Soccer Cards ousted by West

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Bradan Allen (19) and Middleton’s boys soccer team fell to Madison West in the sectional semifinals last Thursday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The result isn’t what they wanted.

The effort, the intensity, truthfully really the entire season was something everyone was awfully proud of.

Middleton’s boys soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to Madison West in the WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinals last Thursday.

The Cardinals finished the year 16-4-1, while the Regents defeated Sun Prairie in the sectional finals two days later.

“This game was a game the players can be proud of,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “This was a game that players left all their effort on the field. There were no other options, no unused tactics, just an opponent that would not fall.

“All seasons must end, and though it was difficult, this seemed a fitting end, to be in the game, clawing and scratching for the next goal the whole way. This team never showed any tendency to give in. They had been down in big games before and they came back time after time — just not against West this year. A game like this certainly takes care of the proud tradition in Middleton, even if the result wasn’t what we wanted.”

Middleton took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute when Derek Waleffe cleared a ball from the Cardinals’ end toward Bradan Allen. A West defender stumbled and played the angle poorly, allowing Allen to get behind him for the first goal of the game.

West scored in a similar way in the 21st minute. The Regents then notched the eventual game-winner in the 29th minute after a corner kick.

“Both teams played great defense after that and to everyone's surprise, no goals came after the West corner kick,” Kollasch said. “We found ways to pressure West in the second half. We didn't dominate the game, but we certainly controlled the better part of the play in the second half. We just never cracked through the defensive wall West put up.

“Both teams played very good defense, neither team could keep the ball long enough to create chances, and the goals that did come happened when each team took advantage of a good bounce or a piece of luck that came their way.”

While the end was rough, Middleton had another memorable season.

The Cardinals had just six seniors on the roster. But Middleton finished second in the Big Eight Conference at 7-1-1 and made a run at its first trip to state since 2011.

“What a season,” Kollasch said. “Early in the season we lost one of those senior captains to a knee injury which kept him out for the rest of the season. Not long after we lost one of our junior captains to an ankle injury that kept him out until the playoffs.

“Through all of that turmoil, the team kept their minds on the game, learned every day, stayed competitive, and won lots of games. I was keenly aware of the youthful nature of the team, but I am not sure that I even realized the extent of the strong contribution of our younger players.”

With so much youth on the roster, Middleton should be poised for bigger — and better — in 2016.

“As you might imagine, given our youth, we can look forward to bigger and better things for this team in the next years,” Kollasch said. “Our younger players have gained critical experience in conference games and in big playoff games.

“Any team in the state would envy the opportunity to return 15 players to the team and the potential to return nine starting players out of 11! All of this goes to the quality of work that our seniors and captains have given to this team to guide the younger players to be on the competitive edge and get more out of themselves than they thought they ever could.

“Our seniors will be missed. We graduate two starting central midfielders, two great options at central defense, a strong option at center forward and a platoon starter at the wing. While we can never replace them, we always find ways of reinventing what we do and their contribution will live on in their mentorship of the younger players from this year.”


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