Kristen Hoon needed to make just two saves
It's a familiar refrain, but music to the ears of Griz soccer fans. Senior Erin Craig scored her fourth goal of the season and senior keeper Kristen Hoon posted her third shutout of the year as Montana won its third straight match Friday evening, 1-0 over Indiana State on the opening day of the UNLV Nike Invitational at Las Vegas.
After three consecutive shutout losses, Montana has bounced back with three wins, two by shutout, to improve to 4-3-0 on the season. It's the second three-match winning streak under second-year coach Mark Plakorus, who heads a program that had not had a three-match winning streak since 2006.
Indiana State (3-3-0) saw its two-match winning streak come to a close with the loss.
Craig's goal in the 68th minute, the 17th of her career, came off an assist from freshman Mackenzie Akins, the second assist for Akins in the last two matches.
The goal held up as the game-winner as Hoon went the distance in net, needing to make just a pair of saves to record her sixth career shutout.
"This was a good win for us," Plakorus said. "It wasn't our best performance of the year, and part of that was Indiana State and how they played us, and part of it was us.
"But we kept fighting, so it was good to see us get the result."
After putting four shots on goal against ISU keeper Erin Mitchell in the first 63 minutes, Montana broke through at 67:04.
A Griz midfielder sprung Akins with a through ball, and she crossed it toward the front of the goal, where Craig headed it past Mitchell from six yards out. Her 17th goal moves Craig up to ninth place on the Montana career list.
The Sycamores put just two shots on goal, one in the ninth minute, one in the 80th. Hoon gets the credit for the shutout, but the defenders in front of her made sure any sweat Hoon broke was due to temperatures that hovered in the upper 90s all match and not because of any pressure Indiana State applied.
"The back line played really well today," Plakorus said. "They really limited everything Indiana State tried to do."
Montana outshot Indiana State 10-6 and put seven shots on goal to ISU's two. Craig took a match-high three shots, putting two on goal.
The Grizzlies will face the tournament host Running Rebels Sunday at 2 p.m. (MT). UNLV (4-2-1) won its third straight match as well Friday, downing Sacramento State, 2-0.
- Online Stores
Montana completes unbeaten march through Big Sky
The Montana soccer team defeated Eastern Washington 1-0 Friday afternoon at Cheney, Wash., to...
Griz face Eagles Friday in final regular-season...
The Montana soccer team will play Eastern Washington Friday at 3 p.m. (MT) at Cheney, Wash., in...
Griz collect pair of player of the week awards
The Montana soccer team, unbeaten through nine Big Sky Conference matches, continues to collect...
Widner's late goal gives Grizzlies outright title
Freshman Hallie Widner's goal in the 83rd minute was the match's only scoring and gave the...
Big Sky Conference soccer tournament returning ...
The Montana soccer team clinched at least a share of the Big Sky Conference regular-season title ...
Griz host pair of matches with plenty at stake
The Montana soccer team, sitting in first place in the Big Sky Conference with two weekends of...
Moody a finalist for Senior CLASS Award
Brooke Moody, a defender on the Montana soccer team, is one of 10 national finalists for the 2014...
Griz give up two-goal lead, settle for tie
Behind goals by freshman Hallie Widner and junior Mackenzie Akins, Montana built a 2-0 second-hal...