Aug. 14, 2010
COLLEGE STATION, Tex. -- The Rice soccer team fell to eighth-ranked Texas A&M 3-0 in a season-opening exhibition Saturday evening in College Station, Tex.
The Owls officially open the 2010 season next week and the friendly allowed the team to see different players in a host of combinations, against a talented Aggie squad that is ranked No. 8 in the country. After two quick A&M goals in the first half, Rice settled down with more than 47 scoreless minutes before the Aggies' third and final goal of the game. It was the lone score the Owls allowed in the second stanza.
Rice head coach Chris Huston certainly wants the team to get focused on winning, but there's also still a lot to learn in the preseason about 2010's young Owl squad. On Saturday Huston used seven new starters, including three freshmen Jessica Howard, Hayley Williams and Alexandra Trenary (with two of the three on defense). A total of 18 players, including five freshmen, all gained experience with significant action in College Station.
The Owls finished with a total of ten shots, including six on-goal. Junior forward Hope Ward paced the Blue & Gray with four shot attempts. Two veteran Rice keepers split playing time in-goal, with the senior tandem of Meghan Erkel and Catherine Fitzsimmons taking the first and second halves, respectively.
Rice plays at Baylor on Aug. 20 (Friday) to begin the season officially. The home-opener is slated for Aug. 22 against longtime rival Stephen F. Austin. Start time with the Lady Jacks is set for 6:30 pm at the Rice Soccer Stadium.