Soccer Cards still lead Big Eight

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel

The Big Eight Conference boys soccer title will be decided in the next week.

And Middleton’s surprising group is still happily operating from the drivers seat.

Middleton notched three critical wins last week — two inside the conference and one outside the league. The Cardinals improved to 5-0-1 in the Big Eight and 9-2-1 overall.

Middleton holds a slim lead over second place Madison West (4-0-1, 10-1-2) and the teams met Tuesday for first place in the league. The Cardinals also travel to third place Beloit Memorial (3-2-1, 16-3-1) Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

“This is a critical point in the Big Eight Conference,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “The next two games should essentially determine the winner of the Big Eight. We have shown we have what it takes to earn big wins. Now we just have to keep getting the job done.”

Middleton certainly got the job done last week.

The Cardinals opened with a 1-0 win over Oregon, one of the top teams in the Badger Conference. Derek Waleffe scored the game’s lone goal on an assist from Colin Ledin.

“We pulled out a win against a physical team,” Kollasch said. “This is great experience on how to get a win when things aren’t all working right and a good team puts lots of pressure on. It was not pretty, but we found a way to do it.”

Middleton then posted a 3-1 win over upstart Sun Prairie last Tuesday.

After a scoreless first half, Sun Prairie took a 1-0 lead early in the second half. But Middleton’s Bradan Allen answered with a pair of goals and Waleffe added a goal.

“We have shown resilience this week to overcome some big difficulties,” Kollasch said. “We are down two captains to injury and we went down a goal early. We battled back.”

Middleton then notched a huge, 3-2 win over Madison Memorial last Thursday.

The Spartans led, 1-0, at halftime and pushed that advantage to 2-0 early in the second half. But Middleton scored three unanswered goals and rallied for the improbable win.

Allen scored two goals and Colin Ledin notched the game-winning goal on a free kick from 45 yards out.

“This was a game that changes how a team thinks of itself,” Kollasch said. “A game that teaches a team about just how much potential they have to go do great things. After a lackluster first half … we took control and decided to win the game by sheer force of will.”

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