Sports

Fri
29
Oct
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Soccer Cards fall in regional finals

SUN PRAIRIE  — Middleton’s boys soccer team left it all on the pitch in its bid to win a WIAA Division 1 regional title on Ashley Field at the Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium last Saturday afternoon.

But an early two-goal deficit proved to be too much to overcome as third-seeded Sun Prairie held on for a 2-1 victory over fourth-seeded Middleton on a beautiful sun-splashed fall afternoon.

“After they got two, I said we needed one by halftime,” Middleton coach Kevin Pauls said. “We got the one and that got us going. That got the wind back in our sails a little bit.

“We were the better team in the second half by far. We just didn’t put the ball in the back of the net. That’s the way soccer goes sometimes. You can be the best team and not get a win.”

Wed
20
Oct
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Football Cards thinking big this postseason

Jason Pertzborn did the math and crunched the numbers.

And when things played out exactly like Pertzborn anticipated, Middleton’s football coach was one happy camper last Friday night.

The Cardinals received a No. 3 seed in their WIAA Division 1 playoff pod and will host Madison Memorial in a Level 1 game Friday at 7 p.m. It was the first season a computerized format determined the seeds instead of coaches, and Pertzborn was awfully happy with the results.

“That’s where I figured we would be all along,” Pertzborn said. “From my lens, there’s no surprises, so I’m happy about that. Now, we’ve just got to take care of our business.”

Sun Prairie (9-0) is the No. 1 seed in the pod, followed by Wisconsin Rapids (6-3), Middleton (6-3), Fond du Lac (5-4), Verona (6-3), Madison Memorial (5-4), Oshkosh West (4-5) and Madison La Follette (3-6).

If the seeds hold, Middleton would travel to Wisconsin Rapids for a Level 2 game on Oct. 29.

Wed
20
Oct
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Somasundaram comes up aces at state

She exceeded her seed.

She was one of the final players still standing.

And she still has two more years to shine.

Middleton tennis standout Netra Somasundaram reached the semifinals of the WIAA Division 1 individual state meet at Nielsen Tennis Stadium last weekend. Somasundaram, a sophomore who entered the tournament seeded seventh, eventually settled for fourth place during a memorable weekend.

“I was pretty happy with beating my seed in the tournament,” Somasundaram said afterwards. “I definitely think I played some of my best tennis this season. I played challenging players and personally think the experience increased my game.”

Middleton coach Mat Given agreed.

“Netra had a great weekend and I am super proud of the way she competed,” Given said. “The Division 1 singles draw was absolutely loaded with talent and for her to come out with a fourth place finish speaks volumes about her game and her hard work.

Wed
20
Oct
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Girls XC team rolls at Big Eight meet

SUN PRAIRIE — Lauren Pansegrau and Middleton’s girls cross country team successfully crossed off several items on their checklist last Saturday at the Big Eight Conference meet at Sheehan Park.

Pansegrau repeated as individual champion, and Middleton captured the team championship as the Cardinals placed five runners in the top seven to defend its conference title won in 2019.

No conference meet was held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Middleton finished with 19 points to easily outdistance runner-up Madison West, which finished with 59 points. Madison Memorial was third with 94 points in the eight-team race.

“It was something I was looking forward to,” Pansegrau said. “It’s crazy because it’s a lot of people’s last meet. So I’m real excited for how our team did. I know we’ve been working hard for this. I’m real proud of everyone.

Wed
20
Oct
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Boys XC team sprints to second at Big 8 meet

SUN PRAIRIE — Senior Griffin Ward did his part to try to help Middleton defend its Big Eight Conference boys cross country championship at Sheehan Park last Saturday.

Ward captured his first individual conference title, winning the 5,000-meter race in 15 minutes, 58.5 seconds.

And while it wasn’t enough to help catch Madison West, which placed four runners in the top 12 to win the team title with 52 points, the three-time defending conference champion Cardinals were able to capture a second-place tiebreaker thanks to contributions from the rest of Ward’s teammates.

“We tied La Follette,” Middleton coach Brian Finnel said. “But Miles Wagener finished in 38th place. La Follette’s No. six (senior Ian Jamarillo) was in 39th place. So we literally won the tiebreaker by one spot.

Wed
20
Oct
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Boys soccer team hopes to shine in playoffs

It's now or never.

And Kevin Pauls believes the correct answer is now.

Pauls, Middleton’s boys soccer coach, leads his Cardinals into the postseason this week. And Pauls believes good things are in store for MHS.

Middleton received the No. 6 seed in its WIAA Division 1 Sectional and hosted 11th-seeded Oconomowoc in a regional semifinal on Tuesday. The Cardinals entered that game with a 10-5-4 record, while the Raccoons are 5-7.

“Oconomowoc looks tough and I think their record is misleading,” Pauls said. “They are organized well and play good defense. They play in the Classic 8, which is just behind the Big Eight in my opinion. They've played a lot of tight games and will be battle tested.

Wed
20
Oct
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Boys spikers hoping for postseason magic

Middleton’s boys volleyball team begins postseason play Friday night.

And the Cardinals are heading to the playoffs with a full head of steam.

Middleton won the Big Eight Conference tournament last Friday. The Cardinals also notched dual meet wins over Madison East and Kimberly last week.

Now, Middleton hopes the second season is its best one yet.

The Cardinals, who earned the No. 1 seed in their sectional, host eighth-seeded Madison East in a regional final Friday at 7 p.m. If Middleton wins there, it would host either fourth-seeded Madison Memorial or fifth-seeded Madison La Follette in a sectional semifinal Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“We have seen all of these teams in conference, so we have a good idea of our game plans moving forward,” Middleton coach Rob Kleinschmidt said. “Our team is definitely coming together and playing good ball lately. I am looking forward to the tournament. It is the most fun time of the year.”

Wed
20
Oct
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Girls spikers hoping for playoff run

Middleton’s girls volleyball team settled for second place at the Big Eight Conference tournament last Saturday.

The Cardinals reached the championship match, but fell to Verona, 25-16, 25-17.

Middleton had won the Big Eight Conference’s dual meet championship with a perfect 9-0 record.

“We fought hard all day, not dropping any sets until our final match,” Middleton coach Maddie Vogel said. “Verona is always a tough competitor and unfortunately they just had more gas left in the tank at the end of the day.” 

At the conference tournament, the Cardinals opened with a 25-16, 25-15 win over Beloit Memorial. Middleton followed that with a 25-23, 25-11 win over Sun Prairie.

The Cardinals then cruised past Madison La Follette, 25-14, 25-7. Middleton then bested Madison Memorial, 25-23, 25-20.

In the semifinals, the Cardinals rolled past Janesville Craig, 25-22, 25-20. Middleton then fell to Verona in the title match.

Wed
20
Oct
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MHS swimmers win Big Eight

Nine have tried.

And now, nine have failed.

Madison La Follette became the latest Big Eight Conference squad to try knocking off Middleton’s girls swimming and diving team last Friday.

When that plan failed — and Middleton cruised to a 138-32 win — the Cardinals locked up the conference title with a perfect 9-0 record.

“It is a great accomplishment for our team to have finished all the dual meets undefeated, and is a great testament to how deep our team is,” Middleton coach R.J. Leiferman said. “However, our biggest meets for the season are still to come, and we know winning all our dual meets is not a guarantee of anything going forward. So it will definitely be a fun challenge to see if we can carry our success from the dual meets into conference, sectionals, and state.”

Middleton had several impressive performances in its win over La Follette.

Thu
14
Oct
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Golfers settle for third at state

MADISON — Every test placed in front of them was aced.

Every challenge they faced was handled with aplomb.

When Middleton’s girls golf team took its final exam, though, on Tuesday, the unexpected took place. For the first time in 2021, the Cardinals didn’t have all the answers.

At the WIAA Division 1 state tournament held at University Ridge Golf Course, Middleton settled for third place.

It marked the first time this season the Cardinals weren’t first in a competition. And it ended Middleton’s hopes for a third straight state title.

“I wish I could have figured it out, but I couldn’t,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “It was just like they let a bad hole affect so many more holes. In the past, we’ve been able to recover very quickly, but for some reason today they just couldn't get it back and they just kind of let it snowball. And it was too bad.”

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