The second day of the Rice Soccer team's 2018 Tour of Spain (Tuesday, March 13) was equal parts what the Barcelona natives call Negocis i Pleas.
Business and Pleasure.
The team had the pleasure of visiting both the centuries-old Montjuic Castle on the Mediterranean coast, as well as its more modern hilltop neighbor, Olympic Stadium (the primary facility for when Barcelona hosted the 1992 Games).
It was a slightly less day of sightseeing than Monday's first day of the tour, and with good reason. Rice was scheduled to play its first international exhibition in the history of the program later that evening. The Owls bussed north to Sant Cugat, Spain, to play RCD Espanyol Femeni at Centre D'alt Rendiment Esportiu.
Rice's opponent was a women's professional team from the Spanish First Division, and it goes without saying that futbol in Spain in all business. The Owls were up for the challenge.
In the game's 11th minute, Owl goalkeeper Maya Hoyer blasted a long punt that then took a Montjuic Castle-sized bounce past the Espanyol back line. Junior forward Marissa Topolski saw the opportunity and shot after the ball with the defenders now in pursuit. When the keeper committed, Topolski launched a shot from the left wing to the back of the home net on the right side for an early 1-0 Rice lead.
Espanyol continued to apply offensive pressure, particularly in the second half, but the Owl goalkeeper tandem of Hoyer and Amanda McMaster kept the shutout intact.
With the possible exception of the FC Barcelona v. Chelsea match scheduled for sold out Camp Nou this Wednesday night, there may not be a better match on the entire Iberian Peninsula this week!!
Follow the team´s Tour of Spain all week!