Aug. 20, 2010
WACO, Tex. -- The Rice soccer team fell to Baylor 1-0 in the season-opener for both teams Friday evening at the Mays Soccer Stadium in Waco, Tex.
The Owls out-shot Baylor 12-8 for the contest, including a convincing 8-2 margin in the second half, but Bear freshman Georgia Mullins scored the lone goal of the game in the 62nd minute. Mullins came off the bench and knocked-in a deflection for a score off one of just three corner kicks for Baylor on the night. The Bears were able to hang-on for the 1-0 final. It was the first time Rice had lost its season-opening match since 2003.
As Rice had done in its exhibition last week at Texas A&M, the team started true freshmen Jessica Howard, Hayley Williams and Alexandra Trenary, but juggled some of the other spots to help create some more offensive opportunities. The result was topping the home team in shots and seven of the 10 Owl starters (aside from goalkeeper Meghan Erkel) took shot attempts. Redshirt sophomore Amy Beger started at forward after coming back from an injury that sidelined her all last year. She shared the lead in shots for the game (3) along with junior teammate Hope Ward. Erkel played the entire game for the Blue & Gray and finished with four saves.
"It's a mix of playing pretty well in the second half, out-shooting them as much as we did and playing a lot on our side of the field, and not getting the result," said Rice head coach Chris Huston. "(Baylor's) goal was scored in the second half so it shows a team can't get comfortable even when it's playing well. We would have helped ourselves by playing well and with more consistency from the start of the game, and then maintaining a high level for the entire game. It seemed we waited until halftime to get going, and even then there were some spots where we know we could have done better.
"I told the girls (after the game) it's OK to be upset about the game right now, in fact I was kind of pleased how dissatisfied they were with this loss," Huston said. "It's a good sign that they were not happy, and that they wanted to get right back out and play again. I told them that when we get to the practice field Saturday we have to focus on preparing for Stephen F. Austin. We have top be ready to play a 90-minute game come Sunday."
The soccer team's home-opener is slated for Sunday (Aug. 22) against longtime rival Stephen F. Austin. Start time with the Ladyjacks is set for 6 pm on campus at the Rice Soccer Stadium.