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University of Great Falls adding men's soccer this fall

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- The University of Great Falls is adding men's soccer to its growing list of athletic programs, athletic director Eric Van Kley said.

The school has sponsored a women's soccer team for the past two years.

Van Kley noted that "soccer is an increasingly popular and growing sport both locally and in the region."

He said all Class AA schools in Montana, plus several smaller schools, have soccer programs.

"Collegiate opportunities for male student-athletes seeking to play soccer are limited in Montana," he said Thursday. "Currently, only one four-year institution in the state (Montana State-Billings) offers a men's program. The University of Great Falls sees this as a strategic and unique opportunity to expand our institution with quality student-athletes through this niche."

Van Kley is interviewing prospective coaching candidates and hopes to name a coach within a month.

UGF currently sponsors programs in men's and women's basketball; women's volleyball, soccer, softball, golf and cross country; and men's wrestling, golf and cross country. The school hopes to conduct a limited track and field program this spring.