ISSOULA — Not much catches Claire Howard off guard on the soccer field, but her Montana teammates got her good when they snuck up behind her and dumped a teal-colored cooler filled with water on her head.
The smile-inducing gesture was the final celebration of Howard on an overcast, windy Sunday at Missoula County Stadium. The team had taken her down in a dog pile on the field and then lifted her up on their shoulders as they celebrated the Grizzly senior etching her name in the Big Sky Conference record book for most career shutouts.
“It’s amazing. It’s extremely humbling to know the love and support that I have,” Howard said after UM moved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in conference play with a 3-0 win over Portland State. “I always say that it takes a village to accomplish anything, and our village is pretty special.”