Head Coach Nicky Adams previews the Rice-FAU match in the above video.
By: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
THIS WEEK: The Rice soccer team opens Conference USA league play on Friday (Sept. 15). Rice (3-2-1 overall) hosts C-USA power Florida Atlantic (4-3-1) at Holloway Field. Start time of C-USA’s annual “Owls-vs.-Owls” match is set for 7 pm. The Friday contest is Rice’s lone match of the weekend. The Blue & Gray do not have a game scheduled for Sunday (Sept. 17) and are slated to return to home action on Sept. 21 vs. Louisiana Tech.
QUICK ON THE OWLS (3-2-1): 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 C-USA regular season standings. The Owls return a total of 18 letterwinners from a year ago and welcome in a talented new recruiting class. The team’s two losses were both on the road to nationally-ranked Texas and Memphis.
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 71-44-21. 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.
C-USA HONORS STALLINGS: Rice senior Nia Stallings has been named the Conference USA Soccer Offensive Player of the Week, the league office announced from its headquarters in Irving, Texas, on Monday (Sept. 11)... Stallings scored four goals and recorded two assists in three Owl games last week (Sept. 4-10). The attacking midfielder from San Antonio, Texas, notched a hat trick to help Rice rally past crosstown rival Houston 4-1 on Labor Day evening. She then registered an assist against No. 18 ranked Memphis on Friday night on the road in Tennessee. Stallings then tallied a goal and an assist against Tulsa on the final day of the weekend tournament held in Memphis. In the three games, Stallings had a combined four goals on nine shots for a steady .444 shot percentage. She maintained a .778 shots-on-goal percentage and finished the week with a total of 10 points… In six games this year Stallings leads Rice Soccer in goals (4), shots-on-goal (8) and shots-on-goal percentage (.615). She also shares the team lead in assists (3) and game-winning goals (1). This is the third time in her career for Stallings to be named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week.
PREVIOUS MATCH: (Sept. 10) MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Five different players scored goals to pace the Rice soccer team to a 5-2 victory over Tulsa Sunday afternoon at the neutral setting of the Mike Rose Soccer Complex in Memphis, Tenn. Rice improved to 3-2-1 on the season. Tulsa is now 1-6-1 overall… The Owls were ready to work and quickly opened the scoring in the first minute of play. Sophomore Louise Stephens' blasted away on a shot that found the back of the Tulsa net at officially 58 seconds into the contest, the fourth-fastest Rice goal to start a game in school history… Rice was back on the offensive in the sixth minute. Lianne Mananquil found Annie Walker through a seam in the Golden Hurricane defense and Walker notched her first goal of the season to give the Blue & Gray a 2-0 advantage… Tulsa continued to fight and rallied to tie the score midway through first half. The Owls broke the deadlock before the intermission with Aliza Wolfe's first goal of the season… Rice outshot Tulsa 12-4 on the way to two more goals in a strong second half. Nia Stallings and Rebecca Keane close out the scoring in a 5-2 final.
THE RICE-FAU SERIES: Rice leads the series with FAU, 2-1-0. In all three games of the series the visiting team has won each time. In 2014 Rice won the inaugural Owls-v-Owls meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., by a score of 3-2. FAU bounced-back to win the 2015 contest in Houston by the same 3-2 count, only in double-overtime. Last year in Florida Rice claimed a narrow 1-0 victory in overtime.