MISSOULA – Montana tries to extend its women’s soccer season Friday. The team rolls into the NCAA Tournament after shutting out three consecutive opponents on its way to a Big Sky Conference championship last week.
Montana won only once in its first 11 matches, and the Grizzlies did not score two goals in a game until the final conference match. But they put it all together in Ogden, Utah at the conference tournament.
Now, they get to show how far they’ve come against Washington State. The Cougars beat the Griz 3-1 in Pullman back in September, and Montana feels it has plenty of advantages in the rematch.
“I think a little bit more pressure on them, so that’s good,” said Griz first-year head coach Chris Citowicki. “Out of everybody I’m sure they didn’t want to play us, either. I think it will be a fun game. It will be a good matchup. We’ve already changed a couple things since the last time that we played them. We’re going to keep doing what we did in playoffs, and we’ll be all right.”
“We have definitely grown over this season,” said senior center back Taryn Miller. “And with our confidence high, with us peaking at this time, it’s going to be a really good game.”
Washington State makes the postseason for the seventh time in the past eight years. The Cougars made it all the way to the Round of 16 last fall.
Montana’s last victory in the NCAA Tournament came in 2000, a 1-0 win at Washington State. The Griz will try to repeat history at 8 p.m. Friday in Pullman.