Soccer Cards start strong

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Andrew Lund and Middleton's soccer team started their season in style at the Brookfield East tournament./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

If it’s possible for an all-state player to lurk in the shadows, then Derek Waleffe has certainly done that in recent seasons.

Waleffe, a senior soccer standout at Middleton High School, often was the sidekick to high-flying and current University of Wisconsin standout Bradan Allen. But it’s clear, Waleffe won't be taking a backseat to anybody in 2017.

Waleffe scored six goals in three games last weekend and powered Middleton to a 2-0-1 record at the Brookfield East Tournament.

After Middleton and Elkhorn played to a scoreless draw to open the tournament on Friday, Waleffe had a hat trick in an 8-0 win over Wauwatosa West on Saturday. Waleffe followed that with another hat trick in an 8-0 win over Brookfield East on Saturday.

“Derek Waleffe had already proven he was a premier goal scorer, but he had only done that in Braden Allen's shadow,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “Derek is now casting his own shadow and will force teams to leave some of our other bona fide scoring threats open.”

Middleton opened the tournament with a scoreless tie against Elkhorn. The game eventually went to penalty kicks, where the Elks prevailed, 3-1.

“We sprinted off the first whistle to show how to dominate the game, but we didn't make our chances count,” Kollasch said. “We were learning the pace we need to play at to be successful, which is fast. And in getting accustomed to that we allowed the game to come to us for chunks of the first and second half.

“We dominated the last minutes of the game, but again could not muster the precision to put a ball into the net. In the shootout phase, Elkhorn rose above. Given clear shots at goal, Elkhorn made the most of them, but we continued to struggle in the shooting phase.”

Middleton certainly didn’t struggle the next day against Wauwatosa West.

Waleffe netted a hat trick and added two assists, while Isaiah Williams and sophomore Isaac Gueu both added two goals. Drake Vandermause had a goal and an assist, while Greg Pauly added three assists.

“Our defensive work to make chances finally started paying off in goals,” Kollasch said. “Lots of credit goes to Andrew Lund for spearheading our energetic defense to spark our rally. And it was a really good rally.”

The Cardinals were even better later in the day Saturday, rolling to a convincing win over Brookfield East.

Derek Waleffe picked up his second hat trick of the season, while Vandermause added a goal and three assists. Andrew Lund found the net for his first goal — which also happened to be the game-winner — and added two assists.

Pauly had his first goal of the season and added two more assists. Bryce Schuster got his first goal of the year and

Williams also scored.

“This game cemented our trajectory of getting better each game,” Kollasch said. “Not only did we continue our scoring habit, but we showed we were able to defend against some high level competition while creating our chances.”

Noah Pollard and Blake Kalscheur played every minute of the three games to anchor the defense, while Brendan Steele and Cian Carlson gave solid performances. Ben Scher also solidified his position as the Cardinals’ starting goalkeeper.

“Ben shows growing confidence,” Kollasch said. “Ben also started showing his skill throwing the soccer ball by picking up an assist to Derek Waleffe on a quick throw to counterattack behind the Brookfield defense.”

Overall, it was a terrific start for a Middleton team that believes another run to the state tournament is within their grasp this season.

“The potential of this team is tied to how well they can organize and coordinate the efforts of all 11 players on the field,” Kollasch said. “There is still huge potential for improvement in that organization.

“These last three games just showed that we can pick up where we left off last year and that they have already adjusted to losing some key players from last year. So far we have improved every game. We aim to keep that trajectory as we enter the conference season and beyond.

• On deck: Middleton hosted Madison Memorial Tuesday, then is at Sun Prairie Thursday at 7 p.m. The Cardinals host Milwaukee Hamilton Saturday at noon, then host Madison West Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.


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