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Griz soccer looking to repeat conference title

By Brad Peers, KECI Sports, bpeers@keci.com
Published On: Aug 08 2013 03:00:09 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 08 2013 03:16:14 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Last season the Montana Grizzly soccer team had one of its best years in recent memory finishing 12-6-3. With the first game of the season right around the corner the teams says they're ready to get going.

"Everyone is really excited, nervous and just kind of a little tension but mostly everyone is really just ready to start going and ready to start the season," said Griz senior Mary Markis.

"It's always exciting to start a new season," said Griz head soccer coach Mark Plakorus. "You have your team come back you have the new players come in and you have new challenges in front of you and were just glad to be back on the field."

After finishing last year on a high note winning their final seven games before losing to Idaho State in the Big Sky Championship game, it's not surprising Montana has been ranked third in the preseason poll. But the team says right now rankings don't matter to them.

"I think any team in the entire conference has a chance," said Markis. "I like being ranked high, it shows teams are going to have to expect something from us but I think it has nothing to do with it and I don't think anyone is paying attention to that ranking."

"Doesn't really mean a darn thing I would much rather have my team be #1 at the end of the year and go to the NCAA tournament I don't really bother with what people say before hand were just going to put one foot forward go one day at a time and we'll see what happens."

This year the Grizzlies are focused on getting back to the Big Sky Tournament so they can avenge their loss to Idaho State, but the team says it's going to take plenty of hard work and focus to accomplish that goal.

"Mentally last year we did have some drop offs, some hiccups," said Griz senior India Watne. "I  think its just mentally staying together and the family aspect is what won our championship two years ago."

"It's just going to take a lot of effort a lot of hard work and just dedication to the team," said Markis. "We really need to be united as a whole and the freshman need to step up the seniors need to step up everyone needs to be together and fighting to win it."  

The first test for Montana will be a home game on August 17th against Carroll College.