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After going nearly a month without playing a home game, the Rice Soccer team is finally back at Holloway Field this weekend. The Owls (5-4-1 overall, 1-1-0 in Conference USA) host league foes FIU and FAU on Oct. 2 and Oct. 4, respectively. Game times are set for 7 pm on Friday and 1 pm on Sunday.
This Week's Soccer Promotions & Links
Friday, Oct. 2: FIU at Rice, 7 pm
Rice Soccer Alumnae Night - Join us in welcoming back a host of former Owl soccer players to be recognized Holloway Field.
Camper Reunion Night - Kids from the Rice Soccer Summer Camps are coming back to cheer for the Owls at this match.
Sunday, Oct. 4: FAU at Rice, 1 m
Pups at the Pitch! Fans are encouraged to bring their dog to this game, where a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Houston Humane Society. More details below.
In the below video, Rice head soccer coach Nicky Adams previews the upcoming matches, and updates the Owls' progress heading into the home matches.
QUICK ON THE OWLS (5-4-1, 1-1-0): The 2015 Rice soccer team returns seven of 11 starters from last season's squad that posted a school record-tying 14 wins, won the C-USA Tournament Championship and advanced to national postseason play in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue & Gray return a total of 20 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, the 2015 Conference USA Coach of the Year who is now in her fifth full season at the helm of the program. Adams enters the weekend with a career record of 52-34-8. A former pro player and All-America honoree while playing at Texas A&M, Adams was just recently inducted into her alma mater's Athletics Hall of Fame. Her coaching staff includes veteran assistant Allison Martino (now in her fourth year at Rice), and the rookie duo of Courtney Sirmans and Cami Koski, who are both in their first year with the program.
PUPS AT THE PITCH THIS SUNDAY: It's true, Holloway Field is going to the dogs for Rice's Sunday match vs. FAU! In a first for Rice Soccer, fans are also encourage to bring their dogs to this game. Please visit www.RiceOwls.com/Humane and enter the special promotional code pitch to purchase pre-sale tickets for only $10. Not only will a portion of the proceeds from this game benefit the Houston Humane Society, the organization will be on site with their adoption vehicle starting at 12:30 pm so fans can take home their own furry friend.
RICE IN CONF. HOME OPENERS: Since starting its soccer program in 2001, Rice is a combined 8-6-0 when playing its first home conference game of that year. Under coach Adams, however, the Owls are in fact a perfect 5-0-0 in their first home league match. (All conference matches in coach Adams' tenure have been in C-USA.)
PREVIOUS OUTING: HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall made the most of just two shots on-goal to claim a 1-0 Conference USA win over the visiting Rice soccer team Sunday afternoon in Huntington, West Virginia. The Owls finished the match holding a 5-2 lead in shots on-goal, and did a particularly solid job of controlling the tempo in the first half with an overall shots advantage of 8-3. Rice's closest chance at getting on the board was with less than a minute to go in the first half. In the 45th minute freshman Darcy Mickalow's header from inside the keeper's box was just outside the right post... Riding a streak of nine-straight matches without a loss, Marshall turned up the pressure in the second stanza. In the 66th minute, the Herd's Mack Moore played a rebound off the Rice crossbar to the back of the Owl net for her first career score. Marshall proceeded to keep Rice off the board for the 1-0 final. The Herd finished with a 12-11 lead in shots, while the corner kicks were an identical 3-3... "I thought it was a tale of two halves," said Rice head coach Nicky Adams. "The way we came out and approached this game was awesome. I thought in the first half we created tons of opportunities and were unlucky. I am very disappointed we didn't get any goals in that first half, and that could have changed things completely... In the second half Marshall made some technical adjustments," coach Adams explained. "It wasn't our best half of soccer, but we built some chances and could have helped ourselves a couple of times by playing better. It proves how playing a full, 90-minute performance is crucial in conference. On Friday (in the Owls 3-1 win at WKU) we came out well and built a big enough lead so that if there was an error in the second half we were covered by scoring earlier goals. At the end of the day today, we didn't put the ball in the back of the net... "Kudos to Marshall for continuing to fight," she added. "Marshall is known for being a blue-collar, hard-working team. That was no surprise, but we have to find a way to be more consistent for a 90-minute game and not just a 45-minute period."... Rice moved to 5-4-1 overall and is 1-1-0 in C-USA league play. Red-hot Marshall improved to 8-1-2 on the season and 1-0-1 in conference.
ON FIU: FIU enters Friday's match holding a share of first place in the C-USA standings with a perfect 2-0-0 league record. The Panthers are 6-5 overall, but a closer look at the schedule is in order as FIU has played nationally-ranked teams Florida, Ohio State and UCF. The stat to note on is that FIU allows an average of only 7.0 shots per game.
THE RICE-FIU SERIES: FIU leads the series 2-0-0. All of the previous meetings between the two have been played in Miami, Fla. This is the first time for Rice and FIU to play in Houston.
ON FAU: Thanks to some steady defensive work FAU (6-6-0 overall) allows less than a goal per game and ranks fourth in C-USA in shutouts. Note that the squad is also third in the league in corner kicks. FAU and Rice have the same record against common opponents Texas A&M and Sam Houston State. FAU plays at North Texas on Friday night before coming to Houston on Sunday.
THE RICE-FAU SERIES: Any meeting between Rice and FAU is the battle between "Owls." Rice leads the series 1-0-0 after slipping past FAU in Boca Raton, Fla., last season 3-2.