Oct. 28, 2011
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HOUSTON - Rice junior midfielder Julia Barrow scored the game-tying goal late in the first half and the Owls and University of Houston soccer teams went on to finish in a 1-1 tie Friday night across town at Robertson Stadium. The tie earned both teams a single point in the final C-USA standings, which is all the Owls needed.
Rice battled for a win against the crosstown rival Cougars, out-shooting UH 12-11 and holding a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks. This time there is a silver lining in a stalemate. With the tie (and based on how other league game played out late Friday night in El Paso and at Tulsa) the Owls clinched the No. 6 seed in next week's C-USA Championship Tournament in Memphis, Tenn. The Blue & Gray finished the regular season with 14 points to tie both UTEP and Tulsa for sixth place in the final C-USA standings. Rice went 1-0-1 in the regular season against those two teams and next meets No. 3 seed SMU on Nov. 2 (Wed.) in Memphis at 2:30 pm.
Rice had to rally for the C-USA standing's all-important point on Friday. Houston struck first with a goal in the 25th minute by Alexis Weaver after a pass from Kylie Cook.
Down but not out, Rice answered with the equalizer with the less than seven minutes remaining before the half. Senior Hope Ward set up a corner kick and found Julia Barrow past some traffic clustered at the keeper's box. Though Barrow had been sidelined the last three weeks with an injury, the Dallas native came up big in her return to action. She lined a header to the back of the Cougar net for her first goal of the season that knotted the game up at 1-1.
Goalkeepers for both teams made the score stand for the rest of the first half, the final 45 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods. Rice freshman keeper Amy Czyz finished the night with five saves, including a clutch stop in the second overtime.
"Any time Rice and Houston meet, it doesn't matter what the teams have done before, it is always a physical battle," said Rice head coach Nicky Adams. "All we had to do was get a tie, and our girls battled and came from behind. It's a remarkable thing to do when both teams had their backs to the wall. I'm excited that we get another opportunity to extend the season for (Rice's) seniors.
"Julia was the game-changer to day," coach Adams added. "Not only did she win balls in the air, she calmed-us down in the midfield. For her to sit sidelined on the bench and watch her teammates battle the last three weeks, and then come in clutch when it mattered the most, is amazing. I am so glad she is our captain and an amazing, amazing, kid."
Rice moved to 9-7-3 on the season and 4-5-2 in C-USA play. Houston finished the year with a 6-11-2 overall record and 3-6-2 ledger in the league.
The game's official box score appears at the above links.