HOUSTON, Texas -- The Rice soccer team rallied for a late goal in regulation before claiming a dramatic 2-1 double-overtime victory over visiting San Jose State Sunday afternoon at home in Houston.
San Jose State opened the day's scoring in 21st minute and held the 1-0 advantage late into the contest. In the game's 81st minute, Owl true freshman Annie Walker avoided some defenders before serving a pass into traffic in front of the Spartan goal. Though normally a defender for Rice, senior Jasmine Isokpunwu was forward on the play to help provide some offensive pressure. The veteran jumped to the head the ball, and placed it to the back of the SJSU net for her first goal of the season.
It was a new game at 1-1, but there proved to be quite a bit of soccer still left to play. The former conference rivals were deadlocked at the end of regulation and after the first of what would be two overtime periods. Any overtime goal would immediately decide the outcome.
With the clock running down again, this time with just over three minutes in the second/final overtime period, the senior duo of Danielle Spriggs and Lauren Hughes fought through the fatigue to go to work one last time. In the 107th minute, Spriggs drew the full attention of the Spartan defense while bringing the ball in close to the right post. As the defense drew-in to contain the Spriggs, the California native passed back to Hughes inside the keeper's box. From there the Owls' career and single-season record-holder for goals needed only one touch to fire the game-winning shot and a 2-1 final.
Hughes' goal was her first of the season and the 33rd of her collegiate career (to add to her school record). The senior from Ottawa, Canada, led the Owls with five shots on the day. Rice took a total of 18 shot attempts overall. Owl goalkeeper Zoe Pochobradsky registered another sound and solid outing with five saves.
Rice has closed out its season-opening two-game homestand. The Owls are on the road for the team's next contest at state foe Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday (Aug. 28). The Blue & Gray is then back in town on Sunday (Aug. 30) for a 4 pm match against longtime foe Sam Houston State to be played downtown at BBVA Compass Stadium, the professional soccer home of both the Houston Dynamo & Houston Dash. The phone number for the Rice Ticket Office is 713-348-OWLS.