Rice head soccer coach Chris Huston announced the signing of six players from the high school and club levels on Wednesday (Feb. 1), the first national day to sign with the sport.
Rice's recruiting scope is nation-wide, but three of the best were found in-state. Stephanie Crain, a midfielder from Round Rock, Kellen Schugart, a defender from Kingwood and Erin Scott, a forward from Richardson are among the state's top players. The national signees are Katelyn Ostendorf, a defender/midfielder from Zionsville, Ind., Jessica Ross, a midfielder/forward from Carlsbad, Calif., and Shelley Wong, a midfielder from Virginia Beach, Va., who was cited by the web site SoccerBuzz as among the Top 150 players in the United States.
The signees join a young Owl squad that won the 2005 Conference USA championship its first year in the league and advanced to a second-consecutive NCAA Tournament last season. Coach Huston had high praise for the program's newest members.
"As the program is building our signing classes are getting better and better each year and I definitely think this is our best class yet." Huston said. "This is a group of hard workers. Not only are they great players, but the intensity and competitiveness of our training sessions is going to go up on a daily basis and help us get better in the process.
"I truly believe every one of these signees could challenge for a starting position right away. Last year we proved that we are recruiting players who can start in their first year. Five came in and started for us and we won the conference championship. This class is a good fit for our program and will help the team reach the next level. I want to thank my assistant coaches, Nicky Adams and Justin Zoslow, who did a great job all year. We are looking forward to the season next fall."