MISSOULA — Montana hit the field for its first soccer practice of the 2019 season on Wednesday. Head coach Chris Citowicki is in his second year as the leader of the Griz soccer team.
Last year the team struggled to score goals in the first half of the season, but the defense kept them in a lot of close contests. Down the stretch, Montana figured it out and started to see the ball go into the back of the net.
Headed into the new season, Citowicki says he really likes where the team is at, and he's finally gotten to implement his strategy and culture.
"This group, this year the theme is just definitely, just a level of excitement that I haven’t felt in a very long time. And the way they’re coming together is just beautiful," said Citowicki.
"He really was able to implement his style this spring, and so going into this season it’s even better with our cohesion from coaching staff to players, and we’re just all really bought in to what he’s bringing and it’s going to be really great,” junior Alexa Coyle said of her head coach.
While the Griz are returning some starters, they did lose a lot of seniors. They boast 11 true freshmen and one redshirt freshman this season.
One of those 11 true freshmen is former Missoula Sentinel soccer star Quinn Peacock, who talked about fulfilling one of her soccer career dreams, and Citowicki even weighed in on how his toddler feels about the local star joining the team.
“My son is 3 years old. So Sevy comes with me (Wednesday) to watch fitness, and we’re sitting there and he’s watching the running and he says to me, 'Daddy, Quinn is super fast,' and I’m like, 'Thanks, buddy. Yeah, I know.' Then I drop him off for preschool and before he gets out of the car he's just like, 'Quinn won every race,' and I’m like, 'Yes, she did.' So there’s that blue-collar work ethic. Just an outstanding person and then let’s push her as a player. I think this environment will get a lot out of her, and we’re expecting a lot out of her,” said Citowicki.
“Just getting to know the team and being part of something that I’ve grown up watching is really cool and kind of fulfilling. I’m just really excited,” said Peacock.