Soccer Cards survive brutal week

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel

Weeks don't come much tougher than the one Middleton’s girls’ soccer team just finished.

Two games against Big Eight Conference powers. Three games against elite competition at the Tournament of Champions in Burlington, Iowa.

The Cardinals took on that hefty challenge and came out of it OK.

Middleton and Madison West played to a scoreless tie on April 23, then the Cardinals defeated Madison Memorial, 1-0, on April 25.

Middleton then went 1-2 during its weekend trip to Iowa.

Columbia Hickman (Mo.) downed the Cardinals, 5-2, last Friday. Then Bradley-Bourbannais (Ill.) toppled Middleton, 2-0, last Saturday.

But the Cardinals ended on a high note with a 2-0 win over Moline (Ill.) last Saturday.

“Overall the weekend was good for the girls to get away and play some new teams, hang out with each other and have some fun despite the weather,” Middleton coach Mary Duffy said. “All the girls stepped up their play this weekend and hopefully we can use this experience to help us achieve some of our bigger season-long goals.”

Here’s a recap of Middleton’s week:

• Middleton 0, Madison West 0 — The Cardinals had the better of play most of the night, but couldn’t convert.

Talk about domination,” Duffy sad. “We had the better of play, opportunities, passing, movement, you name the game component and we dominated it — all except the scoreboard.”

• Middleton 1, Madison Memorial 0 — Tyler Wilson scored in the ninth minute following a corner kick from Victoria Bunz and the Cardinals made that tally stand up.

“While we didn't dominate possession and the game as well as the West game, if we kept stats of control and the ability to consistently make six or seven passes in a row without it (being) broken up by unforced error or defense, we would dominate that stat,” Duffy said. “Most teams, and Memorial is included on this, attempt to transition attack on us and have rarely created a built up possession on us.” 

Memorial had a last second shot that Cardinals keeper Emelie Gehrke- Kallstromer calmly tipped up and over the bar to end the game.

“We shut down Memorial's attack by switching some players around,” Duffy said. “And while we talked at the end of the game that the score didn't reflect the domination that we demonstrated this week, we need to stay the course. 

“Stay disciplined in our defense, in our mindset, in our goals and continue to work on our focus in the final third of the field to continue to create team opportunities to score.”

• Columbia Hickman 5, Middleton 2 — Hickman, ranked fifth in Illinois, proved to be the stronger side.

Middleton did take an early 1-0 lead when sophomore Anna Mintz found senior McKenzie Zocher just inside the penalty area. Zocher made one quick touch and turned, then made a second touch and buried a shot in the side netting.

Hickman rolled off five straight goals, though, before Tyler Wilson added a late goal for Middleton.

“A few mental lapses cost us three goals,” said Cardinals assistant coach Kevin Pauls, who coached the team in Iowa while Duffy was at a family wedding. “The four-hour bus ride seemed to drain us more mentally than physically.”

• Bradley Bourbonnais (Ill.) 2, Middleton 0 — The Cardinals played much better after a night of rest. But two breakdowns, caused in part by brutal field conditions, led to goals for Bradley Bourbonnais.

“Conditions were brutal, temperatures in the 40s with heavy winds blowing across the field coupled with constant rain,” Pauls said. “Both teams had good chances and the play was fairly even.

“Unfortunately, the conditions got the better of us and two separate defenders lost their footing, allowing Bradley Bourbonnais break the scoreless draw midway through the first half.”

Pauls highlighted the play of junior Emma Schuster on the wing and sophomore Ella D'Orazio in the midfield.

“At half we made a couple minor changes tactically and it paid off as we had the better play most of the half,” Pauls said. “We continued to pressure, but could not find the equalizer.”

• Middleton 2, Moline (Ill.) 0 — Wilson scored in the eighth minute on an assist from Zocher. Then in the 15th minute, Zocher’s goal on an assist from Hailey Kowalski gave Middleton a 2-0 edge.

Gehrke- Kallstromer finished with six saves for MHS, highlighted by a diving save that she pushed just past the post.

“Our depth really paid off as we had many injuries, but we maintained control of the game regardless of the shuffled lineup,” Pauls said.


April 23

Middleton 0, Madison West 0

Middleton ......................... 0 0 — 0

Madison West .................... 0 0 — 0

Saves: Mid (Gehrke-Kallstroner) 3; MW (Kettleson)


April 25

Middleton 1, Madison Memorial 0

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

Middleton ............................ 1 0 — 1

First: M — Wilson (Bunz), 8:43. Saves: MM (Collins)

8; MI (Gehrke) 2.



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