MISSOULA, Mont. -

The Griz soccer team is just two days away from their Big Sky Conference tournament matchup with Portland State, but before we get to the postseason the league awards were announced today and the Griz could not have been represented any better.

Montana senior Lauren Costa was named the Big Sky defensive most valuable player this season.  That makes her just the 5th griz player to win this award in school history and she's the first to win it since 2004.

Costa played in all but 85 minutes this season as the center back and helped Montana record a league best 11 shutouts.

Montana's defense only gave up 16 goals in 19 games this year, that's less than half of what they gave up last year.

Fellow Grizzly senior Erin Craig was named co-offensive most valuable player in the conference.  She is the 6th player in Griz history to win the award and the first in six years.

Craig took 69 shots on goal this year, that's 18 more than any other player in the conference.

She led Montana with six goals scored, three of which were game-winners.  Craig also had four assists this year.

Craig and Costa were also named first team all Big Sky.  All in all there were a total of nine Grizzlies given at least an honorable mention this year.

"I think it's just great for those two especially being seniors," said Montana head soccer coach Mark Plakorous.  "You know... I've been very lucky with this senior class from the time I got here with just how great they are and how hard they work and the things they want to accomplish.  And for them to get recognized by the other coaches around the conference for their level of play is pretty special."

2012 Big Sky Conference individual award winners

 

Offensive MVP

Amanda Ellsworth, Idaho State

Erin Craig, Montana

 

Defensive MVP

Lauren Costa, Montana

 

Newcomer of the Year

Chansi Crompton, Weber State

 

Goalkeeper of the Year

Natalie D’Adamio, Northern Colorado

 

First-team All-Big Sky Conference

Goalkeeper

Natalie D’Adamio, Northern Colorado, senior

Defenders

Lauren Costa, Montana, senior

Georgia Foltz, Northern Arizona, senior