Head Coach Nicky Adams previews the Owls' upcoming two matches in the above video.
Rice Soccer at Western Kentucky: Sept. 28 (Thurs.), 7 pm (Central Time) in Bowling Green, Ky.
Rice Soccer at Southern Miss: Oct. 1 (Sun), 1 pm (Central Time) in Hattiesburg, Miss.
(the online webcast & live stats features activate at game time.)
By: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
THIS WEEK: The Rice soccer team is on the road for a pair of a Conference USA league matches on Thursday (Sept. 28) and Sunday (Oct. 1). Rice (5-2-1 overall and tied for the C-USA lead at 2-0-0) plays at Western Kentucky (3-5-1, 0-1-1) and Southern Miss (6-4-1, 02-1-) respectively. The weekend games are the Blue & Gray’s first C-USA road games this season.
RECEIVING NATIONAL VOTES: Rice is receiving votes to be ranked in the national Top 25 according to the latest United Soccer Coaches poll. The Owls’ five votes is more than Alabama, Baylor, Colorado and Michigan to name a few. View the full United Coaches Week 6 national poll here.
HIGH R.P.I.: If you have disdain for the politics of the various national and regional polls, and prefer the cold, hard, math of the NCAA’s rating power index, then note that Rice’s Sept. 24 RPI was listed as No. 25 in the nation. The Owls also ranked No. 6 in the NCAA in scoring offense with 2.88 goals per game. Rice is No. 13 in Shots-on-Goal with 8.63 s.o.g. per game. View the NCAA’s latest RPI here.
QUICK ON THE OWLS: 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 this year were both on the road to Texas and Memphis, a pair of teams that were nationally-ranked when the Owls faced them.
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 73-44-21. 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 CHAIKEN… AGAIN: IRVING, Texas –For the second time in as many weeks Rice senior Samantha Chaiken 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. 25)… In Rice’s only action last week, Chaiken scored one goal and had an assist on the game-winning goal in Rice’s 2-0 C-USA victory over league foe Louisiana Tech on Thursday (Sept. 21). Not only did Chaiken direct the flow of play from the midfield, she led all players in the match with five shots - including two that were on goal as she continues to rank among the Rice and C-USA leaders. Chaiken maintained a .400 shots-on-goal percentage while playing all 90 minutes of the match. She had the assist on Rebecca Keane’s game-winning goal in the 13th minute… In eight games this year Chaiken leads Rice Soccer in shots (29) and shots-on-goal (12), and she as a total of ten points from scoring four goals with two assists. In her career she has started all 59 Rice games in which she has played. Chaiken was also named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 18.
PREVIOUS MATCH: (Sept. 15) HOUSTON – The Rice soccer team scored goals in each half on the way to a shut out of visiting C-USA foe Louisiana Tech 2-0 on Sept. 21 at Holloway Field in Houston. The Owls held a comfortable 19-4 margin in shots and an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks.
THE RICE-WKU SERIES: Rice leads the all-time series with Western Kentucky 3-1-1. Thursday’s match is the third time for the teams to play in Kentucky since 2015 when Rice claimed a 3-1 victory. The Owls and Hilltoppers battled to a 0-0 draw in 2013 before the Blue & Gray claimed a 1-0 decision at a neutral site in the opening round of the C-USA Tournament in 2014. WKU won at Rice 1-0 last season. The very first meeting between the teams was in 2011, a 3-2 Owl victory in double-overtime.
THE RICE-SOUTHERN MISS SERIES: Rice leads the all-time series with Southern Miss 10-0 dating back to when the Owls first joined Conference USA in 2005. Sunday’s contest, however, is the first meeting for the teams in Hattiesburg since 2013 when the Owls had to play at USM in back-to-back seasons of 2012 and 2013. The Blue & Gray is 5-0-0 when facing the Golden Eagles on the road in Hattiesburg, Miss.