Aug. 26, 2012
LAKE CHARLES La. - The Rice freshman duo of Holly Hargreaves and Lauren Hughes scored goals to pace the Owl soccer team to a 2-0 road victory over McNeese State Sunday evening at the MSU Soccer Complex in Lake Charles, La.
Rice applied the offensive pressure early and opened the game's scoring in the first half. In the 22nd minute, senior Lauren LaGro broke free from traffic on the right wing and served a quick cross to Hargreaves. The freshman from New Hope, Pa., needed only a touch to settle before firing a shot from the top of the 18. The ball found the back of the MSU net for a 1-0 Rice advantage, and was Hargreaves' second goal in as many games.
"I thought we did a really good job of maintaining possession and being a little more patient on the offensive end," said Rice head coach Nicky Adams. "It led to a number of scoring opportunities. After playing double-overtime with only 10 players on Friday, I thought an early score was essential. Holly put us on the board with a great play."
Only 20 seconds after the second half started, the contest was delayed for 30 minutes due to lightning in the area. When play resumed it was the Owls who flipped-on the electricity with a quick goal. Senior midfielder Julia Barrow escaped an MSU double-team to find freshman Lauren Hughes in free space. An international standout from Ottawa, Canada, Hughes dribbled in from the left side and blasted a shot from 10 yards out. She scored her first career goal in the 47th minute to stretch the margin to 2-0.
"We told the players that we wanted to put it away after the end of the lightning delay," Adams said. "To score less than two minutes later was really big. This was a good way to end the weekend and we now have to build on this victory."
The Blue & Gray held a 19-5 advantage in shots, and an 8-1 margin in shots on goal. Hargreaves led all players with seven attempts. The Owls also had the edge in corner kicks 7-2, including five in the first half.
Rice is now 1-1-1 on the season. McNeese State is 1-2-0 on the year. The Owls next return home for a pair of games next weekend. Rice hosts longtime rival TCU on Friday (Aug. 31) at 7 pm. The Blue & Gray hosts Texas State on Sunday (Sept. 2) at 7 pm.