TMP soccer cruises to win
By AUSTIN COLBERT
This season, Thomas More Prep-Marian girls' soccer coach Darryl Wellbrock has a luxury he hasn't had in years past -- the ability to experiment. TMP finally has the depth and talent to allow players to try different positions without sacrificing results on the field, which is helping mold the Monarchs into winners.
"They are all young. As time goes on in the next couple of years, I'll have a group of girls that can just play soccer instead of positions," Wellbrock said. "I've always been striving for that and it's starting to come together."
Even with many players in a role they weren't used to, TMP (3-2) was able to cruise by Wichita's Word of Life on Tuesday, 9-2, at the Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex. With so many changes -- including junior Sarah Gustin starting at goalie in place of freshman Deonna Wellbrock, who played in the field -- it took the Monarchs a while to adjust.
Then, midway through the first half, TMP scored three goals in three minutes against the outmatched Fire to kick start the rout.
"I think I was hoping for something a little quicker," Wellbrock said. "They weren't working the ball around. They weren't working the ball on the ground as much as I wanted them to and trying to get the through passes."
Once TMP figured it out, the goals came in bunches, however. Sophomore Bailey Hageman got the first goal in the 19th minute, her second goal in the 20th minute, and Deonna Wellbrock her first in the 21st minute.
The lead became 4-0 in favor of TMP when sophomore Annaka Applequist punched in a goal in the 29th minute.
Gustin, who recorded five saves for the game, gave up her only first-half goal to Word of Life's Annie Rotola in the 30th minute. But six minutes later Wellbrock answered back with her second goal to give TMP a 5-1 halftime lead.
"She's a player I can put pretty much anywhere on the field," Wellbrock said of his daughter, Deonna.
"Those are good options to have the talent to be able to move the kids around like that. In years past we were just trying to get everyone situated in basically one spot and that's maybe where they stayed all season. But a lot of these girls are very versatile and can play wherever I need them."
Hageman completed her hat trick with a goal seven minutes into the second half, and Wellbrock soon followed with her third goal in the 53rd minute. Freshman Megan Koenigman and Applequist tacked on back-to-back goals in the 62nd and 63rd minutes before Coach Wellbrock was able to put his junior varsity players in.
Word of Life's other goal came from Karina Besenejova in the 74th minute with the game well out of reach.
The Monarchs are now off until April 30, when they travel to Wichita for a 4 p.m. game against Independent.