HOUSTON -- The Rice soccer team finished with a 26-13 advantage in shots and a 7-4 margin with corner kicks over visiting Middle Tennessee Sunday afternoon in a Conference USA league game, but neither defenses would yield in a 0-0 double-overtime tie in Houston.
Rice is now 9-5-2 overall and 5-2-1 in conference action. With the draw the Owls picked up their 16th point in the C-USA standings to hold sole possession of second place amongst the roller-coaster positioning of teams trying to make the season-ending tournament. Middle Tennessee moved to 8-5-2 on the season and 4-2-1 in conference for 13 points.
With a barrage of 26 shots over the 110-minute contest, Rice tallied a new season-high in attempts. The Owls' usual offensive leaders, Lauren Hughes and Holly Hargreaves, were again front and center in the fray. The senior forwards combined for ten of the team's attempts, including four shots on-goal.
Owl true freshman midfielder Dominique Mazero never came off the field was tough to contain on the way to taking a career-high four attempts. Junior Madeleine Lundberg also provided an offensive presence with a career-high four shots. The transfer from the Air Force Academy had solid two back-to-back shots in the 86th minute where either one could have been the difference-maker. Credit Middle Tennessee goalkeeper Kelsey Brouwer with making athletic stops on both shots, part of an eye-opening 13-save afternoon for the Blue Raider senior.
Brouwer had Rice's full attention with her career-best day for saves, and also a shot attempt of her own during the 106th minute that went just high over the crossbar. The Blue Raiders hit the Rice crossbar on a shot in the 24th minute. The Owls dodged a possible goal, but played well enough defensively to notch the squad's third complete game shutout in the last four outings.
Some of Rice's defensive highlights included clearing a shot off the line in the 40th minute to record the second team save in as many weeks. It was a big play, but the Owls though may not have had a better pair of stops all day than when it mattered most. Starting in the 103rd minute the defense thwarted two back-to-back Middle Tennessee corner kicks that were high on the danger scale.
Rice has concluded the weekend homestand. The Owls next play at first place North Texas in a key C-USA match on Oct. 25 (Sun.) at 7 pm.