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Monarch soccer falls to Great Bend, 4-0

By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

Thomas More Prep-Marian boys' soccer coach Shawn Lawson thinks a WAC invite should be coming the Monarchs' way with the schedule they have faced this season.

"That's kind of been the story of our whole season -- we were just overmatched," Lawson said. "We should get in the WAC conference with all the games we play, always playing all these big schools. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

On Tuesday, the Monarchs lost 4-0 to visiting Great Bend on Senior Day, already the fifth WAC opponent they have faced this season. TMP still has rematches against Hays High and Garden City on its schedule.

The brutal schedule -- one that is loaded with 5A and 6A teams -- should be able to toughen up Class 3A TMP before regionals. At least that is the hope of the coaching staff.

"I never want to complain about it because you do learn from it," Lawson said. "Hopefully it sets us up for the postseason. We can do well against some of the smaller schools. That's always my plan. Just to get ready for postseason."

TMP competed relatively well against Great Bend on Tuesday. The difference came from a couple of costly goals early that could have been prevented and an inability to capitalize on its scoring opportunities, however few.

Great Bend, which played in the first half with a gusty wind at its back, struck first with a goal by Michael Prieto in the 5th minute. Prieto's first shot was stopped by TMP senior goalie Collan Lawson -- son of coach Shawn Lawson -- but had the shot ricochet back to Prieto who was left with an easy shot.

Prieto, the son of Great Bend soccer coach Gustavo Prieto, found net again in the 23rd minute. Collan Lawson once again blocked the first shot of Prieto with a great save, but had the ball bounce off the top of the goal post and back to Prieto. Collan Lawson was left out of position after the save and couldn't recover in time to stop Prieto from getting his second goal.

"I tipped it and it hit the post and I got caught ball watching," Collan Lawson said. "Just silly mistakes by the defense, but something you got to work on. Something that we do a lot but are getting better at."

With about eight minutes to go in the first half, Prieto got on the scoreboard one final time with a header from the left side of the goal in a crowded goalie box. Great Bend led 3-0 at the break.

"I think we moved the ball well, even in the first half with not having the wind," Shawn Lawson said. "We put stuff together. They were stringing their passes together. The offense was moving well, just stupid mistakes."

Great Bend added a final goal in the 55th minute by Emmanuel Poblano, who was at the right place at the right time after a scrum for the ball following a corner kick left him with an easy shot.

Collan Lawson had nine saves in the first half at goalie, but played middle back in the second half. Junior Keynan Hysten played in goal in the second half and recorded four saves, giving up the one goal.

"I feel like the second half we slowed down a little bit but we did keep them to only one goal," Collan Lawson said. "Our center backs worked really hard and played their butts off. Most everybody played really hard the second half. Great Bend is just good."

The schedule doesn't get any easier for TMP, which will compete at the Wichita North Tournament beginning Oct. 14, a field that includes Liberal, Garden City, Wichita North, Wichita East and Wichita Trinity.

TMP will be the eighth seed and will play top-seeded Berean Academy, a successful Class 2A team, in the first round.

"They are kind of the standard that I'd like to get to," Shawn Lawson said. "Them and Wichita Trinity. Really small schools that play bigger than what they are. They've beaten 6A schools before. How do they do that? It's something to learn from."