TMP soccer claims shutout win By CONOR NICHOLL
Sophomore Bailey Hageman was a strong hurdler for the Thomas More Prep-Marian track team as a freshman. Hageman, who played club soccer for many years with the current Monarch team, decided mid-track season last spring to return to soccer for 2014. Hageman missed her teammates and friendships.
“We bond together,” Hageman said.
Now, Hageman is one of TMP’s top players and continued a strong year for herself and the Monarchs.
She tallied two of her team’s three first half goals in a 3-0 victory against Great Bend on Monday afternoon at the Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex.
“I kind of missed it,” Hageman said.
TMP had some chances in the second half, but had trouble finishing. The Monarchs moved to 5-2-1, while Great Bend dropped to 0-12.
“They have a really good team this season,” Great Bend coach Gustavo Arias said. “Actually, it is the best team that I have seen from TMP.”
The Panthers didn’t record a shot on goal, but had several scoring attempts after intermission. Freshman Deonna Wellbrock played goalie in the first half for the Monarchs, and junior goalkeeper Sarah Gustin had several nice plays on Great Bend attacks in the second half. TMP had some scoring opportunities after the break, but wore down on a hot day where temperatures climbed into the 80s.
“Our ball movement was great, but our finishing – you see all the crosses going across, but there was nobody there,” Monarch coach Darryl Wellbrock said. “We can’t give up opportunities like that. A win is a win this time. I don’t think the girls were used to this heat either.”
TMP’s lone senior, Emily Glover, a transfer student from Denver, was honored before the game in a senior day ceremony. Glover has mainly played junior varsity and been a spot varsity player, but did receive the start Monday.
“She is a good plug, give someone a couple minutes here and there,” Wellbrock said.
Great Bend has just two seniors on varsity and started several freshmen on defense.
“They have good players, and they have fast players, they can move the ball pretty good,” Arias said of TMP. “We were missing some players today. We have a young team, and we have a lot of freshmen in the field. Actually three of my defenders are freshmen, one of the forwards and a couple of midfielders. They are getting experience. The first half we made bad mistakes, especially in the back defense.”
TMP scored the first goal just five minutes into the game when sophomore Racheal Hamel lofted a pass into the box. Hageman had broken free of the defense and kicked in a clean shot from about five yards out.
“Something I had been working on,” Wellbrock said of Hageman switching sports. “She played club ball for me for a lot of years, so soccer wasn’t anything new. Basically, if the girls want to try something else – yeah, I would love them to come play soccer, but if they have another love, let them go play it, let them do the best at whatever. I hope I have her for the next two and a half years, she tells me she does. She loves playing soccer.”
TMP bumped the lead to 2-0 at the 16:48 mark of the first half when sophomore Annaka Applequist delivered a great pass from the left side into the box, and Hageman scored her team-high 10th goal.
“I saw her crossing it, and I kind of got open, and I shot it in,” Hageman said.
“Some days she is on, some days she is off,” Wellbrock added. “Today, right off the bat, she lit it up pretty good.”
Applequist is strong at stopper, but Wellbrock also likes to use her at the top or in midfield. As time goes on, Wellbrock wants someone to take Applequist’s stopper position. TMP already has more goals than all of last season, but Wellbrock wants more offense.
“Get her moved around somewhere else where she can finish,” he said. “She is a good finisher. That’s a good touch. Knows where she is at on the field. I need that once in awhile. I am still developing up top scoring.”
TMP moved the lead to 3-0 with 27 seconds left in the first half on a pass into the box from sophomore Tyra Younie to junior Alyssa Keil.
“We made a couple mistakes there, actually three mistakes on the three goals,” Arias said.