Head Coach Nicky Adams previews the Owls' Houston match in the above video.
By: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
THIS WEEK: The Rice and University of Houston soccer teams, longtime crosstown rivals that had to postpone their originally scheduled August 27 match due to Hurricane Harvey, have officially rescheduled the contest as a flood-relief event to take place at Rice on Labor Day (Sept. 4) at 5 pm.
All proceeds from the match will go to the United Way of Greater Houston's Flood Relief Fund. Tickets are $10, and may be purchased at the entry to Rice's Holloway Field, or online at RiceOwls.com/HoustonStrong (be sure to enter the Promo Code HOUSTONSTRONG). Fans may also drop off essential items such as bottled water, clothing, blankets and non-perishable food, as well as make additional financial donations at the match. Rice Athletics has partnered with the Rice Harvey Action Team to deliver these items.
Rice University has long supported the exemplary charity work of the United Way of Houston. The organization's Flood Relief Fund has already helped the community in one of the most devastating events in the city's history.
The Rice soccer team opens its 2017 season on Friday (Aug. 18) at longtime state rival and Big 12 powerhouse Texas. Start time is slated for 7 pm in Austin at the Longhorns’ Mike A. Myers Soccer Stadium. The non-conference clash is the first of two weekend matches for the Owls. The Blue & Gray return home to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on August 20 at Holloway Field. Start time against the Islanders is set for 6 pm.
QUICK ON THE OWLS (1-1-1): The 2017 Rice soccer team returns eight of 11 starters from last season's squad that went 11-5-1 and finished second in the Conference USA regular season standings. The Owls return a total of 18 letterwinners from a year ago and welcome in a talented new recruiting class.
COACH'S CORNER: Rice soccer is under the direction of head coach Nicky Adams, who is now in her seventh full year at the helm of the program. Adams owns a career record of 69-43-21. A former pro player and All-America honoree while playing at Texas A&M, Adams was inducted into her alma mater's Athletics Hall of Fame in the fall of 2015. Adams' coaching staff includes Courtney Sirmans in her third year with the program, and Brenton Saylor in his second year with the Owls.
PRESEASON HONORS: 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 trained under head coach Nicky Adams, who is in her 15th year at the school overall.
THE RICE-HOUSTON SERIES: Rice has faced Houston a total of 12 times. The most recent meeting was at UH’s Robertson Stadium in 2012, where the Owls battled for a 1-0 victory to claim a share of the C-USA regular season championship… Both teams are so keen to win this rivalry game that each meeting has been a closely contested battle. The winning margin in eight of the 12 Rice-UH soccer games has been determined by a single goal difference. The only times there hasn't been a one-goal difference in the score was in the three series ties (in 2005, 2010 and 2011) and the 2007 game held at Rice ( where the Owls won 2-0).
NOT AS COMMON AS YOU THINK: The Owls and Houston have met on 12 occasions, but the Cougars are not the team Rice has faced the most times. Rice's three most-played opponents are UTEP (20 times), SMU (18 times) and Tulsa (14 times).