Monarch soccer bounces back with 2-0 win over Great Bend

Rick Peterson Jr.
Hays Daily News
TMP's Macy Eberle heads toward the goal during the Monarchs' 2-0 win against Great Bend on Thursday. [Rick Peterson Jr./Hays Daily News]
TMP's Izzy Speno passes the ball forward on Thursday against Great Bend.
TMP's Allison Applequist scoops up the ball on Thursday against Great Bend.

Undiscouraged from a mercy-rule loss two days earlier, the Thomas More Prep-Marian girls soccer team bounced back in impressive fashion with a 2-0 win over Great Bend on Thursday at TMP. 

After Monday's season-opening 9-0 win over Wichita Independent, the Monarchs ran into a buzzsaw with Towanda-Circle on Tuesday, taking a 10-0 loss on the road. 

But TMP ended the whirlwind week on a positive note, using goals from Izzy Speno and Macy Eberle to notch the win against Great Bend. The Monarchs moved to 2-1 after finishing the 2019 season with just one win. 

"It's a nice bounce back. It's a pleasant surprise," TMP coach Shawn Lawson said. "We've doubled our win total two years ago. (Great Bend) is a WAC team. It was a good win for us."

Lawson said he told his team not to get hung up on the Circle loss, and they appeared to take that message to heart. 

"I told them, 'We need to win the games that we can win,' " Lawson said. "Towanda-Circle, that is not a game that we can win, not right away. Win the games that we can win, and if we get to play Circle at the end of the year, I think we can definitely do better than 10-0. (The goal) is to improve and get yourself better with each game."

"We've got a bunch of them that kind of have a tough attitude," he added. "Mentally, they're tougher than what I gave them credit for."

TMP controlled the game throughout against Great Bend. Speno and Eberle scored two goals against the wind in the first half, and the Monarchs had no trouble limiting the Panthers' opportunities. 

"There was a lot of pressure on the ball," Lawson said. "Even when the wind was against us, we were pressuring the ball. ... All that pressure eventually adds up."

Lawson said he thought the Monarchs could have scored a few more. Speno had several strong corner kicks and also helped create some opportunities in the midfield. 

"If we could finish those corners that would be awesome," Lawson said. "Izzy, she can handle the ball and has the best touches. She can control the ball."

Allison Applequist picked up her second shutout in goal. 

The Monarchs will play three more games next week. They will play host to Wichita Word of Life on Tuesday before playing road games at Dodge City on Thursday and Nickerson on Friday. 

Lawson said game experience is what the Monarchs need most to keep improving. 

"I told some of them, I wish we would have had even a part of a season last year," Lawson said. "Because playing on the field is such a great teacher."