HOUSTON -- Junior Mary Claire Danilevics scored her first career goal in the 86th minute to help lift the Rice soccer team to 2-1 victory over crosstown foe Houston Baptist in its 2016 home opener at Holloway Field on Friday night (Aug. 26).
With the match deadlocked 1-1 and the game winding down in its final minutes, the 5-foot-11 Danilevics headed-in a corner kick from senior Jenny Fichera to put the Owls in front. It was Rice's first goal off a set piece this season and, better late than never, was on the team's 11th and final corner of the night after holding possession and controlling the tempo on the Huskies for most of the contest. Danilevics, a defender by trade but who can also use her height as an offensive option, became the 18th player in school history to have her first career goal also be the Owls' game-winning goal.
Where Rice had a comfortable 11-1 margin in corner kicks as well as a 17-6 advantage in shots, the scoreboard was another matter. The match was scoreless at the intermission and almost at to the midpoint of the second half. In the 61st minute, Rice freshman Lianne Mananquil passed left to right to junior Aliza Wolfe outside the 18. Wolfe blasted away on her team-high fourth and final shot of the night and found the back of the HBU net. Her second goal in as many games put the Blue & Gray in front 1-0.
The Huskies, however, would not go away so easily playing in the city of Houston for the first time this season. In the 66th minute, Allison Abendschein stole a Rice pass near the center circle and headed on her own toward the Owl goal. She converted on a close shot for her first goal of the year and a new 1-1 game.
The Owls proceeded to have four solid shots with good looks at the goal before Danilevics broke the tie. Rice true freshman goalkeeper Samantha Colley made her collegiate debut midway through the second half and finished the night with a pair of key saves, including a diving stop on the ball with just 11 seconds left.
Rice, now 1-1 on the season, next hosts Samford on Friday (Sept. 2) as part of a two-game weekend. After Samford the Owls then host longtime foe Sam Houston State on Sept. 4. Start time for both matches at Holloway Field is set for 7 pm.