Monday, April 16, 2012

Montana Grizzlies announce 2012 schedule

The University of Montana Grizzlies have quite a schedule ahead of them in the final third of the calendar year. The defending Big Sky playoff champions will see much of the western United States with eight non-conference games away from home to open the 2012 season. And similar to last year, the Grizzlies will finish with four regular season contests on the road.

In his first year as head coach for the University of Montana, Mark Plakorus used a difficult schedule to forge a team strong enough to win the Big Sky Conference playoff tournament in Colorado, earning a trip to the NCAA tournament, where they fell to top-ranked and eventual champion Stanford, 3-0. The Grizzlies, who finished up the slate with four of five on the road in 2011, shocked many with as the fourth and final seed – earned with one victory on the road in that final stretch – when they won consecutive shootout tiebreakers against both top seed Northern Colorado and Weber State after identical 1-1 draws in the tournament.

Montana will once again play Boise State and the University of Idaho in the non-conference slate, with Boise State serving as host this year after playing in Moscow, Idaho last year. In 2011, the Grizzlies defeated the Broncos twice, 4-3 in Boise and against, 2-1, in Moscow. The dropped a 3-2 contest with Idaho.

They will also play the University of Wyoming again, this time away from home in Laramie, Wyo. They topped Wyoming 2-1 in Boise last year. The trip to Laramie will also include a stop in Colorado Springs to play Air Force. And a week later the team will be in Texas to face Texas Christian University and Texas Tech. The non-conference slate wraps up with games versus Indiana State and UNLV in Las Vegas and a home contest against New Mexico State, though they have a final non-league contest on the road versus Utah Valley after the conference campaign concludes.

Though the second-year coach wants to make the women’s soccer program a must-see event in Missoula, the team’s 2012 agenda was largely determined via preexisting commitments.

“We would love to be able to play more games at home, but we needed to go with what was already set when we got here,” Plakorus said in the school’s announcement. “We’ll make the best of it, just like we did last year, but in future years we definitely plan on having more home games. We want to have at least half our games at home every year.” 

Games in the Northwest

Aug 31….. @ Boise State – 6 pm
Sept 2….. vs Idaho @ Boise State – 11:30 am
Sept 14….. vs New Mexico State – 4 pm
Sept 21….. vs Idaho State – 4 pm
Sept 23….. vs Weber State – 1 pm
Sept 28….. @ Portland State – 1 pm
Oct 5….. vs Northern Colorado – 3 pm
Oct 7….. North Dakota – 1 pm
Oct 12….. @ Eastern Washington – 3:30 pm

* bold denote conference matches

Full Schedule [+]