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TMP soccer picks up road win

By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

The Thomas More Prep-Marian girls' soccer team overcame what was called a "frustrating" first half by coach Darryl Wellbrock to beat Wichita Independent 6-0 Wednesday in Wichita.

TMP managed only one first-half goal -- an unassisted bomb by sophomore Racheal Hamel in the 29th minute -- but rallied around a great defensive performance to run away with the win in the second half.

"The first goal came awful hard ... we couldn't get anything to go in. Nobody was making any combinations that were working. The shot Racheal had that scored was from probably 30 yards out. Went over the top of the keeper. It was a great shot," Wellbrock said.

"Our defense today was just phenomenal. They very seldom let them on our half, even against the wind."

The Monarchs found their stride in the second half, getting two goals from freshman Megan Koenigsman, both assists by Hamel. The first goal came in the 48th minute, the second in the 56th minute, to give TMP a 3-0 lead.

Then freshman Deonna Wellbrock, who spent the first 29 minutes of the game at goalkeeper, scored the final three goals in a four-minute span. The goals came in the 63rd, 64th and 66th minutes, with junior Grace Volker getting the assist on the second of the three. The other two were unassisted.

TMP finished with 15 shots on goal -- seven in the first half, eight in the second -- and held Independent to only two shots, both coming in the first half. Junior Sarah Gustin recorded both saves for TMP after taking over for Wellbrock in the net.

"Our back five were very strong today," Darryl Wellbrock said. "They did most of the defending and did a very good job. That helped us to get things set up, up front. We were on our half of the field most of the time because of them."

The win is the second of the season for TMP over Independent, the first coming on April 3 in Hays, a 10-0 mercy-rule victory. The two teams were originally going to play three games this season, but had the April 14 game in Wichita cancelled due to weather. The game won't be made up because of a scheduling conflict.

TMP, now 4-2, improves what is already the best start in program history. And despite logging many bus hours Wednesday, the Monarchs will get back on the field today when they play Hays High School in a rematch of the season opener, a 1-0 overtime win for the Indians at HHS Field.

Hays High is 9-2 and riding a seven-game win streak.

"Being on the bus for six hours (Wednesday) might take a little bit of a toll on us, but I hope they recover and get a good night's rest and we can go from there," Darryl Wellbrock said. "The team is excited and ready to play, I know that. We are not going to back down, that's for sure."

Game time is 5 p.m. for varsity, 4 p.m. for junior varsity, and will be played at the Fort Hays State University Soccer Stadium.