Soccer Cards win Iowa tournament

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Blake Kalscheur and Middleton's boys soccer team won the "Go For The Goal Classic."/Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Many elite boys soccer programs from throughout the Midwest gathered in Burlington, Iowa, last weekend for the “Go For The Goal Classic” tournament.

And what did Middleton find out about itself?

That it has a chance to turn 2017 into an extremely memorable season.

Middleton won the high-level tournament, highlighted by a 5-3 win over Rock Island (Ill.) in the championship game.

“To win a championship against quality opponents is really big in that it gives us a glimpse of what this team is really capable of when they all get on the same page for the whole game,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “If we can continue to do that, even in the more strenuous conditions of conference games for the next two weeks, we can really aim high in the postseason.”

Middleton opened the tournament with a 7-4 win over Normal (Ill.). Derek Waleffe scored three goals that were all assisted by Greg Pauly. Drake Vandermause added two goals, while Andrew Lund and Isaiah Williams both scored, as well.

“We gave up four easy and avoidable goals,” Kollasch said. “But we stormed right back getting seven of our own.”

Middleton then posted a 2-1 win over Dunbar (Ky.), a team from Lexington that’s ranked nationally by Top Drawer Soccer.

Lund scored on an assist from Waleffe in the 16th minute, but Dunbar tied things up shortly before half.

Middleton created a beautiful goal, though, in the 74th minute off a Williams cross that Kyle Ballweg tapped back to an open Waleffe for the game winner.

“It was an exciting game and the first real complete game we have put together all season,” Kollasch said.

The Cardinals shined again in the championship, downing a Rock Island team that’s also ranked nationally by Top Drawer Soccer.

Vandermause and Peter Tuttle had first half goals, but Middleton trailed, 3-2, at the break. The second half was all Cardinals, though.

Waleffe scored a pair of second half goals and Bryce Schuster added a goal as Middleton pulled away and eventually captured a championship.

“Another barnburner of a game,” Kollasch said. “The second half saw us stiffen up our defense all over the field and play smarter soccer.”

Middleton also routed Janesville Parker, 16-0, last Tuesday. Waleffe and Jack Tibbets led the way with hat tricks.

“This has been a great week for the team and a great kick start as we get near the end of the season,” Kollasch said.

• On deck: Middleton hosted Madison La Follette Tuesday in its only game of the week. 

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