Preseason Accolades For Chaiken & Stallings

Aug. 7, 2017

IRVING, Texas - Led by the senior duo of preseason honorees Samantha Chaiken and Nia Stallings, the Rice soccer team was picked tied for second in the 2017 C-USA head coaches' poll announced on Monday (Aug. 7).

The preseason all-conference honors and ranking were determined on a vote of the 14 C-USA head soccer coaches. It is the fourth time in the last five years for Rice to be picked as high as second by the annual head coaches’ poll. Defending regular season champion North Texas was picked first in the poll. The Owls were tied for second in the poll with 2016 C-USA Tournament champ Charlotte.

As a junior last season the league coaches voted Chaiken as the C-USA Midfielder of the Year. The Dallas native earned All-Central Region honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) after starting all 17 games and finishing second on the team with 1,532 minutes. Chaiken also finished fourth on the team in shots and maintained a .344 shots-on-goal percentage.

Stallings is a returning first team All-Conference USA forward from a year ago who earned the Rice Soccer Offensive MVP award for leading the program with five goals and sharing the team lead with seven assists. The native of San Antonio, Texas, scored in four-straight matches during one stretch and twice notched the Owls’ game-winning goal. Stallings maintained a steady .500 shots-on-goal percentage while playing 85 or more minutes 12 times.

All the Owls train under head coach Nicky Adams, now starting her seventh full season at the helm of the soccer program and her 15th year at the school overall. In 2017 Rice returns eight of 11 starters that went 11-5-1 and advanced to the C-USA Tournament. The Blue & Gray return a total of 18 letterwinners from a year ago and welcome in a talented new recruiting class.



The Owls reported for preseason training on August 1, and the team has a short time to prepare for 2017 action. Rice takes the field in an exhibition match at SEC power LSU on Friday (Aug. 11). The Blue & Gray then host a second and final exhibition match on Sunday (Aug. 13) against state foe Stephen F. Austin. The Owls officially open the season on August 18 on the road in Austin against longtime rival Texas. The squad's home-opener is set for August 20 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Results of the 2017 C-USA Soccer Coaches preseason poll are as follows:

Women’s Soccer Preseason Team
Megan Greene, Charlotte, So., F
Riley Orr, Charlotte So., MF/D
Martha Thomas, Charlotte, Sr., MF/F
Nomvula Kgoale, LA Tech, Sr., D
Carissa Sanders, North Texas, Jr., D
Jackie Stroud, Old Dominion, Sr., D
Samantha Chaiken, Rice, Sr., MF
Nia Stallings, Rice, Sr., F
Chandler Backes, WKU, So., F/D
Allison Leone, WKU, Sr., GK
Nicole Roseland, WKU, Jr., MF

Women’s Soccer Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Martha Thomas, Charlotte, Sr., MF/F

Women’s Soccer Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Nomvula Kgoale, LA Tech, Sr., D

Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll
1. North Texas (8)
T2. Rice (1)
T2. Charlotte (5)
4. Florida Atlantic
5. WKU
6. Old Dominion
7. LA Tech
9. Marshall
10. UTSA
11. Middle Tennessee
12. FIU
13. Southern Miss
14. UAB



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