Soccer Cards two steps from state

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Brendon Martin and Middleton's boys soccer team won a regional title last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Bradan Allen has scored one big goal after another all season long for Middleton’s boys soccer team.

So it was no surprise as the Cardinals’ season hung in the balance last Saturday, Allen came up large once again.

With Middleton and Madison Memorial tied, 1-1, in a WIAA Division 1 regional final, Allen was tackled in the box with just 30 seconds left. Allen converted the ensuing penalty kick allowing Middleton to escape with an enormous 2-1 win.

The third-seeded Cardinals advanced to the sectional semifinal at second-seeded Madison West Thursday. The sectional final is Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lake Geneva Badger.

“Both the wins against Memorial now have proven our resilience as a team,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “This team needed to prove to itself more than anyone else that they could live up to their own hopes and expectations. They do not know how to quit and they continue to get stronger with each game together.”

Middleton took a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute when Max Westhoff scored on a cross from Zach Whritenour on a corner kick.

“We continued to win battles throughout the first half and missed chances we could have iced the game with,” Kollasch said.

Memorial evened things, 1-1, midway through the second half. Middleton had countless chances to win the game before Allen played hero late.

Middleton also rolled past Waukesha South, 10-0, in a regional semifinal last Tuesday.

Drake Vandermause scored three goals for the Cardinals, while Allen had two goals. Derek Waleffe had three assists and Zach Whritenour had two assists.

Brendon Martin and Cole Sampson combined for the shutout.

“We had lots of question marks about Waukesha South and how this young team would stand up to real pressure,” Kollasch said. “We also had lots of confidence in our play. We took care of any doubts quickly scoring two goals within the first three minutes. We added goals in bunches.”

Middleton also posted its seventh shutout of the season in its win over the Blackshirts. The Cardinals have also had seven games allowing just one goal.

“Seven shutouts will not be at the top of the Middleton record books defensively, but the goals we have allowed have shown a very effective defense,” Kollasch said. “We make a mistake here and there, but they pick each other back up and they work the ball forward to give our offense excellent opportunities to score.

“Brendon Martin has been great in the goal and has made some great saves to preserve wins throughout our conference schedule. This defensive unit has not put up the numbers in terms of scoring or absolutes like shutouts, but they get they job done and give us a chance in every game we step into.”

The Cardinals will now step into the belly of the beast when they meet Madison West Thursday.

The Regents defeated the Cardinals, 3-2, on Oct. 1 — a win that allowed West to capture the Big Eight Conference title. This time, though, Middleton is hoping to exact some revenge.

“We have been looking forward to a rematch with West since our conference loss earlier in the season,” Kollasch said. “We gave up some uncharacteristically easy goals to West, one in the opening minutes of the game in the earlier meeting.

“We finished much stronger, but we could only manage to get two goals back in the race against the clock and we lost 3-2. We certainly learned things from that loss, about West and about ourselves, and we know that we did everything to win except execute on the last touch into the net.

“While this Middleton team may be young, they play with a hunger that shows an urgency more like a group of seniors. We will be ready to redeem ourselves on Thursday.”

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