A host of Owls were honored at the Rice soccer program's spring Sports Awards Banquet held on Saturday (March 12).
The awards were presented from different areas, including the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Conference USA, the Rice Academic Advising Office, for being the respective statistical leaders, and the program's own distinctive list of annual individual awards.
Senior Lauren Hughes was named the Owls' 2015 Player of the Year after setting new school career records for goals (39), assists (28) and points (106) to name just a few of the myriad of milestones. The standout Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, also recently signed a contract to become just the second Rice Owl to play professionally.
Hughes and her Owl teammates were all greeted by fans, family and Rice staff members. Rice head coach Nicky Adams said the event was an appropriate salute to the fantastic heights the program achieved.
Adams guided Rice soccer to a winning 10-6-2 overall record and to the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament after posting a 5-2-2 C-USA ledger. After five full seasons at the helm of the program, Adams has trained an Owl to earn NSCAA All-Region honors every year. A former collegiate All-American at Texas A&M who went on to play professionally and last fall was inducted into her alma mater’s Athletics Hall of Fame, Adams owns a career coaching record of 57-37-19.
The 2015 Rice team awards (below) were determined by a program vote.
2015 Rice Soccer Team Awards
Player of the Year – Lauren Hughes
Offensive MVP – Nia Stallings
Defensive MVP – Jenny Fichera
Co-Midfielders of the Year – Danielle Spriggs and Madeleine Lundberg
Rookie of the Year – Dominique Mazero
Most Improved – Aliza Wolfe
Warrior Award (the Owl who plays with the most heart and desire in both practices and games) – Ruth Seleznick
Who's Hoo (the player who sparks the team or make the most immediate impact when entering the game off the bench) – Nia Stallings
Iron Owl (presented by the Rice Strength & Conditioning staff to the team's top performer/best work ethic & attitude in the weight room) – Ruth Seleznick
Leading Goal Scorer – Lauren Hughes
Assists Leader – Lauren Hughes
2015 captains – Samantha Chaiken, Gen Grundy and Danielle Spriggs
2015 managers – Lauren Busansky and Sam Adams