(Editor’s note: Story by Montana Sports Information)
MISSOULA – And now, the finishing ribbon on the decorated career of Taryn Miller, gift to the Montana soccer program.
Miller was named to the NCAA Division I Women’s Scholar All-West Region team on Monday by the United Soccer Coaches, an award that will likely be the last for the senior from Greenacres, Wash.
She becomes the first player in program history to become a repeat selection for the honor. She was voted first-team Scholar All-West Region as a junior.
Miller, who has a 3.91 GPA as an economics major, was named second team as a senior, putting her in exclusive company. The United Soccer Coaches only uses four regions to divide up the nation’s schools for its academic awards program.
Miller’s academic success has been a four-year constant — she’ll be named Academic All-Big Sky Conference for the fourth time in early 2019.
Her athletic ascent was the traditional trajectory. She was a reserve as a freshman and sophomore, then made an upperclassman breakthrough as a junior.
She was voted the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-league, and named third-team All-West Region by the United Soccer Coaches as the Grizzlies finished second in the conference standings.
Playing under a new coach in 2018, Montana was slow to get going, but when the Grizzlies got on a roll late in the season, they were hard to slow down, at least by any team in the Big Sky.
Montana was unbeaten in its last seven matches in the fall against league opponents, which included a three-match run through the Big Sky tournament, when the Grizzlies knocked off three higher-seeded opponents, all by shutout.
Miller, who added an assist while her team’s defense allowed only nine shots on goal in three matches, was voted to the all-tournament team.
That came the same week she repeated as a first-team All-Big Sky selection. Earlier in the season she was announced as one of 30 national finalists for the Senior CLASS Award.
Miller was named third-team All-West Region two weeks ago by the United Soccer Coaches, another repeat honor from the national organization.
She concluded her career with 76 matches played, with 46 starts, and totaled three goals and two assists while the Grizzlies went 35-33-17.