FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Montana's stay at the Big Sky Conference soccer tournament was short lived.
Allison Veloz scored a first-half goal and Northern Arizona knocked off top-seeded Montana 1-0 on Friday in the semifinal round of the tournament at Lumberjack Stadium. The win sends NAU (11-5-3) on to the Big Sky title game for the second consecutive season.
Montana (13-3-3) had several chances but was unable to solve Lumberjacks goalkeeper Trinity Corcoran, who made 11 saves to keep a clean sheet. Montana outshot NAU 25-10.
“Tonight’s one of those games where you say, it’s soccer,” said coach Chris Citowicki in a UM athletics press release. “That’s it. I have no regrets. We did everything but score a goal.
“They cleared a couple off the line, we hit the crossbar. Their goalkeeper was phenomenal. It ultimately comes down to players doing special things and she had a very special game tonight.”
Veloz's goal was scored on a counter attack in the 22nd minute on an assist by Maddie Shafer. It was Veloz's seventh goal of the season. It was the first goal allowed by the Griz dating back to Oct. 12.
Abby Gearhart attempted seven shots for the Grizzlies, three of which were on goal. Eliza Bentler put two shots on goal for the Griz.
Northern Arizona, the tournament's No. 4 seed advances to the Big Sky title match, where it will face No. 2 seed Idaho on Sunday. It is a rematch of last year's championship won by NAU.
Montana ended its season by matching the most wins (13) for the program since 2000.
“Still super impressed with the season,” added Citowicki. “Love our seniors and everything they gave to the program.”