Topeka High's girls soccer team and senior standout Avery Zimmerman got their 2024 season off to a notable start Monday at Hummer Sports Park, with the Trojans rolling to a 9-0 win over USD 501 rival Topeka West while Zimmerman reached a milestone with her 50th career goal in the High romp.

AveryZimmermanTW 5Topeka High senior Avery Zimmerman (2) reached the 50-goal mark for her career in Monday's 9-0 season-opening win over Topeka West. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

RaeleeShipleyTW 2Topeka High sophomore Raelee Shipley (10) recorded a three-goal hat trick in Monday's 9-0 Trojan win over Topeka West. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

"Overall, I was pleased with the way we came out and we used what we had been working on in practice and what we wanted to do,'' Topeka High coach Derek Snook said. "We had a bunch of people we had to replace, especially on the defensive end and on the wings so now going forward we know a little bit more about what we have.

"I'm very pleased with the way we controlled the middle and looked to use one another.'' 

It took Topeka High only 1 minute, 46 seconds to pick up its first goal of the season, with sophomore Raelee Shipley finding the back of the net on the way to a three-goal hat trick.

NatalieBarnesTW 2Topeka High sophomore Natalie Barnes (left) celebrates her first of two goals in Monday's 9-0 win over Topeka West. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Shipley was one of four Trojans to score multiple goals against West as Zimmerman, sophomore Natalie Barnes and sophomore Dana Chavarria Delacruz all scored two goals apiece.

Topeka HIgh jumped out to a 4-0 halftime advantage over the Chargers, with Delacruz, Barnes and Zimmerman recording first-half goals after Shipley scored the only goal the Trojans would need.

The Trojans also started fast in the second half, with High needing only 1:19 for Delacruz to put her team up 5-0.

Shipley netted her second goal of the night at the 38:09 mark of the second half and Barnes and Shipley followed with goals to put Topeka High in command 8-0 with 15:16 remaining before Zimmerman, a three-time All-City first-team pick, scored the 50th goal of her career with 11:38 remaining.

"It's really cool because she's such a cool kid,'' Snook said of Zimmerman's milestone. "Avery's one of the hardest workers that I've ever been around. She takes over the winter workouts and knows what she wants to work on as far as strength and conditioning, fitness and things of that nature. At practices she'll come to me with different things, 'Hey, maybe we can work on this.'

"It's good to see her hit a milestone like this and now she's going to go back to work.''

Barnes had a pair of assists for the Trojans while Zimmerman and senior Lily Corby were also credited with assists.

Sophomore Ciera Belaire-Serna and senior Rhyian Smith combined for the shutout in goal for Topeka High.

Snook said it was good to be able to play everybody that suited up in Monday's opener.

"It's a rivalry game and they know people on the other side so it's good for everybody to be able to get in and get in a little bit of game experience,'' Snook said.


Topeka West (0-1) 0 0 -- 0

Topeka High (1-0) 4 5 -- 9

Topeka High -- Goals: Shipley 3, Barnes 2, Zimmerman 2, Chavarria-Delacruz 2. Assists: Barnes 2, Zimmerman, Corby. Shutout: Belaire-Serna, Smith.

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