SAN ANTONIO -- The Rice soccer team overcame a 1-0 first half deficit on the way to a 3-2 Conference USA road victory at UTSA Friday night in San Antonio.
It was the usual 11 players to a side, but the team that had the 12-18 mph central Texas wind at its back for each of the respective halves played with a distinct advantage. UTSA had the wind in the opening period and built a 1-0 lead on an 8-7 edge in shots as well as a 6-1 margin in corner kicks. The wind didn't change direction nor speeds in the second half, but when the teams did the momentum and lead soon followed.
Rice was able to dominate the second half, holding a 15-2 advantage in shots of which seven were on-goal. The Owls tied the game in the 64th minute when sophomore Darcy Mickalow stole a Roadrunner pass inside the UTSA keeper's box and quickly converted a close-range shot for her third goal of the year and tie for the most on the team this season.
The Owls had found the equalizer, but the team was not quite finished. In the 70th minute UTSA deflected away Marissa Topolski's hard shot on goal, but Nia Stallings opportunistically played the offensive carom into the back of the net from six yards out for her second score of the season.
In the 73rd minute, Stallings' shot on-goal was punch away only to have freshman Liannne Mananquil play the rebound near the keeper's box for her second goal of the season and a 3-1 Rice lead.
The Blue & Gray continued to apply the pressure with five more shots for a final total of 22 on the night, but UTSA was not going to go so quietly at home. In the 89th minute the Roadrunners rallied behind Alexis Alaniz' second goal of the night to pull back within one, 3-2. It was one of only two shots UTSA attempted in the second half, and both were in the final nine minutes.
Rice improved to 6-4-1 on the season and 3-2 on C-USA league play. UTSA is now 5-8-0 on the season and 1-3-0 in conference.
The Owls continue the weekend road swing on Sunday. Rice plays at longtime conference rival UTEP at 1 pm (Central Time).