NORFOLK, Va. -- Samantha Chaiken and Dominique Mazero both scored second half goals to help lift the Owls' soccer team to a 2-0 Conference USA road victory at Old Dominion University Friday evening in Norfolk, Va.
The teams were deadlocked in a scoreless first half, with both squads taking an identical total of just three shots. After some adjustments at the intermission, Rice registered a pair of goals on the way to the team's third complete game shutout of the season.
In the 52nd minute Lauren Hughes served a free kick from deep in ODU territory on the left wing into some busy traffic front of the keeper's box. After some pinball-like caroms, sophomore midfielder Samantha Chaiken had the cleanest touch and headed the ball into the back of the Monarch net for her first goal of the season and a 1-0 Owl lead.
Rice was soon back on the attack in the 57th minute. Jenny Fichera passed a free kick to Danielle Spriggs in a full sprint down the right sideline. With just a smallest of windows from a pressuring ODU defense, Spriggs crossed sharply to Mazero coming in quick but quiet near the back of the keeper's area. The true freshman from Allen, Texas, headed the pass to the right side-netting for her second goal of the season that doubled the margin to 2-0.
The insurance goal proved to be more than enough room as Rice junior keeper Zoe Pochobradsky notched three saves in the squad's first shutout in league play. The Owl backline of Fichera, Jessica Johnston, Jasmine Isokpunwu and Aliza Wolfe were sound and solid. The unit combined to hold ODU to an austere total of just six shots on the night, tying for the lowest mark the Owls have allowed all season.
Rice improved to 7-5-1 overall and 3-2-0 in C-USA action. Old Dominion is now 4-8-0 on the season and 2-1-0 in league play.
The Owls' C-USA weekend road swing concludes at Charlotte on Sunday (Oct. 11). Start time for the match is slated for noon Central Time (1 pm Eastern).