Soccer Cardinals fall to Waunakee

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Dennis Semrau/For the Times-Tribune
Taylor Rough (right) and Middleton's girls soccer team fell to Waunakee last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

WAUNAKEE – It was a fitting matchup of two of the state’s top girls’ soccer teams when Waunakee hosted Middleton in a non-conference dual last Saturday night.

According to Middleton coach Mary Duffy and Waunakee coach Ben Voss, it most likely won’t be the last meeting between the two elite programs either.

The coaches agreed they would like to see their teams meet during the regular season on a yearly basis. They also could see each other again during the WIAA postseason tournament.

Middleton sophomore forward Victoria Bunz helped the Cardinals forge a second-half tie with their lone goal of the game.

But Waunakee used a late goal from senior midfielder Josie Bono to pull out a 2-1 victory over Middleton to extend the Warriors’ unbeaten streak to four games.

“Victoria (Bunz) finished one and we had a couple more chances we could have finished,” Duffy said. “But it was a good game.”

Both teams had scoring opportunities before junior forward Anne Dotzler got Waunakee on the scoreboard at 33 minutes, 29 seconds, tapping in a rebound after Warriors’ senior forward Sarah McLaughlin’s shot was deflected.

“That was a result of Middleton trying to keep it on one side of the field, and I thought we did a nice job of switching it out,” Voss said. “Anne made the run at the right time to complete the play.”

Middleton was unable to pull even before halftime, taking a 1-0 deficit into the break. But Duffy said the Cardinals simply regrouped and were determined to take control in  the second half.

“In the first half when we got down, it wasn’t like we got dominated,” Duffy said. “Both sides had their chances. It was a nice back-and-forth game.

“At halftime, we switched some of our formations so we could expose some of their weaknesses with our strengths, which helped a little bit.”

The Cardinals finally got the equalizer when Bunz tied the game, 1-1, with an unassisted goal off a sliding kick from the left side of the goal at the 51:18 mark.

“Victoria got a throw-in from (senior defender Lauren) Hendricks, which she took up and over and beat a couple of players,” Duffy said. “She got around the defense for a nice goal and gave us some momentum at that point.”

Bunz admitted the goal gave the team some momentum, but the Cardinals just came up short.

“We had our opportunities, but just couldn’t finish them tonight,” Bunz said. “We did a good job of moving the ball and taking advantage of our team speed.”

The Cardinals had numerous opportunities the rest of the game, but were unable to score despite keeping the pressure on Waunakee senior goalkeeper Alyssa Kuhn, who finished with six saves.

Middleton junior goalkeeper Emelie Gehrke-Kallstromer finished with two saves.

“They’re a good team and they kept the pressure on us, too,” Gehrke-Kallstromer said. “We matched up well with them.”

Bunz nearly gave the Cardinals the lead when her point-blank shot hit the crossbar in the 57th minute. Middleton junior midfielder Kendall Roquet then scooped up the rebound, but her attempt was denied by Kuhn, whose diving save to her right drew a roar of approval from the Waunakee bench.

“(Kuhn) made the play when she had to,” Bunz said.

That left it up to Bono — who plans to attend the University of Wisconsin, where her father, is the Badgers’ wrestling coach — to convert the game-winner at 81:26.

Bono received a crisp crossing pass from the right corner from senior forward and Butler University recruit Maddie Farnsworth and scored from about 20 yards on the right wing.

“The team kept working and got rewarded for it,” Voss said of Bono’s goal. “We were putting them under pressure. I think (Bono) got rewarded for the work ethic she put in for 90 minutes.”

Middleton didn’t back down during the final 8-plus minutes, but was unable to pull even one more time.

“We moved the ball really well,” Duffy said. “That has been one of our strengths. We have an edge in possessing the ball against most teams we play. Waunakee was more effective in that.

“But we have great speed, so we decided to attack on their wing space which we thought we could use to our advantage and did a good job with that. We just needed one more goal.”

Middleton (6-3-2) was ranked seventh in Division 1 in last week’s Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association poll. Meanwhile, Waunakee (11-1-2) was ranked second in Division 1 and fourth overall, which includes all divisions.

Although the game did not count in their respective conference races, the matchup between the Cardinals and host Warriors will have an impact at the upcoming Division 1 seeding meeting on May 18.

After advancing to the WIAA Division 2 sectional finals last year, Waunakee was moved into Division 1 this spring and will compete in the same sectional as Middleton.

The last time the teams met in the playoffs was in a Division 1 sectional semifinal on June 6, 2013 when Middleton prevailed 1-0 at Waunakee. Their previous regular season meeting was on May 18, 2015 when the teams played to a 1-1 tie at Waunakee.

Voss said the Warriors would look forward to a rematch in the playoffs.

“I think they’re tough,” Voss said of Middleton. “They’re good on the ball. They challenge well. They push you off the ball. They kind of take you out of your game with their physical play. They’ve always been physical. They play fast, which is good. We got caught being a little reactive instead of being proactive.

“At the end of the day, they just have really good athletes. They’ve always had good athletes that in their system do a very nice job. They’re well-coached. We just happened to finish two opportunities, one more than they did.”

• Middleton 10, Beloit Memoril/Turner 0 — The Cardinals rolled past the Purple Knights on April 30.

• On deck: Middleton was at Janesville Parker Tuesday, then hosts Janesville Craig Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Cardinals are then at the Brookfield East Invite Friday and Saturday.

Middleton faces Muskego Friday at 4:30 p.m., then meets Brookfield East Saturday at 9 a.m.


May 4

Waunakee 2, Middleton 1

Middleton …. 0 1 — 1

Waunakee … 1 1 — 2

First half: W – Anne Dotzler (Sarah McLaughlin), 33:29.

Second half: M – Victoria Bunz, 51:21; W – Josie Bono (Maddie Farnsworth), 81:26.

Saves: M (Emelie Gehrke-Kallstromer) 2; W (Alyssa Kuhn) 6.




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