HOUSTON - Behind an eye-opening school record four goals from junior Holly Hargreaves the Rice soccer team coasted to a 6-0 Conference USA victory over visiting Louisiana Tech Sunday afternoon at Holloway Field in Houston.
Hargreaves gave Rice the lead by scoring in the 12th minute, which in hindsight would have been all the Owls needed on the way to the team's fifth defensive shutout of the season. The native of New Hope, Pa., however, wasn't quite finished. She would go on to register two more goals before halftime and her school-record-breaking fourth of the game in the 68th minute on the way to another convincing Rice win.
Two days ago the Owls opened C-USA league play by controlling Southern Miss with ease, 4-0. Hargreaves was held-off the scoreboard in the that game, but bounced-back with a hat trick-plus Sunday. She led all players with nine shots in 67 minutes of action and lifted her career goals-scored total to 25, which also broke the existing Rice mark.
In the 75th minute Lauren Hughes stretched the Rice lead to 5-0 with her fifth goal of the season and the 23rd score of her collegiate career. In the 81st Owl true freshman Nia Stallings extended the final margin to 6-0 with her third goal of the year.
The Blue & Gray had scored six times on 18 shots. It was the most goals an Owl team had tallied in a single game since 2006 - and a high-flying total of 10 goals in back-to-back C-USA league games.
Almost lost in all the offensive fireworks of the weekend was another steady showing by the Owl defense. The backline was sound and solid in allowing only two shots on-goal. Senior goalkeeper Amy Czyz was there to make saves on both S.O.G. attempts, working all 90 minutes of the contest.
Rice improved to 6-1-2 on the season and 2-0-0 in C-USA play. The Blue Gray posted the team's eighth-consecutive match without a loss dating back to August 22. The Owls have wrapped-up the weekend homestand and next play at C-USA foe UTSA on Friday (Oct. 3).