Sports

Thu
23
Sep
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Boys soccer team stays hot

The schedule — which has been daunting to begin the year — is about to get even tougher.

The good news for Middleton’s boys soccer team is they seem perfectly prepared for what lies ahead.

Middleton defeated Beloit Memorial, 5-1, on Sept. 14. The Cardinals then played Waunakee — the No. 4 ranked team in Division 1 — to a scoreless tie last Saturday.

Middleton is now 4-2-2 overall heading into a demanding week. The Cardinals were at Madison Memorial Tuesday, face Madison West at MATC Thursday at 7 p.m., then host No. 5 Verona on Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

• Middleton 5, Beloit Memorial 1 — The Cardinals scored three first half goals and cruised past the Purple Knights.

Junior Gunnar Brakel scored a pair of goals in the first four minutes. Tim Browning then had a goal in the 10th minute as Middleton’s lead ballooned to 3-0.

Thu
23
Sep
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Boys spikers topple Fort

Middleton’s boys volleyball had a quiet week.

But the Cardinals were plenty loud in their lone match.

Middleton rolled over Fort Atkinson, 25-5, 25-15, 25-13, on Sept. 13.

Cole Sweitzer, Ben Heise and John Kruchten all had seven kills, while Brody Stuttgen had 22 assists and Alex Heuer added 19 assists, six aces and seven digs. Kaden Fosdick also had two blocks.

“The guys came out and established themselves early,” Middleton coach Rob Kleinschmidt said. “We passed well and did a great job of controlling the match. 

“Brody and Alex ran a very balanced offense, with several players having five or more kills. Sometimes after a big win in the first game teams can let up on their intensity and we did a bit in the second game, but regained our focus quickly and finished well.”

• On deck: Middleton hosts Madison Edgewood Wednesday at 7 p.m., then hosts its own invitational Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.

 

Thu
23
Sep
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Tennis Cardinals still unbeaten in Big Eight

Middleton’s girls tennis team stayed unbeaten in Big Eight Conference matches last week with three impressive wins.

The Cardinals defeated Madison West, 6-1, on Sept. 13. Middleton then bested Janesville Craig, 7-0, on Sept. 14 and toppled Janesville Parker, 7-0, on Sept. 17.

“We are trying to focus on the little things that we can control, and that is showing up ready to play whoever the opponent might be,” Middleton coach Mat Given said. “These ladies have been working very hard every day to get better and improve their games.”

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ matches:

• Middleton 6, Madison West 1 — Sonya Agapov, Netra Somasundaram and Lydia Sabat posted straight set wins at No. 1, 2 and 3 singles for the Cardinals.

In doubles play, Rose Ryan and Ashley Andler rolled at No. 1, while Bella Conrad and Amy Li won in straight sets at No. 2. Cate Ohly and Caroline Sax also cruised at No. 3.

Thu
23
Sep
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Cross country teams shine at Grade Level Challenge

Middleton’s cross country programs are deep.

Incredibly deep.

So, when an event like the Big Eight Conference Grade Level Challenge comes around, the Cardinals like to give some of their other runners a chance to shine.

“I held out nine out of our top 10,” Middleton boys coach Brian Finnel said. “I think it's a good mental break (for the varsity runners) because it's likely these kids will be moving on for postseason competition. It was nice to focus on the (JV) group for the races and for them to show off their hard work.”

Middleton girls coach Alexa Richardson took a similar approach.

“This race was mostly junior varsity runners,” Richardson said. “However, experience-wise they raced like varsity runners.”

They sure did.

Middleton’s girls team finished third out of 10 teams. The Cardinals’ boys were fourth.

Fri
17
Sep
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Middleton answers the bell

Middleton Football.

It’s predicated on toughness, discipline, execution and intelligence.

And for the first two quarters of the Cardinals’ game with visiting Madison La Follette last Friday, Middleton fell short in every category.

Needless to say, halftime wasn’t pretty.

“We had a pretty heated heart to heart at halftime,” Middleton coach Jason Pertzborn said. “I said, ‘What you're doing out there isn’t Cardinal football.’ I jumped down a lot of people’s throats and they all came out and responded and did a great job.”

Boy, did they ever.

After a sloppy first half in which Middleton had 10 penalties, the Cardinals cleaned things up. Middleton scored 29 third quarter points, had just one second half penalty, eventually got a running clock and pulled away for a 55-12 win over the Lancers.

Middleton improved to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Eight Conference. La Follette fell to 0-4, 0-2.

Fri
17
Sep
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Boys spikers win 'Tosa East Invite

They are getting better every week.

They are taking down some of the top programs in the state.

And now, Middleton’s boys volleyball team has a championship to show for it.

The Cardinals went to the highly-competitive Wauwatosa East Invite last Saturday and captured the title. The Cardinals went 5-0 on the day, highlighted by wins over state-ranked Waukesha West and Wauwatosa East.

“We played well on the day,” Middleton coach Rob Kleinschmidt said. “We have been working hard on a few things in practice and we really saw the guys putting those things into play on Saturday.”

Middleton opened with a 25-14, 25-13 win over Shorewood. The Cardinals followed that with a 25-22, 25-19 victory over Menomonee Falls.

Middleton then faced ninth-ranked Waukesha West, a team that will be in the Cardinals’ sectional next month. Middleton continued its impressive play with a 25-22, 25-19 win over the Wolverines.

Fri
17
Sep
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Richardson named Coach of the Year

Alexa Richardson has been selected by the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association as the recipient of the 2020-21 NFHS Coaches Association Cross Country Coach of the Year Award for Wisconsin.

Richardson led Middleton to the WIAA Division 1 alternate-fall state championship in May. It was the Cardinals’ first state title since 2006.

“Receiving the award means the world to me,” Richardson said. “I never expect to get awards as a coach. I try to stay behind the scenes and let the girls take the limelight. I'm excited to receive the award on behalf of the Middleton Athletic Department. The support of my Athletic Directors and assistant coaches mean everything to me. It makes me feel good to know I'm doing something good for the program.”

Fri
17
Sep
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Malloy-Salgado steals the show

Zaira Malloy-Salgado is one of the top cross country runners in the state.

The Middleton junior is often lost in the shadow of her standout teammate Lauren Pansegrau, though.

At last Thursday’s Hartland Arrowhead Invite, though, Pansegrau took the day off and Malloy-Salgado stole the show.

Malloy-Salgado won the star-studded meet that featured 139 total runners and many of the state’s best. Malloy-Salgado helped Middleton finish first at the 20-team event.

“We came away with many PRs and happy faces from Arrowhead,” Middleton coach Alexa Richardson said.

None happier than Malloy-Salgado’s, who finished the 5,000-meter race in 18 minutes, 9.40 seconds. That was more than 15 seconds faster than runner-up Lily Kriegel of Whitefish Bay.

“I had Lauren do a workout instead of racing,” Richardson said. “That gave Zaira a chance to claim the spotlight, winning the varsity race. Zaira was very patient, went out and executed her plan perfectly.”

Fri
17
Sep
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Boys XC team shines at Arrowhead

Middleton boys cross country coach Brian Finnel warned people.

Now, they’re finding out what Finnel knew all along — that this year’s Cardinals could be elite.

Middleton went to the 18-team Hartland Arrowhead Invite last Thursday — a meet featuring five of the state’s top-10 teams — and finished second.

Homestead won the tournament with 67 points, while Middleton was second at 108. Kenosha Indian Trail (150), Marquette (159) and Oconomowoc (205) rounded out the top five.

Middleton was largely overlooked at the start of the year and Finnel told people not to sleep on his team. Now, the Cardinals are rolling and have moved up to No. 4 in the latest state poll.

“I was stoked about our performance at Arrowhead,” Finnel said. “We got second and I think that was the best case scenario at this point. Homestead is just on another level and I know we are striving to be where they are.”

Middleton had a bevy of exceptional performances.

Fri
17
Sep
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Girls spikers shine at own invite

Junior setter Evin Jordee was one happy camper last Saturday at Middleton High School.

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Middleton hosted the Cardinal Invite, which included 15 prep girls volleyball teams.

“I’m happy to have it back,” said Jordee, one of the Cardinals’ three co-captains. “It’s a great day, just getting to play all day.

“It was super fun my freshman year. Now being an upperclassman, it’s fun to show the underclassmen what it’s like to host a tournament and have all of our fans here along with a lot of teams we know.”

Middleton lost in two sets to Verona, 25-17 and 25-15, in the semifinals of the Gold Bracket championship round to finish in a tie for third-place.

Junior outside hitter and co-captain Jordan LaScala, who also competed in this tournament as a freshman, enjoyed the atmosphere on and off the court.

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