Six players signed National Letters of Intent for the University of Montana soccer program on Wednesday, including Columbia Falls standout Josie Windauer.
The Montana soccer program won a Big Sky Conference tournament title in 2018 and a regular-season championship this fall.
Joining the Grizzlies as freshmen next fall will be Elizabeth Basile, of Renton, Wash.; Reese Elliott, of Blacklick, Ohio; Alejandra Melendez, of Oakland, Calif.; Meredith Udovich, of Puyallup, Wash.; Josie Windauer, of Columbia Falls, Mont.; and Camellia Xu, of Coquitlam, B.C.
“The incoming class is very talented. Our focus was adding more competition to the front line and depth to the defensive and goalkeeper positions, and we did that. I can’t wait to have them step on the field next fall,” said coach Chris Citowicki.
“From a culture standpoint, the focus was on finding the right people who will continue to build this program into a regional power. They are solid students with great character and highly competitive people who love Missoula, UM and especially the Griz.”
The team’s other incoming forward, Windauer is a big, athletic target up front.
“I chose the University of Montana because this state has always been my home and to have the opportunity to get a quality education while playing soccer and being close to all the outside activities I cherish is an amazing opportunity,” Windauer said. “The university also offers degrees in wildlife biology, which is a field of interest to me. Of equal importance to my academic goals in college, I also feel fortunate that I connected immediately with the coaches. They are really good people who are passionate about soccer. I feel they will be a positive guide to my growth in soccer and will be a wonderful extended family to me.”
Windauer scored a school-record 33 goals this fall for her Class A state semifinal team, which upped her school-record career total to 83. She is also a standout in basketball and track and field.
“The first time I saw her last November, my jaw just about hit the ground. She was a high school junior who looks athletically like she could be a junior in college,” said Citowicki. “When you put her in front of the net, she’s a lethal finisher. We can’t wait to get her here and watch her flourish like our other local Montana players, Alexa Coyle and Quinn Peacock.”