Aug. 25, 2010
THIS WEEK: The Rice soccer team, 1-1-0 on the season after splitting its first two games of the year last weekend, returns to home action with a match on Sunday (Aug. 29). The Owls host undefeated Big 12 foe Texas Tech at 7 pm at the Rice Soccer & Track Stadium. Check out the above link for Rice ticket information.
RICE SOCCER TURNS TEN: Time sure flies when you're having fun. After starting the team from scratch and taking the field for the first time in on 2001, the Owls' soccer program is celebrating its 10th anniversary season in 2010. The Blue & Gray signed its first recruiting class in the spring of 2001 and was on the field by August 31 that same year. In an electric on-campus atmosphere, Rice soccer won the program's debut match, defeating Army 3-2 at home.
CATCH THE HOME GAMES LIVE ON OWLVISION ALL-ACCESS: Sunday night's soccer clash vs. Texas Tech is slated for a live broadcast on OwlVision All-Access. OwlVision is a subscription-based service which provides a live video and audio feed on the Internet. The soccer video/audio is live on the web, but it is also available in an archived format on the Rice All-Access page. Join broadcaster Court Jackson (Hanszen '08) for the Rice call of home soccer games this season. More information for watching Rice sports is at the same All-Access Soccer Link (provided above).
LIVE IN-GAME STATS: Live in-game statistics for all Rice matches 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 2010 Rice soccer team features 15 letterwinners, including four regular starters, from last season's team that went 6-10-3. A total of nine newcomers are on the roster, eight of which are freshmen from the club and high school ranks. The Blue & Gray has some experienced players in key spots, such as senior Kate Edwards in the midfield and the forward duo of senior Korey Taylor and junior Hope Ward. Rice boasts two experienced goalkeepers with the senior tandem of Meghan Erkel and Catherine Fitzsimmons.
PLEASED TO MEET YOU: Rice is meeting Texas Tech in soccer for the first time. Since 2006 the Owls are 7-6-2 when facing an opponent Rice has never played before.
HOME SWEET HOME: Playing at home is good news for the Owls. In 83 games played on campus at the Soccer & Track Stadium, Rice owns an all-time record of 53-23-7 (.681). The Blue & Gray was among the C-USA leaders in home attendance by averaging 454 fans per game.
HEAD COACH CHRIS HUSTON: Now with her tenth Rice team from the soccer program she started from scratch, Chris Huston has guided the Owls to an established spot alongside the more experienced teams in the state of Texas and the NCAA. Her won-loss record at Rice is 89-75-13. The two-time Western Athletic Conference coach of the year owns a career college coaching record of 111-91-15. The former standout at the University of North Carolina served as the head coach at the University of Houston for two years after starting that program in 1998. Huston owns a career C-USA regular season record of 40-27-4. She is aided by associate head coach Nicky Adams (Texas A&M, 2001; eighth year) and new assistant coach John Adams (Cincinnati, 2003; first year).
DID YOU KNOW? This is the Owls' tenth varsity soccer team since starting the program in 2001, but this is coach Huston's eleventh year with Rice University. She was hired by the school to begin the soccer program a full year before the new team was slated to take the field.
PREVIOUS OUTING: HOUSTON, Tex. - Rice senior midfielder Kate Edwards scored two goals and junior forward Hope Ward added two assists to pace the Rice soccer team to a 3-1 victory over visiting Stephen F. Austin Sunday evening in the Owls' 2010 home-opener... Edwards put the Blue & Gray on the board early with the team's first goal of the season in the ninth minute of the contest. The Owl veteran, who was making the 61st-consecutive start of her career, had her back to the goal but only a few yards in front of the net. She made an easy no-look tap on a pass from senior Jordan Holloway that scooted in for a score and a 1-0 Rice lead. The Owls held a narrow 6-4 advantage in shots in the first half but turned up the offensive pressure in the second, outshooting SFA by an 11-3 margin... "Staying composed in the final third, taking shots, and finishing, is something we talked about after our game on Friday night so it was good to see the team respond," said Rice head coach Chris Huston. "Jordan set-up that first goal and had a big-time game. Julia Barrow had an outstanding game, and of course we had two goals from Kate and one from `HoJo' (Jessica Howard), so that's the midfielders stepping-up. We had some good individual performances from a lot of players, but I'm even more pleased with how everyone on the team played together. We played hard, we were composed, and we played as a team."... In the game's 75th minute, freshman Howard added Rice's second goal of the day with another no-look shot attempt. Ward made a long cross from the right corner that found Howard open from close range, but also with her back to the net. The first-year player from Dallas executed a textbook bicycle-kick that sailed to the back of the net on the left-hand side of the goal. The first score of her collegiate career gave Rice some needed breathing room, but the Owls weren't finished. Edwards came back and quickly stretched the margin to 3-0 with her second goal of the night, scoring in the 80th minute after another assisting pass from Ward... "It's nice having experienced players like Kate and Hope out there because it makes things a lot easier," Howard explained. "I'm not as experienced in college soccer and their leadership, encouragement and direction has been a big help. Kate is fantastic to play alongside, and she had two great finishes for goals today."... The multi-goal game was the third of Edwards' career and she was the last Owl to accomplish the feat by netting a pair in the victory over Memphis last season. The standout from Westlake Village, Calif., also moved into a tie for fourth place with Caitlin Robbins on the Owls' all-time list for career goals with 18. The multi-assist game was the third of Ward's career and her first two-assist game since her freshman year of 2008. The Kingwood star also did some climbing on Rice's career assists list, moving into a tie for fifth in assists with Shelley Wong with 11... "We wanted to win this first home game and we know we're better than what we showed on Friday," Edwards said. "We had a lot of different players play today, and everyone worked pretty hard. That's a good sign when it was as warm as it was today. Everyone seemed to play that much harder. We played well and it's a result we can build-on as the schedule gets tougher and tougher."... Down 3-0 SFA continued to fight. Sophomore midfielder Kylie Louw put the Ladyjacks on the board in the game's 88th minute after fielding Camille Royer's long cross from the left wing in traffic. Louw's first goal of the season provided the final 3-1 margin. Rice and SFA both now have identical 1-1-0 records on the young season.
STEADY "EDDIE'S" STARTING STREAK & CAREER GAMES PLAYED: Senior midfielder Kate Edwards has been in the starting lineup for all 61 games Rice has played dating back to her freshman season of 2007. Edwards is now tenth on Rice's all-time list for career starts, and needs two more starts to tie Erin Scott for ninth. Another way of looking at Edwards' streak is she has never not started. It's one of the longest streaks on campus, but NOT affiliated with Baker College!
WHEN FIRST GOALS ARE ALSO GAME-WINNERS: True freshman Jessica Howard scored her first career Rice goal last Sunday vs. Stephen F. Austin with a textbook bicycle kick in front of the visitor's net. The goal proved to be even more dramatic because it also was officially the game-winning goal. Howard became only the 12th player in school history to record a game-winning goal with her first career goal. Two Owls, current juniors Annie Kadota and Hope Ward, accomplished the feat as freshmen two years ago. Current sophomore Julia Barrow's first goal in 2009 was also a game-winner (on the road at Stephen F. Austin).
FOR THE RECORD: With every save, every win and every minute played by goalkeeper Meghan Erkel, the senior sets a new Rice career record. The veteran Erkel is the reigning Owl record holder for career saves (251), wins (27) and minutes played (5,046:20).
WE'VE GOT SPIRIT, YES WE DO...: The 2009 soccer season was already over when it was announced last spring, but in case you missed it, Rice midfielder Elizabeth Nesbit was named the 2010 Conference USA Spirit of Service Award winner for the sport of women's soccer. Nesbit, a senior from Waterford, Va., earned the prestigious honor from the league office for her superior charity and volunteer service efforts over every other women's soccer player in the conference. Known simply as "Z" by her teammates, Nesbit performed volunteer service including, but not limited to, working with a medical team in Malawi, Africa, prior to the start of the 2009 soccer season. She helped provide medical aid to children in rural and often isolated parts Malawi, and her humanitarian efforts made her an easy choice for the league's Spirit of Service Award last spring.
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.
SIMMONS SIDELINED: True freshman forward/defender Cortney Simmons has been sidelined for the season. Simmons is one of the gems of the Owls highly-touted recruiting class from the recent spring signing period.
OTHER C-USA ACTION: All the Conference USA teams are in action this weekend. The league's weekend slate is as follows:
Friday (Aug. 27)
Mississippi Valley State at Southern Miss, 4 pm
Dayton at Colorado College, 5 pm
(10) Wake Forest at East Carolina, 6 pm
Marshall at Winthrop, 6 pm
Houston at Louisiana-Lafayette, 7 pm
UAB at Mississippi State, 7 pm
San Diego State at UCF, 7 pm
Oklahoma at Tulsa, 7:35 pm
Fresno State at UTEP, 8 pm
SMU at (5) Portland, pm
Saturday (Aug. 28)
LSU at Memphis, 7 pm
Sunday (Aug. 29)
Marshall vs. Liberty, Noon
Boise State at Colorado College, 1 pm
Houston at McNeese, 1 pm
Southern Miss at Mississippi State, 1 pm
UAB at Ole Miss, 1 pm
SMU at Oregon, 3 pm
Utah Valley at UTEP, 3 pm
Texas Tech at Rice, 7 pm
Oral Roberts at Tulsa, 7:35 pm