Soccer Cards earn postseason honors

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MTT News Desk's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton senior defenseman Jack Hagstrom was named first-team all-Big Eight Conference./File photo


Ben Kollasch would have loved greater representation.

Who wouldn’t?

But even though Kollasch — Middleton’s boys soccer coach — felt his Cardinals deserved more than five all-Big Eight Conference players, he understood the process.

“The parity in the Big Eight Conference makes it tougher and tougher to get players recognized,” said Kollasch, whose team finished the year 12-8 overall. “The relatively low amount of Middleton players — compared to previous years — is much more a function of the rest of the league getting better as opposed to Middleton getting worse. 

“(Madison) West finished fifth in the conference standings, but tore through the playoffs up to the state semis. The Big Eight is becoming one of the hallmark soccer conferences in the state.”

As it was, the Cardinals fared just fine.

Senior defender Jack Hagstrom was a unanimous first-team selection. Senior forward Trent McKinnon and junior midfielder Devin Ott were named second-team all-league. And senior midfielder Will Salmon, senior forward Emerson Kovacs and senior defender Devin Vandermause were named honorable-mention all-conference.

Hagstrom had a sensational season finishing with a team-high 12 goals and 25 points. Hagstrom also had a team-best five game-winning goals and was truly a do-everything player for the Cardinals.

“Jack Hagstrom is all-universe in my book,” Kollasch said. “I have never seen a central defender lead a team offensively. He did that, not only in goals scored — by a large margin — but he was our emotional leader and go-to guy on offense. 

“He scored lots of goals out of the air, but also off free kicks and through the run of play. He was often the most tightly marked player on our team and he shored up the defense too. He was voted our ‘Most Valuable Defender’ by his teammates and statistically was also our best attacker.”

Ott had three goals and four assists (10 points), as well as two game-winning goals.

“Devin has such a smooth touch and awareness of the field,” Kollasch said. “He has moves that make opponents look silly. He is our only junior represented in all-conference awards and we look for great things to come from him.”

McKinnon had a team-high seven assists. He added five goals and finished second on the team with 17 points.

“Trent racked up more assists than goals and was the strongest target forward in the conference this year,” Kollasch said

Kovacs was third on the team with 11 points. Kovacs finished with four goals, three assists, and two game-winning goals.

“He brought energy to our attack and a creative streak that allowed for unexpected opportunities to pop up,” Kollasch said of Kovacs. “He was often the offensive spark that created a chance.”

Vandermause had five assists and was a solid cog in back all season.

“A solid, second year starting defender,” Kollasch said of Vandermause. “He gave us an offensive capability from his great long serves as he moved forward.”

Salmon shined in the midfield and finished with three goals and one assist for seven points.

“Will was the workhorse of our midfield,” Kollasch said. “Will defended and attacked and did everything we asked and more.

“He does not have flashy statistics, but was consistently a thorn in opponents' sides and consistently part of shaping our attack. He started every game this season because of it.”

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