Senior soccer players prepare to head in different directions
For Montana's five senior soccer players, it won't be the
wins that will be most memorable. Instead, it will be the friendships and experiences surrounding the games that will stay
with them longest.
That seems hard to believe.
Because since the first time Glenna Ryan, Shannon Forslund,
Jodi Campbell, Natalie Hiller and Kristina Preiser donned the maroon and silver, Montana has emerged victorious 55 times.
That is a lot of wins.
UM loses five seniors to graduation this
season. Clockwise, from top left, Shannon Forslund, Kristina Preiser, Jodi Campbell, Natalie Hiller and Glenna Ryan have helped
lead the Griz to the regular season title.
also played an important role in Montana's first-ever trip to the NCAA Championship tournament last season.
this season, the wins, the championships and the little stories will just be a collection of memories.
take those memories, however, varies dramatically with each player.
head to Chile next semester as an exchange student. Although she admits playing soccer at Montana has been an experience she
will never be able to replace, she is excited to experience the things she couldn't while playing.
on taking advantage of a little free time. She recently bought a snowboard and can't wait to take it up on the slopes for
the first time. She also plans to travel, but still isn't set on a career.
so excited to do things I couldn't do while playing soccer," she said.
Preiser will likely keep their memories with them in Montana. Hiller, a graduate of Missoula Big Sky High School, is happy
in Missoula and doesn't plan on leaving. She would like to get her degree and possibly coach soccer somewhere.
"I love Missoula.
I never want to leave," she said.
having the opportunity to play college soccer in her home town was very important.
had people backing me up all the way from high school through college," she said. "My high school coach was able to watch
me play in college, and I know that was very important to him. Being able to stay here and play meant a lot."
is a Montana native, Preiser is looking to become a resident. Preiser, who is from Illinois, transferred from Iowa State University
beauty of Montana won her heart and stifled any plans for leaving. She wants to gain residency and eventually coach, but she
hasn't left out the possibility of playing soccer beyond college.
"I just think
its pretty cool to know that there are opportunities out there to play if I choose to," she said.
leaves Montana, she won't be leaving soccer. She has hopes of eventually competing on a women's professional soccer team.
Her memories will be taken to fields elsewhere, where she will likely wow crowds with her athleticism.
is excited about the opportunity to continue playing, she won't forget the memories of Griz soccer.
the bigger picture rather than just individual games," she said. "The friends I have and things I have learned at Montana
are priceless. Those are hard things to replace. I'm definitely going to miss playing in such a supportive community, where
people really are there for you all the time."
Besty Duerksen said Forslund is one of the best athletes she has ever coached. She has been a threat on defense and offense
all four years at Montana, and has been an all-conference selection every year.
miss Forslund's athleticsm as much as she will miss Ryan's.
at the University of Montana in 1996 as a walk-on and sat out her freshman season. She soon earned a scholarship and started
11 of 16 games in 1997. Her success is a product of her determination.
"Glenna has such a big heart, and she works so hard. She also is a very good person and deserves everything she has worked
Ryan may be
excited about taking off to Chile next year, but admits that she will miss Grizzly soccer. The goofing around on team trips
and other travel experiences will always be something she remembers.
to miss being part of a team and working with a group of people who are all out there for the same thing," she said.
Ryan's remarks and said it will be difficult not always having the team around.
together every day, and having a plan will be difficult to substitute," she said. "It's awesome when you're out there with
20 other people, and you're all working hard and going through exactly the same thing."
Campbell has always had amazing heart and determination, something that has made her a consistent play maker. She is ranked
on Montana's all-time lists in all three major offensive categories, assists, goals and points. This season Campbell has nine
assists, which is one better than the number she tallied in the three previous seasons.
A major part
of having a successful program is having athletes who understand the importance teamwork and unselfishness. These are two
qualities Duerksen said Preiser exudes. She said Preiser's willingness to put the team before herself is something that she
hopes all of her athletes have learned from her.
are the most important thing," Preiser said. "I am never going to forget the relationships I have with my teammates. I couldn't
ask for more."
All five seniors
hope they leave a good impression on the players who will continue their own careers as Grizzlies.
"All of the
seniors possess a good work rate and a lot of heart," Forslund said. "Hopefully those things rub off on the other players.
This program developed us into good people, not just good players, and I think that will continue."
To the victor
goes the spoils.
now the UM soccer team is grabbing all the spoils. Six Grizzlies garnered all-conference selections along with senior Jodi
Campbell picking up the conference offensive MVP.
on the all-conference first team was junior forward Heather Olson and senior midfielder Shannon Forslund. Freshman forward
Amy Wronski and senior defender Kerri Houck were named to the second team while freshman Nikki Bolstad was named honorable
who hails from Seattle, was second in the league in assists with 11 and she also scored five goals, four of which were game
winners. It was the second year in a row Campbell was named to first team.
picked up the Golden Boot award which goes to the leading scorer in the conference. The Helena native scored 13 goals on the
season to run her career goal total to 30 placing her third all-time in Montana history.
a Tacoma native, makes her fourth appearance on the first team. She has been also picked up Big Sky Newcomer of the Year honors,
made four appearances on the Big Sky all-tourney team and named team MVP twice in her stellar career.
named this year's Newcomer of the year after scoring 12 goals on the season and providing another scoring threat besides Olson
up her first all-conference honors. She was the backbone of a defense that allowed only 1.12 goals per game on the season.
a freshman, is superior athlete who the Griz expects big things from in the future.