All-region award a final feather in Craig’s cap


Erin Craig. Photo courtesy of University of Montana Sports Information.

Erin Craig will need to make space for one final award on her mantel. The former forward on the Montana soccer team has been named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s 2012 All-Pacific Region team.

Craig, the Big Sky Conference co-Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, was the lone Big Sky player to make one of the NSCAA’s eight region teams. She becomes the first

Grizzly to be honored since Shannon Forslund made second team in 2000.

Craig, from Great Falls, Mont., scored three goals through her first two years but flourished under coach Mark Plakorus, who took over the program following Craig’s sophomore season.

She scored 10 goals as a junior in 2011 to earn first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors and helped lead Montana to the Big Sky Conference tournament championship and its first NCAA tournament appearance in over a decade.

Craig had seven goals and five assists in 2012 and repeated as a first-team All-Big Sky selection as the Grizzlies claimed a share of the Big Sky regular-season championship, the program’s first regular-season title since 2000.

Erin Craig. Photo by Bruce Costa.

Craig’s 20 career goals rank eighth in the program record book, and her 202 shots rank third.

Voting by NSCAA member coaches produces an 11-player first, second and third team for each region. Seven of the 11 forwards on the Pacific Region’s three teams were from schools in the Pac-12, two coming from national semifinalist Stanford.

Also represented were forwards from San Diego State, UNLV and Seattle University.

“It’s a neat thing for Erin, and it’s neat for our program,” said Plakorus, who has a two-year record of 18-18-7 and led the Grizzlies to a 7-0-1 record to close the 2012 season.

“With all the Pac-12 schools in the same region, the Pacific Region is a competitive one. So to be recognized as one of the players who stood out to the coaches of the teams we played is pretty special for Erin.”

2012 NSCAA All-Pacific Region

First Team

GK — Rachel Boaz (So., San Diego State)

D — Abby Dahlkemper (So., UCLA)

D — Alina Garciamendez-Rowold (Sr., Stanford)

D — Rachel Quon (Sr., Stanford)

D — Haley Palmer (Jr., San Diego State)

M — Betsy Hassett (Jr., California)

M — Sarah Killion (So., UCLA)

M — Mariah Nogueira (Sr., Stanford)

F — Zakiya Bywaters (Sr., UCLA)

F — Megan Jurado (Sr., San Diego State)

F — Ifeoma Onumonu (Fr., California)

Second Team

GK — Emily Oliver (Jr., Stanford)

D — Caitlin Allen (Sr., UNLV)

D — Emi Lawson (Jr., California)

D — Carli Johnson (Jr., San Diego State)

M — Lindsay Elston (Jr., Washington)

M — Macy Jo Harrison (Sr., UNLV)

M — Tiffany Hurst (Sr., San Diego State)

F — Jazmin Ponce (Jr., Arizona)

F — Jenna Richardson (Jr., Oregon State)

F — Chioma Ubogagu (So., Stanford)

F — Jennifer Wolfe (Jr., UNLV)

Third Team

GK — Katelyn Rowland (So., UCLA)

D — Amy Barczuk (Sr., Colorado)

D — Rachael Doyle (Jr., Washington State)

M — Micaela Castain (Jr., Washington State)

M — Kailtyn Fitzpatrick (Jr., California)

M — Taylor McCarter (Sr., Arizona State)

M — Jenna Richmond (Jr., UCLA)

F — Erin Craig (Sr., Montana)

F — Brandi Vega (Sr., Washington State)

F — Stephanie Verdoia (So., Seattle)

F — Courtney Verloo (Jr., Stanford)

Montana Sports Information  —