MISSOULA – Montana’s soccer program, which in the past three years has won four regular-season championships and Big Sky Conference tournaments, has named its captains for the fall 2021 season.
Fifth year senior Taylor Hansen, a selection of the United Soccer Coaches’ All-West Region first team in the spring, and junior in red jersey Ali Monroe were voted captains by their teammates.
Seniors McKenzie Kilpatrick, Caitlin Rogers and Taylor Stoeger and junior Allie Larsen will take turns serving as the team’s third matchday captain.
“We’ve had wonderful leaders before, and that’s a continuation of that,” said fourth year manager Chris Citowicki.
Last season captains Avery Adams, Alexa Coyle and Claire Howard led Montana to a Big Sky Conference Northwest Division title, a tournament championship and fifth appearance in an NCAA tournament on the schedule.
The Grizzlies went 8-1-0 during the regular season and finished 9-2-0 overall after losing a 1-0 decision to South Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. It was the best single season win rate in the program’s history.
“After we had three alphas, so to speak, in that role in the spring, we asked the team, hey, what do you want?” Citowicki said.
They wanted Hansen and Monroe by a large margin, with the other four players also receiving a good share of the votes.
Hansen had a successful season as a junior in 2019 when he was voted All-West Region third team and All-Big Sky first team.
The winger, who played all but 13 minutes in 11 games, did it all in the spring 2021 season, finishing fourth in the team in points and also helping Montana lose six and concede just seven goals.
Monroe, a containment midfielder, arrived at Montana in the winter of 2018, an early entry, and it was clear back then, in her early days on the program, that she was destined for the position of captain someday.
He started 17 of 21 games as a true freshman in Montana’s NCAA qualifiers in 2018 and the first five games of 2019 before losing the rest of the season to injury.
He played in nine of 11 games in the spring, averaging 26 minutes per game, but his leadership on the schedule has never been based solely on what he does on the pitch.
Montana’s fall campaign will open in early August with the first training session of the season. The team’s 2021 program is expected to be finalized soon.