© Tim Goessman/Montana Kaimin
Tyler Adair (27) and Chansi Crompton (2) jump in the air as Stacy Bair (30) head-butts the ball during the Grizzlies’ match against Weber State on Sept. 23 at the South Campus Stadium. The Griz won 1-0.
When the Big Sky added soccer to conference play in 2000, the Montana Grizzlies clinched the first regular season title. Fast forward to 2010, and the Griz were at the bottom of the stat sheets.
Move to 2012 and the Grizzlies (10-6-2, 6-2-1 BSC) once again hold the honor of Big Sky regular-season champions with their Sunday win against Northern Arizona University.
“It feels great because it shows how much hard work we have put into this season,” sophomore Paytyn Wheeler said. “We had a rough start, but we’ve gone five games in a row, and we shut out each team, too.”
The team has not had a five-match winning-streak shutout since 2000 under the program’s first coach, Betsy Duerksen. The 2000 season was the best program in history, going 16-5-1 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Photo by Nick Gast
The clouds opened up and rain fell over Missoula. Students rushed from buildings and the Oval, which was populated days ago with Frisbees and sunshine, was abandoned.
Rain poured over an empty Washington-Grizzly Stadium. It dripped off the goal posts, slid down the seats and cleansed the turf. It cleaned away the hours of work, the wins and the anxieties that have troubled the Grizzly football team over the past few months. They are ready to move forward, just like graduating senior and former linebacker Caleb McSurdy. Continue reading