Aug. 6, 2013
On the same day the players on the Rice soccer team reported for the first time this season, the Owls were picked second in Conference USA in a preseason poll of the league's 16 head coaches the C-USA office announced on August 6.
Rice was picked second in the 2013 preseason poll behind Colorado College. A year ago both schools tied for the league's regular season championship with identical 8-2-1 C-USA records. New league member North Texas, coming off a Sun Belt Conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance, was picked third. Tulsa was voted fourth while FIU was picked fifth.
The new-look C-USA grew from 12 teams in 2012 to 16 in for 2013. For women's soccer the conference features two eight-team divisions (East and West). The top five teams in each division following the regular season will earn a spot in the 2013 Conference USA Championship, hosted by Rice from November 4-10.
Under the direction of head coach Nicky Adams the Owls return eight of its starting 11 players from last season, including all four of the team's top goal-scores. In 2012 Rice was led in goals (10) and shots (76) by Holly Hargreaves, a sophomore from New Hope, Pa. Hargreaves was named as a 2013 C-USA Player to Watch after being named the C-USA Freshman of the Year last season.
Rice hosts an exhibition match on August 16 (Friday) against the University of Houston at 7 pm. The Owls officially open the season on August 23 at home against longtime state rival and NCAA Tournament participant Stephen F. Austin. Start time is slated for 7 pm. Soccer season tickets are $50 for reserved seating, and $99 for a family plan that includes two adult and two youth season tickets. All soccer season ticket plans include a set of Rice Soccer trading cards and two ticket vouchers to any home Rice volleyball match.