KPAX Year in Review: Montana Grizzlies defense dominates late to claim Big Sky soccer championship

Posted at 5:29 PM, Dec 27, 2018

MISSOULA – It took most of the season for Montana soccer to put it all together. But when they did, the Big Sky didn’t have a chance.

The Griz won only a single game in non-conference play, and went into the final week of Big Sky competition needing a couple wins to even make the conference tournament. They went to Ogden, Utah as the five-seed, and then shut out three straight opponents to claim the championship. UM beat number four Northern Arizona 1-0, top-seed Weber State 2-0, and number three Northern Colorado 1-0 in the championship.

“It was amazing,” said senior defender Taryn Miller. “I couldn’t have imagined a better place to be my senior year. We’re peaking at the right times. It’s so much fun.”

“I still haven’t comprehended it,” admitted first year head coach Chris Citowicki. “I can’t believe how it just all fell into place at the right time. I know I was saying it. And I believed it. But I still can’t believe it happened. So it’s just incredible.”

“Looking back a couple months ago I think we were all hoping, and crossing our fingers, and still putting in so much work. Hoping that the results would pay off,” said senior forward Janessa Fowler. “And to definitely be on the field yesterday and know it was all for such a purpose, and to be with all of these girls, it’s just been incredible.”

The run ended with a 5-1 loss at Washington State the following week, in Montana’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2011.