Eight soccer Cards named all-conference

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Rob Reischel
Middleton's Kristen Reikersdorfer (15) was named first-team all-Big Eight./File photo

Middleton’s girls soccer team shared the Big Eight Conference title in 2015. So it seemed appropriate that the Cardinals had the most players receive all-conference honors.

Middleton and co-league champion Madison West both had eight players named all-league.

Cardinals sophomore forward Kristen Reikersdorfer, senior midfielder Megan Sullivan and senior defender Ashley Stahnke were all named first-team all-conference. Senior forward Macey Kalscheur, junior midfielder Grace Douglas and senior defender Maddy Schachte were all named second-team all-league, while senior midfielder Emily Krueger and senior defender Lia Passini were named honorable-mention all-conference.

“I was very pleased that eight players got recognized in the all-conference picks,” Middleton coach Mary Duffy said. “We comprised 25% of each team and I think that each of those players earned their spot.

“I was nervous going into the meeting because … I knew that we wouldn’t get everybody, which we didn’t. Winning conference two years in a row, I really wanted many of the seniors to get their respect that they have waited for.”

Reikersdorfer played in just the first 16 games of the season before she suffered a season-ending injury. Still, Reikersdorfer led the Cardinals in scoring with 29 points on 12 goals and five assists.

“In my opinion, she’s the best forward in the conference,” Duffy said. “She will be a force for the Big Eight to deal with in the next few years.”

Sullivan was a unanimous first-team selection after being named second-team all-league in 2013 and honorable-mention all-conference in 2014.

Sullivan was second on the team with 26 points, tying for first in goals scored (12) and adding two assists.

“Her solid play and accurate shooting helped in the postseason scoring the second goal versus (Madison) West and pulling us one goal closer in the Kettle Moraine game, even if it was only for a short time,” Duffy said of Sullivan.

Stahnke was voted Middleton’s Most Valuable Defender and was a first-team all-conference selection after she received honorable-mention honors in 2014.

“She was our rock in the back,” Duffy said. “When we didn't have her, we struggled in the back and were not able to get forward as much.”

Kalscheur had eight goals, two assists and finished fifth on the team in total points (18). Kalscheur moved from the midfield to forward late in the year when injuries hit, and made a seamless transition.

“Macey Kalscheur was a great spark plug for us in the midfield, and more importantly as a forward,” Duffy said. “She got her (all-conference) spot as a forward, even though she only played there after the West games when we changed our formation. That was how big the impact she made in the few remaining conference games we had left.”

Douglas, a University of Wisconsin recruit, earned second-team all-league honors that left Duffy a bit puzzled.

“While I wish the conference coaches would have voted her onto the first-team, I know and the team knows that Grace is a first-team quality player,” Duffy said. “And she will continue her dominance on the field in her senior session.” 

Schachte was another anchor in back for a Middleton team that allowed just 1.15 goals per game and 0.33 goals in Big Eight Conference contests.

“Maddy Schachte really stepped up her game and worked hard on long diagonal balls and stepping in front of passes,” Duffy said. “She had her best season this year.” 

Krueger’s heady play in the midfield was key to the Cardinals’ success — especially in the playoffs.

“Emily's smart play gave our team composure,” Duffy said. “And the quality of her play in the postseason was one of the reasons for our wins, especially against West.”

Passini was the third Middleton defender named all-conference, a sign of respect for the league’s No. 1 defense.

“Passini has been a solid wing player for our team for three years and her best games this season were in the postseason right when we needed them,” Duffy said. “She dominated the West forwards and took away much of their attack before it was building.”

While the all-conference honors were nice, Duffy admits that’s not what she’ll remember from a terrific 2015 season.

“I do not see nor will I remember these girls or this season by numbers,” Duffy said. “What we as coaches see is the impact that they have on the field, with their teammates and in the community. 

“These players, these seniors, have not only made a huge impact on this team, but in the lives of those who got to kick a ball around and play this beautiful game with some friends. Many people believe that it is numbers that drive success, but it is our hearts and our character that we should measure our success in life. And in that, we had the most successful season possible with these amazingly gifted 24 girls.”

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