Owls On The Road For Two Matches This Weekend

Sept. 27, 2012

Catch C-USA games on OwlVision All-Access (subscription service; available at game time)
Live Stats vs. Southern Miss (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 (5-4-2 overall and tied for first place in the Conference USA standings with a 2-0-0 league record) is on the road this weekend. The Owls play at conference foes Southern Miss (3-5-1, 0-2-0) and UCF (7-2-1, 1-1-0) on Friday and Sunday (Sept. 28-30), respectively. Start times are slated for 4 pm Friday vs. the Golden Eagles and noon against UCF. Listed as Central time. For all the C-USA games scheduled this weekend, Rice is only team playing first on both Friday and Sunday.

CATCH C-USA GAMES LIVE ON OWLVISION ALL-ACCESS: All C-USA 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). Broadcaster Charlie Adams has the call on Rice home soccer games this season.

LIVE IN-GAME STATS: Live in-game statistics for most 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 2012 Rice soccer team features 18 letterwinners, including eight 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 experience garnered from the club and high school ranks. The Blue & Gray has five veteran seniors, including captains Julia Barrow in the midfield and defender Lauren LaGro. Junior defender Hayley Williams is a stalwart on the Owls' backline who has started all 52 games in her Rice career heading into this weekend. Owl freshmen have made a dramatic impact. Rookies Holly Hargreaves and Lauren Hughes are 1-2 on the team scoring. Freshman Jasmine Isokpunwu has been playing well as a defensive starter and fellow rookie Danielle Spriggs has worked her way into nine starts in the midfield.

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 20-15-10 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.

REGIONAL RANKING: Rice soccer is receiving votes in the latest Central Region poll from National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The regional ranking is the Owls' first since October of 2011. Check out the organization's latest NSCAA/Continental Tire Central Regional Rankings at these links.
NSCAA Home Page
Central Regional Rankings (Sept. 25, 2011).

PREVIOUS OUTING - Owls Top SMU At Home Sunday, 3-2: HOUSTON - Rice true freshman Lauren Hughes scored two first half goals and then assisted on freshman Holly Hargreaves' game-winner in the 87th minute for the Owl soccer team's dramatic 3-2 Conference USA victory over visiting SMU Sunday afternoon (Sept. 23) at the Rice Soccer Stadium in Houston... With the win the Owls, 5-4-2 on the season and undefeated at 2-0-0 in C-USA play, retained a share of first place in the conference standings through the opening weekend of league games. Rice third year head coach Nicky Adams has been around long enough to know that getting to 2-0 Sunday (after equally demanding C-USA games on Friday night) would be a challenge... "Sunday games are tough for everybody, so we knew going-in legs were going to be tired for everybody," coach Adams said. "I'm proud of the girls. We got down by a goal early, but came right back and took the lead. SMU countered and tied it back-up before the half, but we fought the entire time and found a way to finish."... SMU (4-5-1, 0-1-1) took control early and opened the game's scoring. In 14th minute, Courtney Smith made a long throw-in from the left side and found Shelby Redman on the wing. Redman took a shot from the 18 and found the back of the Rice net for a 1-0 advantage... The Mustang lead didn't last long. The Owls' freshman duo of Hargreaves setting-up Hughes put the Blue & Gray on the board with a game-tying score in the 19th minute and then a go-head goal in the 22nd... "On the first goal I was kind of off-balance, (SMU's defense) got a piece of it, and it trickled-in," said Hughes, an Ottawa native in her first season of collegiate soccer. "The second one Holly played a really nice through-ball. I got on the end of it and saw it go in."... SMU re-tied the score in the 30th minute. Mustang Lissi Lonsberry corralled a loose ball on the Owls' half of the field and made a quick serve to the Ponies' leading scorer Kenzie Scovill at the top of the 18 and in front of the goal. Scovill converted the shot attempt and it was a new game again, 2-2 before the intermission... The shots for both teams were an even 6-6 in the second stanza, but Rice's last of the day in the 87th minute proved to be the difference. Hughes had the ball in SMU's third of the field and, understandably with two goals already in the game, had the full attention of the Mustang defenders. Only this time Hughes passed it to Hargreaves, the Owls' leading scorer. The standout from New Hope, Pa., made her team-leading sixth goal of the season from close range after a run up the middle. Though it was two Owl freshmen who combined for nine points (three goals and three assists), Hughes is quick to point to the bigger picture... "I saw Holly was open so I played it to her," Hughes said. "She turned, beat some players, went on a break-away and did well to finish... "Yeah, the freshmen had a pretty good day today, but that's only because we all had a pretty good day," Hughes explained. "The upperclassmen have been really supportive, and bringing us along. It's great to be on a supportive team."... Thanks to a little team-wide support, Rice is tied for first place in the C-USA standings with both Memphis and East Carolina (all 2-0-0). The significance of getting not one, but two quality wins top open conference was not lost on coach Adams... "This is huge weekend to start conference play at home," Adams said. "I'm proud of the girls to play as well as they did to get us to 2-0 at home. We've still got a lot of work to do, and it will get even harder when we now have to get on the road."

HOWARD SIDELINED: Preseason all-Conference USA honoree Jessica Howard has been sidelined for the entire 2012 season due to an injury. Howard was a first team C-USA selection in 2011 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.

THREE OWLS HONORED C-USA PRESEASON POLL: IRVING, Tex. - Rice's Jessica Howard, Lauren LaGro and Quinney Truong were all 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. 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 TICKET SAVINGS: Tickets for both Rice soccer and volleyball are 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.

ON SOUTHERN MISS : Southern Miss opened C-USA action on the road last weekend. The Golden Eagles are undefeated at home. USM averages more than a goal per game. As a team the Golden Eagles lead the conference in goalkeeper saves per game (5.44).

THE RICE-USM SERIES: Rice leads the all-time series with Southern Miss 6-0-0 dating back to the start of C-USA action in 2005. The Owls claimed a 3-1 home win last season and a 2-0 decision at Hattiesburg, Miss., in 2010.

ON UCF: The UCF Knights are the No. 10 ranked team in the nation according to the NSCAA. UCF is the No. 1 squad in the Central Region and has already posted wins over Georgia and Miami-Fla. The Knights tied No. 6 Boston College on the road.

THE RICE-UCF SERIES: UCF leads the all-time series 6-1-1, but Rice is in fact 1-0-1 each of the last two meetings in Orlando, Fla. The Owls claimed a 2-1 overtime win in Orlando in 2008 and tied 1-1 after two OTs in 2010.

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.

C-USA PLAY: Conference USA's high-flying brand of soccer is in full swing with league games. The conference slate of games for this weekend is as follows:
Friday, Sept. 28
Rice at Southern Miss - 4 pm
Houston at (10) UCF - 6 pm
Colorado College at Tulsa - 7 pm
East Carolina at Memphis - 7 pm
Marshall at UAB - 7 pm
UTEP at SMU - 7 pm

Sunday, Sept. 30
Rice at (10) UCF - Noon
East Carolina at UAB - 1 pm
Houston at Southern Miss - 1 pm
Marshall at Memphis - 1 pm
Colorado College at SMU - 2 pm
UTEP at Tulsa - 2 pm



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