Aug. 25, 2011
THIS WEEK: The Rice soccer team (1-1-0) is back on the road for its only game of the week on Aug. 26. The Owls face longtime state rival TCU at 7 pm on Friday at the Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Complex in Fort Worth, Tex. There is no game scheduled for Sunday.
CATCH THE GAME LIVE ON-LINE: Fans can watch the TCU game on the web, and follow along with live on-line stats, at the above links.
QUICK ON THE OWLS: The 2011 Rice soccer team features 16 letterwinners, including seven regular starters, from last season's team that went 8-8-4 and reached the Conference USA Tournament. A total of eight newcomers are on the squad, all of which are freshmen with club and high school experience. The Blue & Gray has four veteran seniors, led by Hope Ward in the midfield. Junior defender Amy Beger is a stalwart on the Owls' backline who earned all-region and conference honors last season.
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 soccer staff in January of 2003, and was named associate head coach in 2006. She replaced former head coach Chris Huston, who started the Rice program in 2001, effective for the remainder of the 2010 schedule beginning with a home game against No. 9 BYU on Sept. 18. Adams, a former All-America soccer player and 2001 graduate of Texas A&M, has led the Owls to 6-5-4 record since Sept. 18, 2010... She is assisted by coach John Adams (Cincinnati, 2003), who is in his second year with the team, Allison Martino (Texas A&M, 2008) who is in her first year at Rice, and Owl great Kate Edwards as the new student coach.
PREVIOUS OUTING: Owls Claim 3-0 Victory Over McNeese State On Aug. 21
HOUSTON - The Rice soccer team turned up the heat with second half goals from Amy Beger, Annie Kadota and Alex Burton to claim a 3-0 victory over visiting McNeese State at the Owls' soccer stadium in Houston on Aug. 21... With a 14-2 advantage in shots in the first half Rice was on the move offensively, but the teams were deadlocked 0-0. Both squads battled a midday game-time temperature that was in the high 90s for the full length of the contest, but the Owls finally pushed through in the second half to put a goal on the scoreboard. "We were taking to many touches in the first half," said Rice head coach Nicky Adams. "Too many touches ended up slowing us down. It was something we addressed at halftime, that we need to increase our speed of play."... In the 57th minute freshman Lauren Busansky played the ball from the top of the 18 back to junior defender Amy Beger sprinting-in along the right sideline. Beger was sprinting and Busansky was quick on the pass. The Owls had taken Adams' halftime instructions to heart... "There were a bunch of girls heading right for her," Beger recounted. "Buzz just played it back to me and I saw a gap. I was sure I could get it to the corner (of the goal)."... Beger sailed the long shot attempt that found the back of the net on the left-hand side. Her first goal in three years (with one year sidelined due to an injury) gave the Blue & Gray the lead... Rice continued to press in the attacking third, holding a 16-2 margin on shots and a 5-1 lead in corner kicks for the second period. The Owls broke the narrow 1-0 game wide open with goals in the 79th and 85 minutes. Senior Annie Kadota scored her first goal of the young season with a close-range attempt after a long cross from Nikki Storness on the left side. Alex Burton fielded Storness' serve, and set it up for Kadota on a quick give-and-go shot that made it 2-0... Burton then came back with a goal of her own only a few plays later. Junior defender Lauren LaGro took a shot from outside the 18 on the left side that McNeese was able to punch away. Burton, however, was opportunistically on patrol in the keeper's box and alertly played the deflection from just a few feet away for the Owls' third goal of the day... In the victory the Owls held a 30-4 advantage in shots, the seventh-highest single-game total in the program's history. Sophomore midfielder Jessica Howard came off the bench to lead all players with seven shot attempts, the most by an Owl in a single game in three years... ""We had a lot of attacks today, but we attacked better in the second half and began finishing on plays," Nicky Adams explained. "In the first half we wanted to find that 'hero-ball' all day, but once we started going to our simplest option it jump-started us."... Almost lost in the offensive fireworks was a sound and solid effort by the Rice back line that held MSU in check. Rice freshman keeper Amy Czyz played the full 90 minutes and posted a pair of saves in her first shutout victory at the Division I level... "I am happy for the win and saw good things we can build on," Adams said. "I was happy with Amy getting that goal. I thought Alex Burton played well and obviously Annie coming off the bench and getting a goal is huge... "One person I was really proud of was Lauren Busansky," Adams added. "Today we put her in a role that she hadn't trained for and she did a magnificent job. She completed that first pass and it calmed us down. Lauren did what she was asked, and did it well, and as coaches that really gets our attention."... Rice improved to 1-1 on the season. McNeese State dropped to 0-2-0.
BIG HOME CROWDS: The 1,481 fans that came to see the Rice-Houston game last season was the Owls' third-largest home soccer crowd in the program's history. Here's a closer look at Rice's big home crowds.
Rice's Largest Home Crowds Year Attn. Opponent 2001 1,752 Army 2001 1,487 Texas State 2010 1,481 Houston 2001 1,360 Houston 2005 1,276 Auburn 2005 1,273 UTEP 2005 1,087 Houston 2010 1,047 BYU
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. The league's weekend slate is as follows:
Friday, August 26 Houston at (21) Duke, 4 pm Jacksonville State at Southern Miss, 4 pm Utah State at Colorado College, 5 pm Marshall at VCU, 5 pm UNC Wilmington at East Carolina, 6 pm (25) Memphis at Alabama, 7 pm UTSA at SMU, 7 pm Samford at UAB, 7 pm Rice at TCU, 7 pm Stephen F. Austin at Tulsa, 7:35 pm Houston Baptist at UTEP, 8 pm
Sunday, August 28 William & Mary at Marshall, 10 am Jacksonville at Colorado College, 1 pm Southern Miss at Louisiana-Lafayette, 1 pm Houston at (3) North Carolina, 2 pm (25) Memphis at Samford, 2 pm Prairie View A&M at UTEP, 2 pm Sam Houston State at Tulsa, 3:30 pm UNC-Greensboro at East Carolina, 5 pm SMU at Oklahoma, 7 pm