Key Soccer Victory Sunday at FAU, 3-2

Samantha Chaiken
Sid Richardson College
Oct. 19, 2014

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BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Rice soccer team built an early 3-0 lead before hanging-on to a key 3-2 Conference USA road victory Sunday afternoon in Boca Raton, Fla.

Rice is now 8-3-3 on the season and 4-2-1 in C-USA play for a total of 13 points in the league standings. The Blue & Gray in a four-way tie for second in the standings, all still three points back of first place North Texas. FAU fell to 7-7-3 overall and 2-3-1 in conference (seven points). FAU is 7-7-3 and 2-3-2 overall.

Rice was all too aware of the importance of the day's outcome, and quickly went to work. By the 16th-minute the team had three goals and was well on its way to eclipsing its win total from last season (with three regular season matches still left to play).

In the 6th minute, Lauren Hughes broke for space after fielding a pass from Holly Hargreaves and fired a shot to the inside back corner of the FAU net. The goal was Hughes' seventh of the season and second of the weekend after a goal at FIU on Friday night.

The 1-0 lead was needed, but Rice came right back with another score in the 9th minute. Freshman Samantha Chaiken headed Gabriela Iribarne's corner kick for a 2-0 advantage, but the team wasn't finished.

In the 16th minute Mary Claire Danilevics headed a corner in traffic that FAU managed to block away, but junior midfielder Danielle Spriggs alertly played the deflection to the back of the net to stretch the margin to 3-0. In the second half Rice had a shot off a corner kick that bounced off the FAU crossbar.

"We can be dangerous on corner kicks," said Rice head coach Nicky Adams. "We hadn't been our best (on corners) the last few games and today I think we learned we can help ourselves when we are.

"Overall we had a much better game today than Friday (a loss in overtime at FIU)," she explained. "I thought Friday's game was one of our worst all year and being able to bounce-back and play well, particularly early in the game, was one of the keys today. We we're really very good the first two-thirds of the game.

"Samantha and Quinny Truong were fantastic in the middle today," Adams added. "Holly did well holding the ball for us. I'm proud that everyone came together to win a conference road game. These teams are tough-enough to play as is, but on the road when the other team is having its senior day makes it just that much more difficult and important to be able to win."

The head coach was proved right again. Even down 3-0 early, FAU continued to fight - adding a goal on a PK near the end of the first half and then pulling to within one with a score in the 60th minute. FAU went on to out-shoot Rice 11-4 in the second half. Rice senior Amy Czyz finished the day with four saves to keep the score a 3-2 final.

Rice hosts its final two home matches of the regular season next weekend on Oct. 24 & 26. The Blue & Gray welcome Old Dominion and Charlotte, respectively, at Holloway Field in a pair of games that should have a major impact on the league standings.





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