Less than a month ago, the Thomas More Prep-Marian girls’ soccer team settled for a 1-0 win at Great Bend. In Monday’s second meeting between the two schools, the Monarchs needed less than a minute to equal the scoring output and cruised to a 9-2 victory at Bickle-Schmidt Sports Complex.
After the opening kickoff, the Monarchs (8-2-1) moved the ball through the Panther defense with relative ease. Great Bend stopped an initial surge but failed to clear the ball safely. TMP junior Megan Koenigsman gathered the ball and shot from outside the box. She may not have seen the ball soar over the keeper’s head and into the net, but it counted just the same.
“Honestly, it was probably just a lucky shot because I fell over after it,” Koenigsman said. “I think it helped us with our momentum.”
A plethora of scoring opportunities followed, but TMP failed to convert for the next 15 minutes of play. That led to a conversation with some of the TMP starters after a substitution early in the half. Some of the Monarchs took that opportunity to remind head coach Darryl Wellbrock that they’ve been rather busy.
“After we scored the goal, it looks like we got a little lazy, I thought, so I got on some of them — my daughter was one of them — and they reminded me ‘Coach, we’ve played four games in five days,’ ” Wellbrock said.
The one thing the early goal did appear to do, was dampen the spirits of the Panthers.
“I don’t know that it did much for us,” Wellbrock said of the early goal.
“I guess what I’ve always liked about that is what it does to the other team. That Is very, very hard to counter.”
After a few missed opportunities, the Monarchs doubled their lead when Kayla Vitztum rebounded a saved shot off teammate Bailey Hageman’s foot midway through the first half.
Great Bend answered with a goal from well outside the box that soared over sophomore Ashley Ostrander’s head. Ostrander played in goal, while Deonna Wellbrock — the Monarchs’ top keeper — played the field with a brace on her right wrist after colliding with the frame of goal during last weekend’s tournament in Kansas City.
Hageman converted for the first time minutes after Great Bend’s goal to boost the Monarchs’ lead to two goals once again. It could’ve been Hageman’s second, or third, goal of the game but accuracy was an issue.
“I could’ve had a lot (of goals) but my shots weren’t going in,” Hageman said.
Vitztum added her second goal of the first half off a feed from Aubrey Koenigsman in the final minutes of the first half, giving TMP a 4-1 lead at the break. From there, it was almost all Monarchs.
“Once we got going, I think we just played really well together, kept scoring one after the other,” Megan Koenigsman said.
TMP used a number of unselfish combination plays to carve up the Panthers for five goals in the second half.
It started just after the clock started when junior Madyson Koerner got to the endline and cut a pass back across the field to an open Ostrander, who moved up top after spending the first half between the posts. Ostrander only needed one touch to make it a 5-1 game.
Hageman and Vitztum then linked for a nice 1-2 combination that led to an open look for Vitztum. The post made the initial save, but this time Hageman cleaned the play up for her second goal of the day.
Senior Racheal Hamel scored from roughly 30 yards out before Aubrey Koenigsman made it 8-1. With the end result solidified, the Monarchs saved arguably their best goal for last.
Vitztum crossed a ball from near the far sideline across the face of goal to the corner of the six-yard box. Deonna Wellbrock continued her run to the spot, met it with her head, beat the keeper and immediately turned to celebrate with her assister. It was the final TMP tally after a half full of crisp play.
“The combinations were great,” the TMP coach said.
“It was phenomenal what they were putting together, I hope it continues to grow.
Great Bend closed the scoring in the final minute to make it 9-2 against TMP’s second reserve goalkeeper of the day.
After showing signs of fatigue following an intense championship game two days earlier, the Monarchs got to a level their coach can be proud of.
“We got a little hungry, stepped up and started playing again, playing to our potential,” Wellbrock said.
TMP can expect a more difficult test on Saturday when the Monarchs host Wichita Bishop Carroll.
Thomas More Prep-Marian 9, Great Bend 2
GB 1 1 — 2
TMP 4 5 — 9
Goals: Vitztum 2, Hageman 2, A. Koenigsman, M. Koenigsman, Ostrander, Wellbrock, Hamel.