TMP soccer opens with 9-0 win over Wichita Independent
It was hard for Monarch soccer coach Shawn Lawson to know what to expect heading into Monday's season opener.
The Thomas More Prep-Marian girls won just one game in 2019, and spring sports were canceled last year because of the pandemic.
"We didn't have soccer last year, so it was really hard to judge like, 'Well, what was last year's team like?' We don't know," Lawson said.
But with a promising mix of upperclassmen and newcomers, Lawson was encouraged with the Monarchs' debut, a 9-0 home victory over Wichita Independent.
"I liked what I saw. We've got more soccer players this year; people that have played soccer," Lawson said. "We've had some new people that have just kind of showed up, scored a goal.
"It was better than what I expected."
TMP scored three goals against the wind in the first half and then broke it open with six goals in the second half.
"We haven't really worked on anything offensively, just getting people touches, building up endurance," Lawson said. "The fact that some people were finishing and scoring, even without a lot of practicing that, it gives you kind of hope for what you can do when we start work on those specific things."
Six of the Monarchs' nine goals were scored by freshmen.
Freshman Keira Wagstaff scored three goals and freshman Macy Eberle netted two, while junior Izzy Speno, senior Gina Cox, freshman Sydney Meier and junior Megan Hamel all had a goal apiece.
"From seniors to freshmen, we've got some firepower," Lawson said.
The Monarchs have a senior at goalkeeper in Allison Applequist, who wasn't tested on Monday.
"Her soccer intelligence is miles above a lot of people," Lawson said. "She knows how to communicate."
Other seniors are Cox, Emma Schmidt, Abby Rueschhoff and Leah Mages.
The Monarchs have 17 players on the roster including three from Ellis — Eberle, Cox and junior Faith Fondoble.
"We've had three or four weeks of practice but we haven't had three or four weeks of everybody practicing, because we had basketball players playing basketball and then we had spring break," Lawson said. "I think today was maybe one of three days where we've had everybody together."
The Monarchs were set to play at Towanda-Circle on Tuesday. They will be back at home against Great Bend on Thursday.
"I feel like this will be a confidence booster," Lawson said. "We average three games a week for the month of April. So it's going to be buzzsaw, and we're not going to have a lot of time to practice."