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Indian soccer tops TMP

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

The Thomas More Prep-Marian girls' soccer team sent a message to Hays High School in the first 10 minutes of the match Thursday, but the Indians replied with one of their own.

Despite a rough start, Hays High (10-2) demonstrated it's still the dominant soccer team in town, defeating the Monarchs 5-1 at TMP Field.

TMP (3-5) did accomplish a program first, though, when the Monarchs led 1-0 in the match. It was the first time they did that since the two programs started playing each other in 2011.

However, in those six meetings, Hays High is 6-0 with a 36-2 goal differential but no mercy-rule victories. The last time TMP scored on the Indians was April 28, 2011, in an 8-1 loss.

"I've kind of wanted this for a long time," said TMP freshman forward Rachael Hamel, who scored the opening goal. "I was really pumped and excited when I got it."

TMP's moment in the sun only lasted 16 minutes and 39 seconds before Hays High senior Taylor Herman tied it up in the 27th minute. But still, to the Monarchs, it showed growth.

"That's a step in the right direction," said TMP coach Darryl Wellbrock.

Hays High dominated from there, rarely letting TMP get into the Indians' half of the field in the final 60 minutes.

The Indians took 29 shots, 16 on goal, and only surrendered two shots, both on goal.

"It wasn't the start we were looking for, but that's what usually happens," said Hays High senior Megan Bird, who scored two goals. "We always come out better in the second half."

Hamel scored the opening goal thanks to freshman Kelsie DeWitt. DeWitt crossed the ball, and Hays High senior goalkeeper Laura Truman came out to clear it but collided with a TMP defender, which allowed Hamel an open look at the goal.

Hamel took advantage.

For her, it was gratifying after TMP's 3-2 double overtime loss the day before. She had nine shots in that match and didn't convert any of them.

"My last game, I couldn't make a shot, and I had so many close ones," she said. "I was like, 'I am going to make this one. I need to make this one.' It was a left-footed shot, and it was just perfect."

Herman tied the match by getting behind the defense and evading the goalkeeper with a juke left and shot into the defenseless goal.

Then Bird put her team up in the 36th minute when she headed in a cross off a corner kick from senior outside midfielder April Johnson.

Her header nearly was stopped, but TMP sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Gustin bobbled the ball and it landed in the goal.

Hays High led 2-1 at halftime, and in the second half, the Indians got the wind at their back. Bird didn't wait long to take advantage.

In the 42nd minute, Bird received a pass from Herman and broke away behind TMP's defense. She collected her own rebound off the first shot and kicked it into the open goal.

Junior Alexa Brull added another goal in the 56th minute when she collected a cross from Herman and kicked it on the ground past the goalkeeper.

Freshman Brittany Dinkel provided the final score with 12 seconds to go. Off a corner kick, TMP struggled to clear it, and the ball bounced around inside the box for several seconds before Dinkel scored.

For Hays High, the Indians are used to responding to early deficits. In fact, the same scenario happened against Liberal on April 4. The Indians allowed an early goal and proceeded to score five on the Redskins.

"It seems like how these games usually happen," Bird said. "They score the first goal, and we respond. We are finally like, 'OK, no, let's go.' "

Wellbrock chalked up some of his squad's second-half struggles to fatigue. His team played a 97-minute match on the road at Wichita the day before.

"Girls were on the bus for six hours yesterday and played two overtimes," he said. "And to come back and play like that today no deeper than we are, that's pretty good soccer, especially against a quality opponent like Hays High."

Hays High 5, TMP 1

Hays High (10-2) 2 3 -- 5

TMP (3-5) 1 0 -- 1

First half

TMP -- Hamel, 10th minute (DeWitt).

Hays High -- Herman, 27th minute.

Hays High -- Bird, 36th minute (Johnson).

Second half

Hays High -- Bird, 42nd minute (Herman).

Hays High -- Brull, 56th minute (Herman).

Hays High -- B. Dinkel, 80th minute.