Oct. 27, 2013
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HOUSTON - The Rice soccer team twice rallied from deficits before finishing in a 2-2 double-overtime tie with visiting East Carolina in a Conference USA league match Sunday afternoon at Holloway field in Houston.
With the tie the Owls are now in sole possession of fifth place in the C-USA's West Division standings, but the team still does not have a guaranteed spot in the upcoming C-USA Championship to be held Nov. 4-10 at Rice. The Blue & Gray must now either win Thursday (Oct. 31) at sixth-place Louisiana Tech, or get a tie and some help from UTSA in the Roadrunners' game at Tulsa that same night. A La Tech win over Rice Thursday lifts the Bulldogs past the Owls on the final day of the league's regular season schedule.
On Sunday Rice was paced by the sophomore forward duo of Lauren Hughes and Holly Hargreaves. After ECU scored in the 44th minute to hold a 1-0 lead at the intermission, Hargreaves tied the game in the 54th minute with a close-range shot after a sharp centering pass from Hughes. The Pirates moved back in front 2-1 on Kendall Fret's goal in the 75th minute, but Rice would rally one final time. In the 85th minute junior midfielder Quinny Truong lined a hard cross from the left wing. The pass was too tall for teammate Gabriela Iribarne inside the keeper's box, but not for Hughes charging in behind who converted on the shot attempt for her team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The score remained 2-2 at the end of regulation, and stayed deadlocked for two ten-minute overtime periods before officially ending in a tie. Owl goalkeeper Amy Czyz registered seven saves as the team moved to 6-7-3 overall and an 4-4-1 in C-USA. East Carolina is now 7-8-3 on the season and 4-4-1 in conference.
Start time for Rice's Thursday's match at Louisiana Tech is set for 7 pm in Ruston, La.