Hawks pull off a stunner, snapping Montverde Academy’s 56-game winning streak

Viera High's Morgan Brubaker (in black) scored the only goal on an assist from Taylor George as the Hawks went on the road and defeated Montverde Academy 1-0 in a stunning upset earlier this week. Montverde Academy had won 56 consecutive games and was coming off three straight unbeaten seasons.

The Viera High girls soccer program has a rich history of success.

But what the Hawks did earlier this week in their season opener was a stunner.

Morgan Brubaker scored on an assist from Taylor George and goalkeeper Ellie Gathercole made 14 saves as Viera went on the road and ended Montverde Academy’s 56-game winning streak with a 1-0 victory.

“They were ecstatic. They were screaming and shouting,” Viera coach Cal Dixon said of his player’s reaction after the win. “They were very happy for sure.”

Montverde Academy had gone undefeated the past three seasons. It was the first loss for the Eagles since Dec. 16, 2017 against a St. John’s Country Day team that was ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time.

The Eagles won the final nine games of that season – including the Class 4A state championship – then went 23-0 and won another state championship the following season.

Montverde went independent in 2019-20 and went 12-0, including back-to-back wins over eventual Class 3A state champion Bolles and Class 7A champ Bartram Trail.

Last year’s Montverde team had an 11-0 record that included a victory over eventual Class 3A champion Lakeland Christian.

After beating Merritt Island and Melbourne in the preseason, the Eagles opened up this season with an 8-0 victory over Seabreeze.

During their 56-game winning streak, the Eagles outscored their opponents 237-30 and recorded 37 shutouts.

In the practices leading up to Tuesday night’s game – which was the season opener for Viera – Dixon and his staff told the players that they wouldn’t have scheduled the game if they didn’t think they had a chance.

And while stressing just how hard and how well his team would have to play to get the job done, Dixon told his players to imagine what it would feel like to walk off the field with a victory.

Well, they don’t have to imagine it anymore. They lived it.

“We had a game plan going in,” Dixon said. “The girls executed that game plan unbelievably. We knew we were going to have to do a lot of defending, but my goalkeeper played excellent. The entire team worked really hard for the whole 80 minutes.

“They had a lot of chances, but like I said, my goalkeeper played well. We restricted them to shooting from distance, so they were shooting from 25 and 30 yards a lot.”

Because the Hawks were defending so much, they figured they might be able to counter Montverde and catch the Eagles off guard.

Viera had a couple of chances in the first half, and while the Hawks couldn’t connect, their confidence grew.

Then, in the 62nd minute, they got the goal they were looking for.

“Taylor George held the ball up, Morgan Brubaker made a run through and Taylor slotted it through to her. Morgan had a great finish,” Dixon said.

Viera was able to withstand the Montverde attack for the final 18 minutes, and the Hawks secured the victory.

“The girls worked so hard, executed our game plan really well,” Dixon said. “We obviously have a ton of respect for Montverde. They played really well and they are really good.

“To get that result was just unbelievable.”

While the win was certainly one of the biggest in the history of a Viera program that has two state championships of its own, Dixon reminded his players there is still a full season ahead of them and a lot of important games to play as they chase another title.

“I really wanted them to enjoy the moment, and understand how big of a moment that is, but it means nothing if we go to Rockledge next week and lose, or we got to a game that we’re supposed to win and don’t,” Dixon said. “On the flip side of that, understand who you’ve just beaten, which is probably the No. 1 team in the country – definitely Florida.

“And if you can do that, there’s no reason why you can’t win a state championship, either.”