WICHITA — Through two games, the Thomas More Prep-Marian boys’ soccer team is yet to face an opponent other than Wichita Independent.
The Monarchs are still looking for their first win but Tuesday’s result, a 5-3 loss in the second round of the Maize South Invitational, was an improvement from the 5-0 loss in the season opener.
“I knew we were going to play them better than we did the first time,” TMP coach Darryl Wellbrock said.
Wellbrock’s side received a first-round bye in the tournament.
TMP took an early lead when Junior Hernandez set up Michael Braun for the game’s opening score in the 21st minute.
The advantage was short lived, as the Panthers equalized and took a 2-1 lead before halftime. Hayden Chase got Independent on the board off a free kick before Colton Bauserman converted a penalty kick in the 34th minute.
The speedy Bauserman broke through the TMP defense and made it 3-1 early in the second half. A Jacob Estes’ header made it 4-1 before the Monarchs scored their second again.
In the 65th minute, Hernandez set up Armel Valois for TMP’s second goal.
Bauserman completed his hat trick in the 71st minute on another breakaway. Ryan Karlin tallied the game’s final goal in the 79th minute off Hernandez’s third assist of the match.
Hernandez and Valois are expected to be consistent performers for the young TMP squad. Of the 25 players on the roster, 12 are freshman. Additionally, the Monarchs are without 11 seniors and 10 regular starters from last years team.
While the team is short on varsity experience and size, the team’s overall speed has given the coach hope that improved results are the way.
“We’re young; we’re small, but I think we can make up with that with our speed,” Wellbrock said.
“In the next couple of years they could be a really good team.”
The Monarchs face another skilled opponent at 6 p.m. today when they play the host Mavericks.