Editor’s note: The time of the MVU/Montpelier game in Montpelier was changed since this story was originally published. The start time for the girls game is now 5 pm in Montpelier.
By Ben Kaufmann
Missisquoi’s soccer teams hit the road Tuesday and came back with a pair of upset wins and berths in their respective Division II quarterfinals. The Thunderbird girls continued a strong season with a double-overtime thriller over Stratton Mountain and the boys avenged last year’s upset at the hands of Hartford with one of their own.
The MVU girls won their first playoff game as a 12-seed since 2002, and their first playoff game overall since 2011, with a 1-0 win in double-overtime over Stratton Mountain.
The (No.12) Thunderbirds had gone more than three years without a win of any kind prior to this season. Those struggles are now a distant memory as Missisquoi followed an 8-6 regular season with an upset of (No. 5) Stratton Mountain.
Alex Brouillette’s goal in the second overtime period was the 14th shot of the day for MVU, which needed 10 saves from goalie Madison Conley to stay in the game. Stratton Mountain (7-1-1) plays a shortened schedule but had not lost a game this year until Missisquoi came to town.
MVU’s last playoff win was a penalty-shootout victory at Vergennes as an 11-seed in 2011. On Friday, the T-Birds will travel to (No. 4) Montpelier (11-1-3) for a 5:00 pm quarterfinal kickoff. MVU will be looking for its first ever road win in a quarterfinal and first semifinal berth overall since a 2000 trip to the Division I final four.
Also seeded 12th and on a long road trip in their Division II playdown was the Missisquoi boys team. The Thunderbirds traveled to (No. 5) Hartford, which had upset Missisquoi in Swanton in the same round of last year’s playoffs, and stole a 1-0 win to advance to a Friday quarterfinal at Milton.
Missisquoi will have its work cut out against (No. 4) Milton, which crushed (No. 13) Fair Haven on Tuesday, 10-0. As tough as Milton has been this season, MVU has held its own against the Yellowjackets, dropping a pair of close decisions (1-0 in Swanton and 2-0 in the regular-season finale at Milton).
On Tuesday, MVU avenged last year’s playdown loss to the Hartford Hurricanes, the Thunderbirds had been seeded fourth and dropped a 3-1 stunner at home. Like the MVU girls, the boys hadn’t won a playoff game since 2011 before earning this quarterfinal berth.
Milton and Missisquoi kick off in Milton at 3:00 on Friday.