DAYTON, Ohio -- The University of Dayton scored three goals midway through the first half on the way to a 5-2 win over the visiting Rice soccer team Friday evening in Dayton, Ohio.
Rice saw its streak of five-consecutive matches without a loss since the season-opener vs. No. 5 ranked Texas A&M snapped under a steady rain. The Owls, now 4-2-1 overall, may have held a 19-14 advantage in shots and 10-7 edge in corner kicks, but fifth-year head coach Nicky Adams wanted to be clear that the final team result trumps any statistics sheet.
"It was a disastrous performance," coach Adams said. "I don't think you take 19 shots and create ten corner kicks and lose 5-2.
"Credit to Dayton," Adams stated. "I thought they pounced on opportunities based on our mistakes and put them in the back of the goal. I thought we had plenty of opportunities in the final third to score goals, and at the end of the day we didn't."
With goals in the 15th, 17th and 22nd minutes Dayton amassed a 3-0 lead before the halfway point of the first period. The Owls battled back for a goal in the 32nd minute when junior Jenny Fichera lined a corner kick to a leaping Gabby Martinez. The freshman headed the ball to the back post for her second goal in the last eight days. Rice had cut the margin to 3-1, but Dayton turned right around and scored in the 33rd minute to take a 4-1 advantage into the intermission.
The Blue & Gray came back with a second goal in the 51st minute. Fichera zipped-in a penalty kick for her second goal of the season to make it 4-2, and with a lot of soccer still left to play. Dayton answered with a season-high fifth goal in the 54th minute after the Owls were close to clearing-away a slippery rebound shot off a Flyer set piece. Both Rice and Dayton finished the contest with an identical five saves.
"This team has to get together and regroup quickly because we're going to play a tough Miami-Ohio team on Sunday," coach Adams explained. "I am disappointed in the overall performance with the eleven players who were out there at one time. You can't have only one or two players step up and play really well and expect to win games. Everybody has to be on the same page for us to win matches. Hopefully we will understand the things we need to fix so we can make it better quickly."
The Owls next play at Miami-Ohio on Sept. 13. Start time Oxford, Ohio, is set for 11 am Central Time.