Only five days ago Hargreaves set a school record with four goals in a single game (a 6-0 Rice win over Louisiana Tech). She wasted no time getting back on the attack Friday against the Roadrunners. Just 21 seconds into the start of the match, Hargreaves fielded a pass from freshman Samantha Chaiken and fired a close-range shot past the goalkeeper for a rapid 1-0 Owl lead.
Hargreaves had managed to tie the Rice record for the fastest Owl goal to start a game, but she wasn't finished yet. In the 23rd minute, junior forward Lauren Hughes' cross found Hargreaves charging hard inside the 18. Her second goal of the night was converting a one-on-one attempt to double the Rice margin to 2-0.
The goals were Hargreaves' seventh and eighth of the season. With the four goals in 67 minutes of playing time last Sunday and another two more in 23 minutes at UTSA, the native of New Hope, Pa., had amassed six goals in a combined 90 minutes.
"No doubt about it," said Rice head coach Nicky Adams, "Holly got on a roll last game and she kept it going tonight. She's a great player who has worked really hard, this whole season and even going back to last spring. You could see how confident she's been playing the last few weeks and her recent success isn't some kind of accident. Holly has been putting herself in dangerous offensive positions, and her teammates also deserve credit for their part in getting the offense to work as well as it has."
Senior Quinny Truong added the final goal of the night in the 64th minute, with the second assist of the night by Hughes. Since the start of C-USA action last week Rice has outscored its three league opponents by a combined margin of 13-0. After Friday's league games had finished, the Owls remained tied for first place in the C-USA standings with a 3-0-0 record. The Blue & Gray improved to 7-1-2 overall and stretched its current unbeaten streak to nine-consecutive matches dating back to August 22. Rice soccer is on its best run of games dating back to an 8-0-1 mark in 2006.
"Holly's understandably getting a lot of the attention, but everybody has been playing well," Adams emphasized. "UTSA is a very good team and tonight they were playing at home. Our defense came up with its third-straight conference shutout, and that big-time. Amy (Czyz) did another nice job in-goal tonight, making saves and keeping us organized. (Senior defender) Ashton (Geisendorff) was awesome. She played so hard all the way to the end that she blocked a late and open shot that saved the shutout. Ashton has been playing as well as Holly has lately, only it may not get as noticed as much because she's on defense."
Czyz finished a total of three saves on the way to the team's sixth shutout of the season. Rice held a 15-11 advantage in shots, while the corner kicks were 5-5. The Owls concluded the two-game weekend road-swing at longtime foe UTEP on Sunday (Oct. 5). Start time against the Miners is set for 2 pm (Central Time).