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TMP soccer takes loss

By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

The Thomas More Prep-Marian boys' soccer team has proven repeatedly this season it can play with the best -- at least for a half.

This was the story yet again in TMP's 3-0 home loss to visiting Garden City on Tuesday.

The game was 1-0 at halftime.

"We haven't finished well all year," TMP soccer coach Shawn Lawson said.

"Second half we don't have enough energy; there isn't enough chemistry and teamwork. I've got a few guys that have never played soccer before that are starting. It's an adjustment."

With half of the roster being international students, Lawson is tasked with uniting not only young and inexperienced players, but also kids that come from many different cultural and language backgrounds.

In four games this season, TMP has competed well in each. At the Maize South Invitational last week, the Monarchs trailed McPherson 2-1 at half, Hays High was 1-1, and they led Augusta 1-0.

TMP would eventually lose all three games by scores of 7-1, 5-1 and 2-1.

The Monarchs were in a similar position against Class 6A Garden City on Tuesday, which netted only one goal in the first half, the score coming in the 18th minute from Eric Barragan.

But the Garden City attack kept coming. The Buffaloes added two goals within five minutes of each other in the second half to break the game open. The first came unassisted from David Amaro in the 17th minute, the second from David Fuentes in the 22nd minute.

If it weren't for the solid play of TMP goalkeeper Collan Lawson, it could have been much worse.

"I thought we dominated the game. We missed a lot of shots. I don't think 3-0 is a good indicator of what it could have been," Garden City coach Joaquin Padilla said.

"But they had a good goalkeeper and they gave us a fight. We didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we had."

TMP didn't have many opportunities to score on its end and likely won't going forward. The team isn't deep at the ball skills positions, and intends to put most of its focus on playing solid defense and striking on the few chances it does get.

The schedule hasn't helped TMP either. The Monarchs have had trouble getting teams to travel to Hays for games, and have loaded up on Class 5A and 6A schools, putting the 3A Monarchs at a disadvantage.

But TMP also hopes this rigorous schedule will payoff when regionals roll around.

"It's been better than what it is was the first week at the Maize South tournament," Shawn Lawson said of the team's improvement. "You go out and take your lumps from the big boys and hope when it comes regional time we play our competition well."