MHS boys soccer team aiming high

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Ezra Joseph and Middleton’s boys soccer team hopes to surprise this season./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Overlooked.

Disregarded.

Unnoticed.

Middleton’s boys soccer coach Ben Kollasch believes that all of those could apply to his team — at least early on this season. The Cardinals went just 10-8-2 a year ago, then lost four all-conference players to graduation.

But after watching tryouts, Kollasch believes his Cardinals could be one of the surprise teams in the area this fall.

Middleton takes aim at that goal beginning Thursday, when it opens the year against New Berlin Eisenhower at the Brookfield East Invite.

“The challenge of this team is not the talent,” Kollasch said. “This team has as much talent as any Middleton team in memory.

“The challenge for them is that we have sets of players that need to get used to playing together and finding a style and formation to suit them. My goal is to get them unified in a playing style to maximize their abilities. If they learn how to be a full team, this group can dominate local competition and carry us to the state tourney.”

Middleton does return four players that received some form of all-conference honors.

Senior defender Peter Tuttle earned second-team all-conference honors last season. Junior forward Ezra Joseph, along with junior defenders Cian Carlson and Blake Kalscheur all received honorable-mention all-conference honors.

Tuttle, a three-year varsity player, had nine points on two goals and five assists last year — impressive numbers for a defender.

“Peter can physically outmatch opponents anywhere on the field,” Kollasch said. “So we are just looking to find the right spot for him given the situation.”

Carlson and Kalscheur had big junior seasons, and will be counted on to help anchor Middleton’s defense in 2019.

“Both of these guys are center backs with experience leading the team,” Kollasch said. “So we are looking for them to raise not only their own play, but the whole defensive side of the game for us.”

Joseph led the Cardinals in points (24) and assists (eight) last year. He also finished tied for second in goals (eight).

Joseph will team with senior forward Isaac Gueu to form a potentially dangerous duo. Although Gueu battled injuries last year, Kollasch believes the Joseph-Gueu tandem could be scary.

“These two are at the top of their game and they play off each other really well,” Kollasch said.

Senior central midfielder Julio Lima Sanchez seems ready for a big year.

“He has been stationed behind a string of great midfielders to come through Middleton in the last few years,” Kollasch said of Lima Sanchez. “So we are looking for him to step into the limelight himself.”

Kollasch believes junior Ben Tutewohl can become one of the top midfielders in the conference. Sophomore forward/midfielder Gavin McEllistrem has also begun turning heads.

“He is a playmaker much the same as Ben Tutewohl,” Kollasch said of McEllistrem. “And the two will be a potent one-two punch on offense.”

Senior Nick Hinz and sophomore Mack Meyers are battling for the keeper job.

“Both would be good choices, so I am fortunate to have a competent starter with a great backup,” Kollasch said. “We will decide a true starter in the next week or two as we get into the meat of the season.”

Verona, which won the Big Eight Conference a year ago, is the favorite again. Madison West is strong, while Sun Prairie and Beloit Memorial should factor in, as well.

But Kollasch expects his team to be right in the hunt.

And if that’s a surprise to the rest of the league, even better.

“With key players from sophomores to seniors, we need each player to pull their weight and play their role,” Kollasch said. “Conference champs? If they want to be and work hard its within reach. 

“No one will expect us to have the kind of potent offense I have seen in tryouts after the players we graduated last year. It should be fun.”

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