Owls Host Baylor To Open 2012 Soccer Season

Aug. 16, 2012

Rice Ticket Office Page
Catch the games on OwlVision All-Access (subscription service; available at game time)
Live Stats vs. Baylor (available at game time)
C-USA Soccer Home Page
Just For Kicks, 2012 Edition
Rice Soccer 360! (a 360-degree photo of Rice Soccer)

THIS WEEK: The Rice soccer team opens its 2012 season at home this Friday (Aug. 17) against national power Baylor. Start time is slated for 7 pm at the Rice Soccer Stadium's Holloway Field. The non-conference clash is Rice's only game of the weekend. The Owls return to action on August 24 in a road game at LSU.

CATCH HOME GAMES LIVE ON OWLVISION ALL-ACCESS: All Rice home games are scheduled for a live web broadcast on OwlVision All-Access. OwlVision is a subscription-based service which provides a live video and audio feed on the Internet. All the information about watching Rice sports on-line is available at the All-Access Soccer Link (provided above).

LIVE IN-GAME STATS: Live in-game statistics for all Rice home matches and C-USA league games are posted on the web. At the start of the game go to the GameTracker link at the top of this page, the soccer schedule page, or on the home page of RiceOwls.com, and follow a text play-by-play of the action.



QUICK ON THE OWLS: The 2012 Rice soccer team features 18 letterwinners, including nine regular starters, from last season's team that posted a winning 10-7-4 record and reached the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament. A total of seven newcomers are on the squad, all of which are freshmen with elite club and high school experience. The Blue & Gray has five veteran seniors, including Lauren LaGro on defense and Julia Barrow in the midfield. Junior defender Hayley Williams is a stalwart on the Owls' backline who has started all 41 games in her Rice career.

HEAD COACH NICKY ADAMS: Rice Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan promoted Nicky Adams to the Owls' head soccer coach on Nov. 15, 2010. Adams joined the Rice soccer staff in January of 2003 and was named associate head coach in 2006. The former All-America soccer player and 2001 graduate of Texas A&M, has led the Owls to an 15-11-8 record since Sept. 18, 2010... She is assisted by coach John Adams (Cincinnati, 2003), who is in his third year with the team and Allison Martino (Texas A&M, 2008), who is in her second year at Rice.

GOING FIRST: The soccer team is the first Owl squad to get intercollegiate competition underway for the 2012 fall semester. The Rice volleyball team gets its season underway on Aug. 24, the Owl football team kicks-off on Aug. 30, women's cross country begins on Sept. 8, golf starts on Sept. 10 and men's cross country on Sept. 14.

EARLIEST START EVER: The Aug. 17 start date is the earliest opening day for soccer in school history. It tops the previous record set last season by two days (Aug. 19, 2011).

OPENERS: Rice is 5-4-2 in season-openers. In 2011 the Blue and Gray lost its season-opener for the second time in as many years with a 1-0 defeat at Texas Tech. The Owls are 7-2-2 in their home-openers. The team is undefeated (3-0-1) when the season-opener is also the home-opener.

PREVIOUS OUTING - Freshmen Shine In Owls' Blue-Gray Exhibition: HOUSTON - Lightning strikes in the area may have delayed the start of the Rice soccer program's preseason Blue-Gray scrimmage On Aug. 11, but it didn't appear there was anything that could stop the whirlwind of shots and goals both teams posted in a rapid-paced exhibition at the Owls' soccer stadium... On paper the Blue squad rallied from a 4-1 deficit to win 7-5. Of greater importance is that unlike the Rice squad from a year ago the scrimmage showed the 2012 Owls play fast, forward, and together. Head coach Nicky Adams split the squad into two evenly-paired teams of eight. Not only did the Blue & Gray teams proceed to combine for 12 goals on 58 shots, the offensive surge was in just 60 total minutes of action (divided into two 30-minute halves), and not the normal 90-minute game... "Obviously after going through two weeks of two-a-days it's exciting just to come out here and put it all together," coach Adams said. "It ended-up being a pretty even game. Overall I thought our speed of play was really good. The intensity, even though we were just playing against each other, was outstanding. It shows how much every player on this team cares about the outcome."... For coach Adams the good news got better as it was the team's seven new freshmen players who stepped-in to provide the offensive fireworks. Owl rookies Holly Hargreaves, Lauren Hughes, Jasmine Isokpunwu, Becca Koval and Danielle Spriggs combined for nine of the game's 12 goals and no less than 37 shots. With an eye on the August 17 (Friday) season-opener at home against national power Baylor, coach Adams held a few of the starters completely out of the scrimmage. Friday's exhibition showed Rice is not lacking for a starting 11 or in team depth... "It's nice to see goals being scored, and it's always nice to see newcomers getting on the end of it," the head coach explained. "We sat some players out based on some little nagging injuries. They will be good to go next week, but we thought it was for the best to keep them out tonight. That ended up giving the newcomers a lot more minutes, so they got some more experience which was perfect... "I think we have a good idea of a starting 11, but I think this will be the deepest team we've ever had at Rice University," she added. "There are more than 11 players who showed they could have earned a starting position. It's exciting to realize the type of player we're going to have come off the bench."

THREE OWLS HONORED C-USA PRESEASON POLL: IRVING, Tex. - Rice's Jessica Howard, Lauren LaGro and Quinney Truong have all been named to the 2012 Conference USA Preseason Soccer team, the most honorees from any school on this year's all-preseason squad, the C-USA league office announced on Aug. 7... All the preseason honorees were selected on a vote of the 12 C-USA head coaches. Rice led the way in the number of preseason selections while Colorado College and UCF both had two players named to the 11-member team. Having three honorees tied for the most in the history of the Rice soccer program. The Owls also had three players earn preseason accolades in the back-to-back years of 2003 and 2004 when the University was a member of the Western Athletic Conference... "It is an honor to be considered one of the top players in a conference because with their vote the coaches are showing their respect for the best players," said Rice head coach Nicky Adams. "I strongly believe C-USA is one of the best conferences in the nation, and there are tremendous players in this conference. The 11 players selected are completely worthy of the recognition, and it is exciting to have three Rice players named to this team. We feel that we have created a lot of depth and we are looking for these three players to step up and help create a competitive consistent environment amongst our team."... The Owl trio of Howard, LaGro and Truong are all coming off all-conference caliber seasons from a year ago. Howard was a first team C-USA selection who led Rice in goals (8), game-winning goals (4), points (19), shots (57) and shots-on-goal (24). The Dallas, Tex., native was versatile enough to start at both forward and in the midfield and posted the fourth-highest single-season goal total in school history... LaGro was a second team all-conference defender who led the team in minutes played. The senior from Dallas anchored a Rice backline that allowed just 11.4 shots per game, one of the best totals in the league and the lowest by an Owl defense in four years... Truong played her way into third team all-conference honors as a true freshman last season. Not only did the midfielder from Fort Worth, Tex., tie for third on the team in goals (2) and points (7), she started 20 matches and played 90 or more minutes nine times... "All three players are so well-rounded," Adams said. "Lauren has been the staple to our backline the last three years. She is a strong smart player and is an incredible leader. Jessica has an attacking presence and the league knows that she is a goal-scorer. Quinney is one of the best technically and tactically in the conference. The three players selected for Rice completely deserve it. We are very excited to kick off the 2012 season."... A year ago the Owls finished 10-7-4 overall and tied for sixth place in the C-USA standings. The Blue & Gray won its opening-round game in the C-USA Tournament and tied UTEP, 0-0, in the semifinal round. The C-USA head coaches picked Rice fifth in 2012 preseason poll.

SOCCER SEASON TICKETS NOW ON SALE: Season tickets for both Rice soccer and volleyball are now on sale through the Rice Athletics Ticket Office... Not only is there a host of new benefits and great savings for season ticket holders, Rice tickets are easy to purchase on-line. In addition to the fan-friendly family plans and flex-packs, there are discounts for youths and senior citizens. The 2012 season marks the introduction of the new Flex Pack season ticket, where season ticket holders can redeem their tickets in different quantities for games of their choosing... Season ticket prices are listed below. The Rice Ticket Office is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday. Fans can make their on-line purchase at any time.

Volleyball Soccer
Adult - $40
44% Savings
Adult Reserved - $50
17% Savings
Youth (ages 3-17)
Senior Citizens (62+) - $30
(50% Savings)
Adult General Admission - $40
(33% Savings)
Family Plan (2 adult/2 youth)
(73% Savings)- $120
Youth - $25
(37% Savings)
Family Plan (2 adult/2 youth)
(50% Savings)- $99

Flex Pack Season Ticket
New in 2012: "Together" Fall Season Ticket Flex Plan. This new initiative allows fans to experience Rice Athletics at a whole new value level. Fans now have the option to use any quantity of their purchased season tickets to any game of their choice. For example - the tickets may be redeemed one-at-a-time, or all-at-once if you wanted to bring a big group to a single game. Use the "Together" Flex Pack season ticket inventory any way you choose for both soccer and volleyball!

Season Ticket Holder Benefits
• Flex Season Ticket
• 2 "Together" Ticket vouchers to a soccer or volleyball match of your choice
• 2 invitations to Meet n' Greet with players and coaches
• 1 Rice T-shirt
• 1 entry in exclusive drawing for volleyball season ticket holders (volleyball season ticket holders only)
• 1 soccer promotional item (soccer season ticket holders only

Link Here To Purchase Tickets On-Line

OWLS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR ON NATIONAL TV: Rice soccer is ready for prime time TV in 2012. The Owls' October 11 soccer game at Memphis has been picked for a television broadcast by FOX Soccer, the network announced in conjunction with the National Collegiate Soccer Coaches Association of America (NCSAA) and Conference USA... The Rice-Memphis match has been picked as Fox Soccer's NSCAA Game of the Week. The contest is one of just eight women's games from across the country selected to appear during FOX Soccer's 12-week broadcast schedule of men's and women's college games. The Owls-Tigers showdown is set for 7 pm at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex in Memphis.

THE OPPOSITION : Baylor is returning 21 players, including seven starters from the 2011 squad that finished with a 15-4-3 record. The 15 wins tied the program's 1998 Big 12 Champion team for the second-most victories in a season and the squad became the first team in Baylor's soccer history to advance past the first round of the NCAA Championship... Baylor returns 95.5 percent (42-of-44) of its goals, 70.3 percent (26-of-37) of its assists and 88.0 percent (110-of-125) of its points from 2011... In the team's last time out, the Bears notched a 1-1 exhibition tie with perennial soccer power Notre Dame.

THE BAYLOR SERIES: Rice and regional foe Baylor have been going head-to-head in different intercollegiate sports for a years, but Friday's meeting is the first in soccer in two years. Baylor leads the all-time series 3-0-2, including a narrow 1-0 decision in Waco in 2010. A rainy 2009 meeting in Houston ended in a 0-0 deadlock. Three of the last four Rice-Baylor meetings have gone into overtime.

JUST FOR KICKS: Fans will once again have a chance to get some extra insight to the Owls' soccer team via RiceOwls.com. Over the course of the season the players will be featured one-by-one in a question & answer segment titled "Just For Kicks." Fans can check out the feature at the link at the top of this page.

OTHER C-USA ACTION: Conference USA's high-flying brand of soccer is in full-swing this weekend. The C-USA weekend slate is as follows:
Friday, August 17
Ball State at Marshall - 4 pm
Colorado College vs. Denver - 5 pm
East Carolina at Campbell - 6 pm
(14) Memphis at Missouri - 6:30 pm
(12) UCF at USF - 6:30 pm
Houston at Stephen F. Austin - 7 pm
(RV) Baylor at Rice - 7 pm
Southern Miss at Mercer - 7 pm
Weber State at Tulsa - 7:35 pm
UTEP at Utah Valley - 8:30 pm
SMU at San Diego State - 9 pm
UAB at Oregon State - 9 pm

Sunday, Aug. 19
(12) UCF at Florida Gulf Coast - Noon
UTEP at Utah State - 1 pm
UAB at Oregon - 3 pm
Colorado at Colorado College - 5 pm
Marshall at James Madison - 6 pm
Houston Baptist at Houston - 7 pm



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