The Montana soccer team will open its Big Sky Conference schedule when it travels to North Dakota and Northern Colorado this week.
The Grizzlies will face UND at Grand Forks at 3 p.m. on Friday and the Bears at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Greeley.
Montana got on a roll last season early in conference play -- a road sweep of Sacramento State and Portland State in the second weekend being particularly important -- and never allowed any other team a chance to think it had a shot at the regular-season championship.
The Grizzlies went 8-0-2 in league and outscored their opponents 19-4 to win their first outright Big Sky title since 2000 and host the league tournament, also for the first time since 2000.
“It’s become the culture of our team to compete for championships. That’s why these players come here. They want a competitive environment and the opportunity to win and compete for championships,” said fifth-year coach Mark Plakorus, who has guided the Grizzlies to three Big Sky titles.