Rice is now 7-3-3 on the season and 3-2-1 in C-USA play for a total of 10 points in the league standings. The Owls are in a four-way tie for fourth in the standings, all still three points back of first place North Texas. FIU improved to 7-6-1 overall and 2-2-1 in conference (seven points).
Trailing 1-0 and with only a precious few ticks on the clock remaining in the game's 90th minute, Owl senior Quinny Truong secured a pass to Hughes in traffic in front of the FIU goal. Hughes quickly converted a shot attempt to the back of the Panthers' net to equalize the score, 1-1.
Better late than never, Hughes' goal was her sixth of the season. The standout from Ottawa, Ontario, netted the 24th score of her career, the second-highest individual total in school history.
There was, however, still work to be done against a talented FIU squad that would not go away so easily playing at home. The Panthers rallied on a counter attack for the golden-goal game winner in the 97th minute.
In the first half the Owls had what appeared to be a goal get wiped-off the ledger. In the the 37th minute, senior Gabriela Iribarne launched a corner kick that sailed directly to the back of the FIU net. The play was negated by a Rice foul, and the game remained scoreless until the 55th minute.
"FIU is a very talented team that did a good job of disrupting us all game long," said Rice head coach Nicky Adams. "I thought we got a bit unlucky when we were not awarded a goal on a corner, but overall we didn't play out best. Sunday against FAU becomes very important."
It was the Blue & Gray's eighth overtime game this season and the squad's third in a row. Rice's south Florida road swing concludes on Sunday (Oct. 19) at Florida Atlantic University. Start time in Boca Raton, Fla., is set for 1 pm (12 noon Central Time).