MISSOULA — The Montana Grizzlies struggled to score in the 2018 women's soccer season. Their opening exhibition in 2019 started much the same way.
Then the floodgates opened.
UM scored five times in the second half during a matchup versus Mount Royal University. The Griz also shut out the visiting Cougars from Calgary on their way to a 5-0 win.
But the offense took a while to click for Chris Citowicki's club. The two played three 30-minute periods. Early in the second period, it remained scoreless, and Griz star keeper Claire Howard had to make a point-blank save after a turnover to keep it knotted up.
A couple freshmen connected midway through the second to finally give the Griz a breakthrough. Missoula Sentinel product Quinn Peacock sent a perfect through ball in the box, and Sydney Haustein buried it in the bottom left corner to get on the scoreboard.
Montana took complete control in the third. A corner from Peacock found the foot of junior Alexa Coyle for a second tally early in the period. Five minutes later, Coyle followed up a block shot with a blast into the left side of the net.
Rita Lang added two more goals for the Griz in the closing minutes, the first on a header from a corner kick, the second after she corralled a loose ball in the box and beat the keeper.
Montana plays one more exhibition contest versus MacEwan University from Edmonton at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon. They kick off the regular season at North Dakota on Friday, Aug. 23.