In addition to winning its fifth match in a row Rice, now 9-4-1 on the season and 6-2-0 in C-USA action, punched its ticket to next month’s league tournament for the seventh-straight year. The Owls have compiled 18 points from the six C-USA wins to hold a tie for second place in the conference standings with two regular season games left to play. Old Dominion dropped to 5-10-0 overall and 3-4-0 in conference for nine points in the C-USA standings.
The first half was equal parts caution and defense. The Owls blocked an Old Dominion shot outside the 18-yard box in the tenth minute, and wasn’t able to attempt a shot of their own until almost midway through the first half. In the 32nd minute Rice sophomore Marissa Topolski had a header past the ODU keeper, but a head’s-up defensive play by the Monarchs cleared the shot off the back line to keep it scoreless at the intermission.
Rice found its stride, and the back of the ODU net, quickly in the second half. In the 47th minute junior Aliza Wolf unleashed a hard shot attempt from 25 yards out on the right wing that broke the deadlock. Wolfe’s fourth goal of the season made it 1-0, but the Owls still needed some more breathing room.
In the 79th minute, senior Jenny Fichera broke with the ball on the near right side that drew the full attention of the Monarch defenders. As the ODU line closed-in, Fichera played to Stallings charging-in from ten yards out in front of the goal. Stallings settled the pass and rifled a shot that found the back of the Monarch net on the left side.
Rice dug-in for the final minutes to preserve the fifth-straight win and the squad’s fifth shutout effort. The Blue & Gray finished with a 12-4 lead in shots and a 4-1 margin in corner kicks.
The Owls conclude the final homestand of the regular season on Sunday (Oct. 23). Rice hosts Charlotte at Holloway Field in a 1 pm start time. The contest has been designated as the Rice soccer program’s Breast Cancer Awareness game.