MAU shuts out Rutland to advance in D-I

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BENNINGTON — Around this time last year, the Mount Anthony girls soccer team was stuck in a scoreless tie with Burlington in the Division I playdowns with penalty kicks to decide the fate of its season.

The goal in that moment was simple for the Patriots. Put the ball past the goalie more times than the opponent and move on to play top-seeded and eventual state champion Burr and Burton in the Division I quarterfinals. The ball didn't roll MAU's way that day, but this time the No. 7 seeded Patriots are determined to right the wrong of last season.

MAU got off on the right foot this time around as the Patriots topped rival Rutland 2-0 Wednesday afternoon at Spinelli Field.

The two teams had met twice previously this year, with both teams getting a win at home. MAU coach Mark Boudreau was excited to get the shutout win, but he knows there is more his team can give as they move forward.

"We played good enough to win. I thought we were very good in spurts," Boudreau said. "We gave the other team way too much time on the ball. We weren't effective at pressing the ball and taking away their passes and that's a good team on the ball and a good passing team."

On the offensive side, Boudreau was impressed with the Patriots' play, citing set pieces, passing and ball control all as major pluses in the team's play.

Both of MAU's goals came in the first half. The first was put in by sophomore Jordan Mattison, her sixth tally of the year, about halfway through the first half, with an assist from Kaity O'Brien on the play. The second was scored by senior Kaidin Gauthier, her team-leading seventh score, who had an impressive kick from outside the box that found the back of the net.

Those first half goals put the Patriots in control, but Boudreau was hoping it would key stronger play for his team in the second half and he didn't think it fully did.

"It's adrenaline," Boudreau said. "It's the playoffs, so I think we played with a little too much adrenaline and I don't think we settled in. We should have been able to."

The play of the MAU defense and goaltending was impressive. Keeper Maddy Breese and the defense had five shutouts on the season coming into the game and Wednesday's effort adds another clean sheet for the Patriots.

"Any time you can show you can defend is great," Boudreau said. "We play a very good team defense. If it's BBA, they're a very effective scoring team, so we need to play a really tight defense. Essex scored a few on us too when we played them. So either of those teams, we have to play tight."

With Wednesday's game now in the rear mirror, MAU now turns its attention to its quarterfinal matchup against either the No. 2 Bulldogs or No. 15 Essex, who play today at 3 p.m. The Hornets topped MAU in the infant stages of the season with a 3-2 win on September 2. The Patriots and BBA have played three times already this season with the Bulldogs coming out on top in every contest. The quarterfinal game is scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed on Twitter @AAucoin_Banner


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