Soccer Cards fall in sectional semis

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Ben Tutewohl (right) and Middleton’s boys soccer team lost to Verona, 5-3, in a sectional semifinal last Friday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Their plan was to be aggressive, assertive and forceful all 90 minutes.

Middleton’s boys soccer team decided that its best chance to knock off top-seeded Verona in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal last Friday was by taking the fight to the Wildcats.

The Cardinals did just that — and scored more goals against Verona than anyone else has all season. But Middleton’s defense also had critical breakdowns and the Wildcats defeated the Cardinals, 5-3.

Middleton finished the year 13-6-3, while Verona (19-1-2) defeated Madison West in the sectional finals and qualified for state for the first time in school history.

“We really thought that we could get our best shot at Verona by focusing on the attack,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “Our defense has played well — and did play well against Verona — and we have a high-powered offense that has come together even more in the last few weeks.

“I think we would have scored more in the last few weeks, but we had opted not to take chances that were good in favor of getting a better chance with one more pass or one more move to try to open up something better and that led to less actual opportunities on goal. We went into Verona with the mantra to take the chances we make and clean up any misplays by the defense.”

At times, that plan worked to perfection. At others, it left the Cardinals vulnerable to the Wildcats’ attack.

Verona raced to a 2-0 lead in the first 29 minutes, before Middleton’s Ben Tutewohl scored in the 36th minute to pull the Cardinals within 2-1 at halftime.

Verona answered, though, with a pair of goals early in the second half and stretched its lead to 4-1. Middleton’s Cian Carlson struck in the 60th minute to pull the Cardinals back within 4-2.

But Verona scored in the 72nd minute, before Middleton’s Peter Tuttle countered in the 75th minute to finish the scoring.

“The focus on attack did work as we planned,” Kollasch said. “We got our goals off half chances and defensive miscues that we cleaned up. We became the only team to score three on Verona all year.

“But it just wasn't enough. Verona has so many athletes that are so experienced and so fast and have played so many years together that they can't be held back easily. We had our chances and even given all the other factors we were a few bounces away from a very different game. The final score may not have looked like it was close, but this was a tight run game for most of it and had knife edge moments throughout.”

Middleton loses a terrific senior class that included captains Blake Kalscheur, Tuttle and Carlson, as well as Nick Hinz, John Douglas, Julio Lima Sanchez, Max Rateau, Nic Castillo, Jack Ohly, Isaac Gueu and Alex Schuster.

But Kollasch is optimistic that the group he’ll bring back in 2020 can do some real damage.

Tutewohl led the Cardinals in goals (17), assists (12) and points, while Ezra Joseph ranked second in goals (12) and points (30).

“Together they combined for nearly half the goals and assists,” Kollasch said.

Sophomore Gavin McEllistrem started in the central midfield, while big things will be expected from junior forward Noah Corrigan and sophomore midfielder Chase Quamme.

Junior midfielder Ian Staresinic and junior defender Trey Belgiano had terrific 2019 seasons. Others such as junior midfielder Luis Martinez Cruz, junior defender Guyan Gibson, junior midfielder/defender Eli Simani, junior defender Sean Ruhly and sophomore keeper Mack Meyers will see expanded roles.

“Looking forward, we continue to have a talented team to work with,” Kollasch said.

 

VERONA 5, MIDDLETON 3

Middleton 1 2 — 3

Verona 2 3 — 5

First half: V — Simonett, 17:00; Lynch (Abreu), 29:00; M — Tutewohl, 36:00.

Second half: V — Gamez (Knight), 52:00; Abreu (pk), 55:00; M — Carlson (Joseph), 60:00; V — McNuckle, 72:00; M — Tuttle (Rateau), 75:00.

Saves: M (Hinz) 10; V (Hanson) 7

 

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