Boys soccer team tops Mount Horeb

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Adam Hatlan/For the Times-Tribune
Bryce Schuster (left) and Ben Tutewohl were all smiles after Middleton's boys soccer team defeated Mount Horeb on Sept. 22./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The Middleton and Mount Horeb boys soccer teams have each fared similarly in the 2018 season.

Both teams have less than stellar records, but the squads have played better than their records indicate and have played better soccer of late. 

The two teams squared off on Sept. 22 at Brietenbach Stadium in Middleton, and the Middleton held off Mount Horeb, 2-1, to capture a non-conference victory.

The Cardinals improved to 4-6-2 for the season, and sits in seventh place at 1-2-1 in the Big Eight. Mount Horeb fell to 2-9-0 and has a 2-1-0 record in the Badger North, good for third.

“Today was a good step forward for us,” said Middleton head coach Ben Kollasch. “We keep developing and taking steps forward each game. We’ve been trying to put together a full 90 minutes, and today was about there.”

The Vikings, who won the Division 3 state title in 2017, graduated their top four scorers from a year ago and have had a brutal schedule this fall. Mount Horeb has already faced five Big Eight opponents and 10 of its 18 scheduled opponents have been ranked at some point this season. 

The nine losses by the Vikings have come by a combined 14 goals and are all against Division 1 and Division 2 teams. Those teams also have a combined 59-20-14 record.

Mount Horeb’s loss to Middleton marked the fifth one-goal loss of the season for the Vikings — and their third consecutive one-goal setback.

“Middleton worked us pretty hard today,” said Mount Horeb head coach Mark Newman. “I thought we played well enough offensively in the first half that we could have gotten a goal. We had a few errors that they were able to take advantage of. The second half I think is attributable to them making us work really hard and working into our depth.”

Middleton is now 2-0-2 over its last four games, including a tie against seventh-ranked Madison Memorial. Middleton’s schedule — like Mount Horeb — has been unforgiving, as four of its six losses have come at the hands of ranked teams and by a combined nine goals.

Andrew Lund was the star for Middleton against Mount Horeb, as the senior forward scored both of Middleton’s goals. It was the second multi-goal game of Lund’s career. His other two-goal effort just came on Sept. 14 in a 4-0 win against Hudson.

“The goals felt great, especially since we hadn’t really done much in the first half. After the goals, everyone started clicking on all cylinders,” Lund said. “Our passing and ability to keep the ball lately has been great.”

Middleton came out of halftime and scored at the 54-minute mark. The Cardinals worked the ball around the midfield before senior midfielder Kyle Ballweg found an opening and sprung down the left side of the field. Ballweg then fed a beautiful cross to Lund - who was set up right of the goal - and Lund struck a high shot that ricocheted off Viking keeper Ben Leis’ hand above his head and into the back of the net to give Middleton a 1-0 lead.

Lund scored his second goal in the 59th minute. Like the first goal, Middleton worked the ball around the midfield until finding an opening in the Vikings’ defense, and Kyle Ballweg fed a cross from the left side of the field towards the middle. Leis attempted to pluck the ball out of the air and missed, leaving the goal unattended and giving Lund an easy tap in to make it 2-0.

“(The goals) weren’t carbon copies of each other, but Kyle Ballweg made great crosses on both of those goals,” said Kollasch. “When it comes down to it, Lund has been a great little sniper for us. He’s taking advantage of anything that comes his way. We put things in front of him and he scores goals.”

Mount Horeb tightened things up, scoring a goal in the 76th minute. After a Middleton foul, the Vikings’ George Schultz set up for a free kick from near midfield. Schultz struck a long ball that flew near the goal area, grazed off Tyler Banfield’s head, and skipped past Cardinal keeper Ben Scher on his right side and into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Mount Horeb put on some pressure over the final five minutes, getting a couple of good looks, but Middleton was able to hold on for the victory.

Mount Horeb will look to get back on track over the next few weeks as five of its final seven games are at home, with four of the contests against Badger North opponents. With regionals less than a month away, Newman knows his team has gained valuable experience, but will need to find an identity if they look to make a run in the postseason.

“Our goals are to win conference and then get to and win state. We’re 2-9 and it maybe sounds a little silly to say that, but we’re not out of our conference race,” Newman said. “If you’re playing your best ball at the end of the year, you know, I’ve got some guys who know how to win.

“That might be odd to say when you’re 2-9, but the experienced guys have been there: they know how to win. And that’s kind of where we are right now, trying to get the guys who haven't been there up to speed.”

Middleton will look to build off of its recent improved play as it heads to regionals in less than a month.

“We’re still in this hunt in the Big Eight. A bunch of people have losses and we can still do some things here,” Kollasch said. “We have more guys than I want injured right now, but we can put anybody on the field and still play well. I look for big things in the postseason.”

On deck: Middleton faced Beloit Memorial Tuesday, then travels to Janesville Parker Thursday at 7 p.m. The Cardinals then host Janesville Craig October 2 at 7:30 PM.

Mount Horeb   0   1….1

Middleton        0   2…..2

 

SCORING SUMMARY

SECOND HALF

MID- 54’ Lund (Ballweg assist)

MID- 59’ Lund

MH- 76’ Banfield (Schultz assist)

 

TEAM STATS

Shots: MID-13 MH-14 Shots on goal: MID-7 MH-8  Saves: MID-7 MH-5  Fouls: MID-9 MH-9  Corner kicks: MID-1 MH-5  Offsides: MID-7 MH-6

 

 

 

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