(Editor’s note: Story by Griz Communications)
MISSOULA – Montana’s Taryn Miller has been named one of 30 national candidates for the Senior CLASS Award for women’s soccer, which recognizes final-year student-athletes who have had notable achievements in the areas of competition, classroom, character and community.
CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School.
The list of 30 candidates — only a dozen of which come from schools west of the Mississippi, none outside of Miller from the Big Sky Conference — will be narrowed down to 10 finalists next month for nationwide voting by media, coaches and fans.
Miller becomes the third Griz soccer player to make the initial cut to 30 from the original nomination pool.
Lauren Costa made the list in 2012. Brooke Moody did so in 2014 and also advanced one step further by being named one of 10 finalists. She was ultimately named a second-team Senior CLASS All-American.
Both played center back and both were voted the Big Sky Conference Defensive MVP — or co-MVP in Moody’s case — their final season in a Griz uniform.
It’s the position Miller plays, and she earned Big Sky Defensive MVP honors last season as a junior.
After playing in a reserve role as a freshman and sophomore, Miller had a breakout season last fall, earning first-team All-Big Sky accolades after the Grizzlies led the league with a 0.72 goals-against average and had a second-place regular-season finish.
She was voted third-team All-West Region by the United Soccer Coaches and first-team Scholar All-West Region by the same organization. The three-time Academic All-Big Sky Conference selection has a 3.91 GPA as an economics major.
“From the moment I arrived in town in June, Taryn has been showing up and asking what she can do for the program and what she can do for everyone else,” said first-year coach Chris Citowicki. “She is always wanting to do more and always wanting to improve everyone else.
“She cares so much about this university and the athletic department, and represents both just perfectly. She is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever come across.”
Miller and Montana open Big Sky Conference play this weekend when they host Northern Colorado at noon on Sunday at South Campus Stadium.
2018 Senior CLASS Award candidates
Madeline Anderson, Hofstra
Julia Ashley, North Carolina
Franny Cerny, DePaul
Alana Cook, Stanford
McKenzie Cook, Grand Canyon
Paige Culver, Kent State
Katie Day, Providence
Christine Etzel, Brown
Holly Fritz, Florida Gulf Coast
Katie Glenn, Texas
Jennifer Hiddink, Air Force
Julie James, Baylor
Nomvula Kgoale, Louisiana Tech
Easther Mayi Kith, West Virginia
Cece Kizer, Ole Miss
Lindsey Kutscher, CSUN
Hailie Mace, UCLA
Kayla McCoy, Duke
Taryn Miller, Montana
Katie Moller, North Dakota
Paige Monaghan, Butler
Emily Ogle, Penn State
Madison Pogarch, Rutgers
Brielle Preece, Pepperdine
Bianca St. Georges, West Virginia
Kelli Swenson, Milwaukee
Emma Tyrnauer, Loyola Marymount
Vera Varis, UCF
Elizabeth Woerner, Memphis
Jessica Wollmann, Radford