Alexa Coyle

Former Montana soccer standout Alexa Coyle, now in her first month as a member of the Hibernian Women’s Football Club of the Scottish Women’s Premier League, was named one of 22 Big Sky Conference Scholar-Athletes for the 2020-21 school year, the league office announced on Thursday.

Coyle helped Montana advance to two NCAA tournaments and claim four Big Sky regular-season and tournament titles while leading the Grizzlies in points all four years of her playing career.

Her 19 career goals are tied for ninth in program history. She is tied for fourth in game-winning goals (nine).

Coyle, four times named Academic All-Big Sky, graduated in May with a 3.96 GPA as a management information systems major. As a senior she was voted first-team Academic All-District 6 by CoSIDA and second-team Scholar All-West Region by the United Soccer Coaches.

“Our annual Scholar-Athlete awards always shine a light on some of the best and brightest representatives that our league has to offer, and that is especially so for our 2020-21 recipients,” Big Sky Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said.

“This group navigated a global pandemic while not only performing well in their respective sports but also being amongst the top of their peer group academically. We are incredibly proud of these individuals, and we are eager to see what a difference they will make in their future endeavors.”

To be eligible for Big Sky Scholar-Athlete, student-athletes must have exhausted their eligibility, earned a minimum GPA of 3.2 and completed at least two years of competition at their institution, according to a release.

Coyle is the sixth Montana soccer player to be named a Big Sky Scholar-Athlete, joining Taryn Miller (2018-19), Tess Brenneman (2016-17), Nikki Bolstad (2004-05), Margo Tufts (1998-99) and Courtney Mathieson (1997-98).

Coyle was named second-team All-Big Sky as a junior as Montana won the Big Sky regular-season title with a 6-0-3 league record.

Playing in the spring of 2021, the Grizzlies went 9-2-0 and won the Big Sky Northwest Division title with a 7-1-0 record. Montana won the Big Sky tournament with an overtime victory over Northern Colorado, then fell 1-0 to South Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA tournament in North Carolina.

Coyle, whose teams went 25-7-10 over four years against league opponents, was voted first-team All-Big Sky as a senior after finishing the season with a team-leading five goals.