Oct. 4, 2010
IRVING, Tex. -- Rice junior forward Hope Ward has been named the Conference USA offensive player of the week for soccer the league office announced from its headquarters in Irving, Tex., on Monday (Oct. 4). Goalkeepers Cami Koski (Houston) and Courtney Webb (SMU) were named the C-USA co-defenders of the week.
Ward recorded a goal and two assists over the weekend to help pace the Owls to two more C-USA victories and maintain a share of first place in the league standings with the program's best conference start in history (4-0-0). She tallied an assist on Hayley Williams' game-winning goal in Friday night's 1-0 victory vs. UTEP. On Sunday vs. Colorado College, Ward first had the assist on Korey Taylor's game-tying goal in the 82nd minute then scored the game-winner with just six minutes left in regulation. The Owls' standout from Kingwood shared the team lead with seven shots on the week, including two on-goal for a .286 percentage. Ward finished the C-USA weekend playing 176 of the team's 180 total minutes (97.8 percent).
The award marks the first time for Ward to earn the league's offensive player of the week honor. She is the first Rice player to earn the C-USA weekly accolades since Katelyn Ostendorf did so as a defender on Oct. 26, 2009. Ward is the Owls first offensive player to earn the honor since Erin Scott on Oct. 20, 2008.
Rice closed out its five-game homestand Sunday with a 4-1 record, and each of the last four matches were crucial conference wins. The Owls must now go on the road for each of their next two C-USA games on Oct. 8 & 10. The Blue & Gray play at league foes Southern Miss on Friday, followed by national power UCF on Sunday. Start times for the games are set for 4 pm and noon, respectively (both game times listed are CENTRAL time).