RUSTON, La. -- The Rice soccer team jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and pulled away for a 4-0 shutout Conference USA road victory at Louisiana Tech Thursday night in Ruston, La.
Rice found a way to cool the hottest team in the conference that entered the contest with a seven-match win streak and had outscored opponents 31-6. The Owls held the bulk of the possession with a game of keep-away before striking for a goal in the tenth minute.
Sophomore Annie Walker lined a corner kick from the left side into traffic in front of the Techster goal. Junior team captain Samantha Chaiken leapt and won the ball in the air, and headed it in for her first goal of the season.
The Owls soon doubled the margin. In the 16th minute, Walker was back for another corner on the same side. She set the ball back in almost the same spot, but this time the ball deflected off a Tech player back into their own net for a 2-0 lead.
LA Tech continued to battle in the second stanza, but Rice found the back of the net two more times to put the game out of reach. In the 76th minute, Jenny Fichera crossed a pass from the right wing in front of the goal where Darcy Mickalow chipped-in a close-range shot for her first goal of the season.
Rice was not quite finished, however. In the 78th minute true freshman Haley Kostyshyn stole a deflection in the middle of the field and charged toward the Tech keeper. After crossing the 18 she blasted away on an attempt that found the back of the net for her first career goal and a 4-0 margin.
The Blue & Gray finished with an 11-4 advantage in shots and held a 4-1 margin in corner kicks. Owl freshman keeper Samantha Colley finished the match with three saves, all in the second half.
Rice is now 4-3-1 on the season and 1-1-0 in C-USA league play. Louisiana Tech is 9-2-1 overall and 1-1-0 in conference.
The match is the Owls' lone outing of the week. Rice next returns home to host Western Kentucky and Southern Miss on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, respectively.