(Editor's note: University of Montana athletics release)
MOSCOW, Idaho -- The Montana soccer team opened its Big Sky Conference schedule with a 1-0 victory over Idaho on Friday night at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow.
Freshman Quinn Peacock scored her first collegiate goal in the 13th minute, and junior goalkeeper Claire Howard made sure that was all the Grizzlies would need by posting her 20th career shutout.
“It’s a great way to start conference play,” said second-year coach Chris Citowicki. “To get a result in this place against this team late in the day is great for us. I’m very happy with the win.”
Montana (2-5-3, 1-0-0 BSC) hadn’t scored a first-half goal all season, but that all changed when Taylor Stoeger and Peacock teamed up for a pretty goal less than 13 minutes in.
Stoeger took the ball up the right side and played a cross to the front of goal. Peacock’s run was well timed, and she got her foot on the ball between two defenders and scored from just a few feet out.
“We’ve been working on that moment in particular,” said Citowicki. “There have been too many crosses that have been going to the penalty spot and not to the six-yard box, which is the most dangerous spot.
“Stoeger put it in the perfect spot, and Quinn made the perfect run that we’ve been working on so much. To win a game on something you’ve worked so much on is so rewarding for us.”
Montana limited Idaho to just seven shots in the match, but five of those were put on goal, and the Vandals (3-8-0, 0-1-0 BSC) were playing frequent crosses and created four corner kicks.
“I think that was the most tactical team we’ve played this year. Their 4-4-2 diamond is so well organized, so well drilled, and they are so dangerous with the ball the way they move it,” added Citowicki.
“The second half they were so good at it, we had to change to a 4-4-2 diamond just to nullify it. It’s the first team we’ve played this year, outside of Washington State, that has forced us to change formations. I thought they were outstanding.”
Though Idaho had plenty of possession in the second half, the Vandals were held without a shot over the match’s final 26 minutes.
“The back line gets a lot of credit for clearing out a lot of the poorer crosses from them and not giving them secondary opportunities. When Claire had to make a save, she made the save,” said Citowicki.
Alexa Coyle, Taylor Hansen, Allie Larsen, Avery Adams and Caitlin Rogers all played 90 minutes as Montana won its league opener for just the second time in the last five seasons.
Howard made five saves for her third shutout of the season, the 20th of her career, to move within four of Kailey Norman’s program record of 24.
Montana will play at Eastern Washington on Sunday at 2 p.m. (MT) in Cheney. The Eagles (3-5-2, 0-0-1 BSC) played Big Sky preseason favorite Northern Colorado to a 1-1 draw on Friday afternoon at home.