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Montana Grizzlies soccer finding success after reshaping culture

Montana Grizzlies Lady Soccer
Posted at 12:12 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 14:12:02-04

MISSOULA — The Montana soccer team has been incredible in 2019. The Grizzlies are unbeaten in Big Sky Conference play and sit in first place with just four matches remaining on their regular-season schedule.

In 2018, the Grizzlies hired head coach Chris Citowicki. From Day 1, Citowicki talked about changing the culture to what he envisioned and from there the team would find success. Now, a season later, the Griz are finding tons of success on the field.

Their young team, comprised of a ton of freshmen sprinkled with a few upperclassmen and one lone senior, has found the magic on both sides of the ball.

After struggling to net goals in 2018, they've found out how to score in 2019. They're making perfect half-time adjustments to do what they need to to come out on top after 90 minutes. And their defense supporting goalie Claire Howard has been "off the charts," according to Citowicki.

"What I have realized from freshman to junior year is how important standards and culture of a team is. I think that that is missed -- a lot of people think it's just all about the performance, but that does affect the performance," said junior Alexa Coyle.

"From my freshman year to now just how our team feels like such a family I can see so much how it translates right onto the field. This is honestly how we are doing so well right now, is just everyone, we are a family, everyone is close and has a great relationship on and off the field, and we are all bought into the same standards and the same goals."

Montana (4-0-1) hosts Sacramento State (2-0-3) on Friday at 3 p.m.