TMP earns mercy-rule win
By AUSTIN COLBERT
By AUSTIN COLBERT
Despite plenty of early shots on goal, Thomas More Prep-Marian girls' soccer coach Darryl Wellbrock wasn't overly pleased with how his team was playing early on against visiting Wichita Independent on Thursday at the Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex.
"The girls got a little trigger happy there for a while. Instead of trying to break them down, they were shooting to be shooting," Wellbrock said. "But they started getting their shape and their passing and everything was starting to come together. The girls are getting used to playing together and they have been working hard at practice. These are the things we have been working on that we learned from playing Hays High."
A week after opening the season with a 1-0 overtime loss to the Indians, TMP (1-1) was able to mercy rule Independent 10-0 on Thursday in a freezing rain for its first win of the season.
The two teams faced off three times last season, with the Panthers taking two of the three games. But as impressive and dominating as the Monarchs' win was Thursday, Wellbrock still doesn't know how far the team has actually come since its four-win season a year ago.
"After playing Hays High I knew we were improved. Maybe a couple more games and we will see how much we have gained since last year," Wellbrock said. "Right now this is a very good thing for them. Second game into the season and we've only given up one goal and scored 10. That's a big step forward for TMP girls' soccer."
TMP and Independent were scoreless entering the 13th minute on Thursday when the Monarchs finally got organized. Sophomore Bailey Hageman scored the first goal of the season for TMP and 10 minutes later added her second after a perfect lead pass from junior Alyssa Keil.
The Monarchs added three more goals over the final 15 minutes of the first half to take a 5-0 lead into the break. Goals came from Keil, freshman Megan Koenigsman, and the fifth by Hageman.
Hageman added her fourth and final goal early in the second half, and TMP coasted from there. Other goals were scored by freshman Deonna Wellbrock (twice), sophomore Tyra Younie and sophomore Annaka Applequist. The game ended via mercy rule with about seven minutes remaining.
TMP did not allow Independent a shot on goal the entire game, and coach Wellbrock was able to play many girls at different positions than normal.
"The last 20 minutes I almost had the whole JV squad in. Almost got all the girls in to play some," Wellbrock said. "Some of the higher-level girls need to know more than one position. And they adjusted very well today."
Hageman, who led the team with four goals, didn't play soccer as a freshman, instead choosing to take part in track and field. Despite Thursday's game being only her second in high school, Hageman comes from a strong background playing club soccer and Wellbrock admitted to being excited about having her out for soccer this year.
"I could have used her last year, that's for sure. But I hope she sticks with me. She is definitely going to be an asset," Wellbrock said.
"She will definitely be turning some heads with her speed and her foot skills. If she keeps developing her ball skills she will definitely be a striker that the other teams are going to have to contend with."
Also of note, Independent junior Alise Coccetella and freshman Abbey Kolbeck are nieces of Wellbrock's and cousins to his daughter, Deonna Wellbrock, TMP's freshman goalkeeper.
The Monarchs will next play at Dodge City on April 10.