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Article Published November 28, 2019

Kadlof Bounces Back from Injury to Help the Huskies

By By Peter Vander Veer

Two summers ago, Morgan boys’ soccer player Alex Kadlof found out just how devastating an injury can be. While skateboarding near the beaches in Clinton, Alex slipped, fell off his board, and hit the ground at such an angle that he broke the tibia in his right leg, as well as growth plate. Alex knew right away that he was in trouble.

“Lucky that my younger brother Sebastian was there,” says Alex. “Otherwise, I would have had to depend on someone else.”

What followed was a long and grueling recovery period that forced Alex to miss his entire junior soccer season. The good news is that Alex returned to play center back for Morgan this year, while leading the team as a senior captain. Alex helped the Huskies put together another solid season in which they finished 15-3-3 after earning a share of the Shoreline Conference title and reaching the quarterfinals in the Class M State Tournament.

Head Coach Ross Demay was happy to see Alex get back in action. Demay says that Morgan sorely missed Alex when the team took a 2-1 loss to Old Saybrook in last year’s Class S state championship game.

“If Alex had been on the field that day against Old Saybrook, I’m convinced we would’ve won the title. He’s an excellent defender with field skills you just can’t teach,” Demay says. “His assignment was to always mark up against the other team’s top offensive player, the striker. He would usually shut them down.”

Missing the entire 2018 season was difficult experience for Alex. However, even though he wanted to be out there competing with teammates, Alex made the most of the time he spent on the sidelines.

“It wasn’t the ideal position to be in. That’s for sure,” Alex says. “I did get to see my team from a different angle. I learned a lot mentally.”

A few months later, Alex had a clean bill of health and was able to return to the field.

“I’d gone through over three months of physical therapy just trying to get myself strong again. It was a slow process, but I knew I had to be patient,” says Alex. “My goal was always to get as close to 100 percent as I could.”

Alex began kicking the ball with his left foot while he was still on crutches. He initiated a running program and then resumed practicing with his Premier team, the Connecticut Rush.

“There really wasn’t any time during the rehab period that I wasn’t nervous, but my confidence was growing,” Alex says. “And once I had some full contact, I knew I was ready to go.”

Alex got a huge boost when he joined his Morgan teammates on the pitch this fall. While the Huskies had graduated some key people from last year, Alex and his teammates were determined to have a quality campaign.

“We had lost eight starters through graduation from 2018, so we had to make some adjustments in our game and formations,” says Alex. “As the season moved along, the chemistry kept getting better. You could see the improvement taking place from game to game.”

Alex served as one of Morgan’s co-captains during the 2019 season. He enjoyed leading the team alongside fellow senior captain Zach Tuccitto.

“Because we were such a young team, leadership was important,” Alex says. “Zach and I had to stay strong for the younger players. It was our job to be role models. Some of our younger players didn’t have any varsity experience.”

One of those young up-and-comers is Alex’s younger brother Sebastian, who is a freshman at Morgan. Alex loved playing on the same club as his brother.

“I’d been waiting a few years anticipating the start of Sebbie’s high school career. It was great having him out there,” says Alex. “I worked with him prior to the season, making sure that he’d be ready.”

Coach Demay says that Alex has tremendous instincts as a defender. It’s a lot of responsibility, but Alex likes be relied upon to stop the opposition from putting shots on the Huskies’ goalkeeper.

“I’ve got to stay strong and composed for the team. If I make a mistake, it then leaves everything on the goalie,” Alex says. “Studying the other team’s striker is essential. I always have to know where he’s going and where he will be receiving the ball. If you can get a jump and be in the right position, it plays to your favor most of the time.”

Alex plays soccer for 10 months of the year and would like to continue his career at the collegiate level. Right now, Alex is leaning toward attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

“My goal is to find a school which has a strong engineering program and then give myself a chance to play,” says Alex.