The Thomas More Prep-Marian girls soccer team wasted no time in getting its season started off on a strong note, scoring three goals in the first 3:15 of Monday's opener against Wichita Life Prep Academy.
From there, TMP coach Darryl Wellbrock used the contest as an opportunity to divy up playing time and get his underclassmen some experience as the Monarchs cruised to a 10-0 victory at Bickle-Schmidt Sports Complex.
Seniors Kayla Vitztum and Ashley Ostrander led TMP with three goals each.
Wellbrock said it was a productive way to open the season for the Monarchs, last year's state runner-up in the 4-1A playoffs.
"I think it turned out probably the way I anticipated," Wellbrock said. "The girls that we started with, they turned it up right away. They turned it up to 11 right off the bat. Hopefully, the rest of our season goes like that with those ladies. But we need more than just those girls. We need everybody."
In that respect, Wellbrock said it was beneficial to get reserve players extended playing time.
"We got everybody out there and some playing time. Some of them haven't even played competitive soccer yet," Wellbrock said. "We've got to adjust that.
"We need to practice a little harder. Maybe playing a game now will make them realize that we need to work harder in practice so we know what it's like. Hopefully the younger ones and inexperienced ones will bring that back to practice with them tomorrow."
Vitztum completed her hat trick by halftime and the Monarchs also got first-half goals from Ostrander, Aubrey Koenigsman and Allison Applequist. Koenigsman scored the first goal of the second half before back-to-back goals from Ostrander. Kaylee Hernandez put the mercy rule into effect by scoring with 17:30 left on the clock.
Ostrander also recorded three assists while Koenigsman had two. Vitzum, Mariana Ramirez and Maggie Speno had an assist each.
The Monarchs went 14-5-1 last season, falling to Bishop Miege in the state final. TMP lost three players off that squad, including goalkeeper Deonna Wellbrock, who is now playing soccer at Fort Hays State University.
Darryl Wellbrook said the Monarchs have lofty goals after falling just short of a state title a year ago.
"We've got to win one more than we did last year. That's our goal." Wellbrock said. "We hope we can do that."