Nov. 2, 2012
The Montana soccer team will face No. 1 seed and host Idaho State in the Big Sky Conference tournament championship match Sunday at 1 p.m. at ISU's Davis Field in Pocatello, Idaho.
No. 3 Montana advanced to the championship match Friday afternoon with a 3-2 victory over No. 2 Portland State. The Grizzlies, who won their seventh straight match, went up in the sixth minute and never trailed in the match
Idaho State moved on with a shootout victory over No. 4 Weber State later Friday afternoon. The Wildcats opened the scoring in the 57th minute when Big Sky Newcomer of the Year Chansi Crompton scored her fifth goal of the season.
WSU was just minutes away from playing Montana in the championship match for the second straight season, but ISU's Amanda Ellsworth, the co-Offensive Player of the Year in the Big Sky along with Montana senior Erin Craig, scored with just 2:36 remaining in regulation to even the score at 1-1.
The teams played through two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods, and Idaho State came through on its home field with a 4-3 victory in the shootout.
Montana and Idaho State played to a 1-1 draw when they met in Missoula on Sept. 21 in the league opener for both teams. Rachel Strawn scored for the Bengals in the 58th minute. Montana sophomore Paytyn Wheeler drew the Grizzlies even in the 89th minute.
Montana outshot Idaho State in the match 17-8. The Bengals' lone goal came on their only shot on goal.
The two teams have met just twice in previous Big Sky tournaments. Both were won by Idaho State by scores of 1-0. Both matches were played at Ogden, Utah.
The Bengals won the 2003 championship match against the Grizzlies in overtime and a 2001 semifinal in regulation.
The two programs lead the Big Sky Conference with four tournament championships each. Sunday's winner will claim its league-leading fifth title.
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