Aug. 22, 2010
HOUSTON - Rice senior midfielder Kate Edwards scored two goals and junior forward Hope Ward added two assists to pace the Rice soccer team to a 3-1 victory over visiting Stephen F. Austin Sunday evening in the Owls' 2010 home-opener.
Edwards put the Blue & Gray on the board early with the team's first goal of the season in the ninth minute of the contest. The Owl veteran, who was making the 61st-consecutive start of her career, had her back to the goal but only a few yards in front of the net. She made an easy no-look tap on a pass from senior Jordan Holloway that scooted in for a score and a 1-0 Rice lead. The Owls held a narrow 6-4 advantage in shots in the first half but turned up the offensive pressure in the second, outshooting SFA by an 11-3 margin.
"Staying composed in the final third, taking shots, and finishing, is something we talked about after our game on Friday night so it was good to see the team respond," said Rice head coach Chris Huston. "Jordan set-up that first goal and had a big-time game. Julia Barrow had an outstanding game, and of course we had two goals from Kate and one from `HoJo' (Jessica Howard), so that's the midfielders stepping-up. We had some good individual performances from a lot of players, but I'm even more pleased with how everyone on the team played together. We played hard, we were composed, and we played as a team."
In the game's 75th minute, freshman Howard added Rice's second goal of the day with another no-look shot attempt. Ward made a long cross from the right corner that found Howard open from close range, but also with her back to the net. The first-year player from Dallas executed a textbook bicycle-kick that sailed to the back of the net on the left-hand side of the goal. The first score of her collegiate career gave Rice some needed breathing room, but the Owls weren't finished. Edwards came back and quickly stretched the margin to 3-0 with her second goal of the night, scoring in the 80th minute after another assisting pass from Ward.
"It's nice having experienced players like Kate and Hope out there because it makes things a lot easier," Howard explained. "I'm not as experienced in college soccer and their leadership, encouragement and direction has been a big help. Kate is fantastic to play alongside, and she had two great finishes for goals today."
The multi-goal game was the third of Edwards' career and she was the last Owl to accomplish the feat by netting a pair in the victory over Memphis last season. The standout from Westlake Village, Calif., also moved into a tie for fourth place with Caitlin Robbins on the Owls' all-time list for career goals with 18. The multi-assist game was the third of Ward's career and her first two-assist game since her freshman year of 2008. The Kingwood star also did some climbing on Rice's career assists list, moving into a tie for fifth in assists with Shelley Wong with 11.
"We wanted to win this first home game and we know we're better than what we showed on Friday," Edwards said. "We had a lot of different players play today, and everyone worked pretty hard. That's a good sign when it was as warm as it was today. Everyone seemed to play that much harder. We played well and it's a result we can build-on as the schedule gets tougher and tougher."
Down 3-0 SFA continued to fight. Sophomore midfielder Kylie Louw put the Ladyjacks on the board in the game's 88th minute after fielding Camille Royer's long cross from the left wing in traffic. Louw's first goal of the season provided the final 3-1 margin. Rice and SFA both now have identical 1-1-0 records on the young season.
The Owls' soccer team is back home for its next game on Sunday (Aug. 29). Rice hosts longtime rival Texas Tech at 7 pm on campus at the Soccer Stadium.