash a flurry of shots with no luck until late in the half when Badali scored again.
The junior forward fielded a long pass from Sheridan up the right side and fired a sliding shot for her second score.
Hynes found Badali for her third as Mother McAuley went up 3-0 at half.
“We want to get the ball out and use our speed a lot,” Badali said. “We want to put pressure on defenses, and once we get one, we always say we want more.”
Badali, Hynes, Finnegan, Ternes, Nikki Murphy and Bridget Barrett played on McAuley’s Class 4A state runner-up team in basketball.
Finnegan was a key reserve for the Macs off the bench.
“It’s the chemistry we have from basketball,” Finnegan said. “We have that hard-working mentality to keep pushing. It’s a big transition from grammar school soccer, so I’m going to keep working. My teammates push me to be better.”
Finnegan tapped in her first goal early in the second and then scored off a pretty Grobarcik pass on a corner.
Grobarcik delivered a perfect strike on a corner to set up Zapata on a beautiful header. Ternes capped the scoring with Finnegan picking up her second assist.
Murphy, senior Brenna Keaty and sophomore Janie Hynes anchored Mother McAuley’s 3-4-3 defense. Junior Caitlin Fitzsimmons recorded a save to claim the shutout.
“Our main drive is always defending,” Clanton said. “When you defend well, you’re able to score. You frustrate teams and make it tough for them. It helps us on the offensive side a lot.”