Girls soccer team chasing Big 8 title

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Cami Malak and Middleton's girls soccer team improved to 3-0-1 in the Big Eight last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The Big Eight is one of the elite girls soccer conferences in the state.

And midway through the league slate, Middleton has put itself in position to win a conference title.

The Cardinals defeated Verona, 2-0, last Tuesday. Middleton followed that with a 2-1 win over Madison Memorial last Saturday.

The Cardinals are now 5-1-3 overall and 3-0-1 in the league, just one-half game behind conference-leading Sun Prairie (4-0).
Middleton played extremely well against Verona, where Cami Malak and Tyler Wilson both had goals. Keeper Caroline Powers was also terrific in net and posted a shutout.

“The girls were on fire,” Middleton coach Mary Duffy said. “They played well, really well. They looked poised and dangerous. 

“The defense had a great and organized game. We worked hard during the week on positioning and recovering in transition to give us the best advantage and the defensive shape of the team focused on those aspects to shut down Verona's attack so they had minimal chances.

“But what was clicking was the offense. We were able to spread their defense and get off numerous dangerous opportunities.” 

Malak’s goal was a one-timer for the game-winner. Wilson put the game away with an effort goal in which she continued going after the ball until the keeper and defender miscommunicated. Wilson then stole the unclaimed ball and tucked it into the net. 

“Despite the score only being 2-0, it was a dominant performance for us,” Duffy said.

Middleton then notched a dramatic win over Madison Memorial when Victoria Bunz scored in the 86th minute to give the Cardinals a 2-1 victory.

Middleton took an early 1-0 lead when Wilson sliced her way through four defenders and scored in the 21st minute.

“We were moving the ball well, finding our outside forwards, controlling the midfield for the majority of the half with the occasional long ball chance from Memorial,” Duffy said. 

Memorial scored a quick goal to tie the game, 1-1, early in the second half. In some ways, though, the Spartans’ tally helped the Cardinals.

“That goal woke us up,” Duffy said. “And from then on we dominated every aspect of the game.”

The Cardinals couldn’t get the go-ahead goal, though, until Bunz emerged with the ball from a mis-clear by Memorial. Bunz gathered the ball and blasted a shot to the upper 90 near post. 

“At the end of (the game), we were all reminded through the struggles of the game that we are in this sport together,” Duffy said. “We were reminded what this sport is all about — each other, the bonds, the friends. 

“We were reminded that this season is made by the strong, talented, intelligent, compassionate players that work, fight, battle, sweat and laugh together and for each other.”

• On deck: Middleton was at Janesville Parker Tuesday and hosts Madison La Follette Thursday at 7 p.m. The Cardinals are then at the Brookfield East tournament Friday and Saturday.

 

May 5

Middleton 2, Madison Memorial

Madison Memorial ............... 0 1 — 1

Middleton …........................... 1 1 — 2

First half: MI — Martin, 20:36.

Second half: MM — Prudent, 49:44; MI — Bunz, 86:00.

 

MIDDLETON 2, VERONA 0

Middleton …………… 1 1 — 2

Verona ……………… 0 0 — 0

First half: Malak, 30:10.

Second half: Wilson, 46:53.

Saves: M (Powers) 4, V (Nelson) 11.

 

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