Owls Open C-USA Road Swing Thursday Night With Televised Game vs. Memphis

Oct. 9, 2012

Find the Fox Soccer Channel here

Live Stats vs. Memphis (available at game time)
Please note that due to Thursday's game being televised by Fox Soccer, there will be no All-Access webcast.
Live Stats vs. UAB (available at game time)
Catch the UAB game on OwlVision All-Access (subscription service; available at game time)
C-USA Soccer Home Page
Just For Kicks, 2012 Edition
Rice Soccer 360! (a 360-degree photo of Rice Soccer)

The Last Meeting
September 25, 2011
Rice Track/Soccer Stadium
Soccer Team Falls To No. 9 Ranked Memphis 1-0
The No. 9 ranked Memphis soccer team scored the lone goal of the game midway through the second half and seven goalkeeper saves helped the Tigers slip past Rice 1-0 Sunday afternoon at the Owls' Holloway Field in Houston.

THIS WEEK: The Rice soccer team, 7-5-3 overall and tied for second place in the Conference USA standings with a 4-1-1 league record, is back on the road for a pair of games this weekend. The Owls play at conference foes Memphis (9-4-0, 5-1-0) and UAB (2-12-0, 1-5-0) on Thursday and Sunday (Oct. 11-14), respectively. Start times are slated for 7 pm Thursday vs. the Memphis Tigers and 1 pm against the UAB Blazers.

RICE-MEMPHIS GAME SCHEDULED FOR NATIONAL TV: Rice soccer is ready for prime time TV in 2012. Thursday's 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 is Fox Soccer's NSCAA Game of the Week and 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. Broadcasters Dean Linke (play-by-play) and Lisa Grubb (analyst) and Charlie Slagle (sideline) have the call from Memphis' Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Thursday's showdown is between teams that are currently first and second in the conference standings - a match-up that is right at home on FOX Soccer, TV's broadcast-leader for college soccer.

FAMILIAR TV FOES: Thursday's broadcast of the Rice-Memphis soccer game is the third time the Owls and Tigers have had had their game televised since 2008. The regular season meeting between the two foes was televised from Memphis in 2008 and Houston in 2009, with each home team claiming a victory on TV.

CATCH SUNDAY'S UAB GAME LIVE ON OWLVISION ALL-ACCESS: Sunday's game from UAB is 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).



LIVE IN-GAME STATS: Live in-game statistics for all Rice home matches and C-USA league games 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 56 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 in scoring while combining for 14 of the team's 17 goals. Hargreaves is tied for fourth in the nation in game-winning goals (with five). Freshman Jasmine Isokpunwu has been playing well as a defensive starter.

Official Rice Centennial Logo

RICE UNIVERSITY CENTENNIAL:Rice University is celebrating its centennial, 1912-to-2012 this weekend on the Rice campus. The Owl athletic teams, including soccer, will wear a patch with the Centennial's commemorative logo for each of their respective seasons. Alas, the Owl soccer team cannot be present when the various Centennial celebrations are happening on-campus because of how the league scheduling turned out this fall. "That's OK," one of the Owl players quipped after a recent practice, "we'll just go when they have it the next time."

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 22-16-11 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 ranked in a three-way tie for ninth in the latest (Oct. 9) Central Region poll from National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). This is the Owls' second week in a row to be ranked. Rice was also regionally-ranked under Nicky Adams in October of 2011. Check out the organization's latest NSCAA/Continental Tire Central Regional Rankings at these links.
NSCAA Home Page
Central Regional Rankings (Oct. 2, 2012).

PREVIOUS OUTING - Owls & East Carolina Finish In 0-0 Tie Sunday: HOUSTON, Fla. - The The Rice soccer team registered an eye-opening 40 shots, including 13 on-goal, but the Owls and East Carolina finished in a 0-0 double-overtime tie in a Conference USA league match Sunday afternoon at the Rice Soccer Stadium in Houston... The Owls and Pirates were tied for second place in the C-USA standings when the day began. Both teams remain deadlocked on the conference leaderboard after a similar 0-0 stalemate on the scoreboard that included 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods... Rice did not get on the scoreboard, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. The Owls took 40 shots for the 110-minute contest. The total was sixth-highest in the history of the soccer program and the most by a Rice team in five years dating back to 42 shots taken against Lamar in 2007. Eleven different Owls logged shot attempts, led by senior Julia Barrow with eight for a new career-high. Freshman Holly Hargreaves had seven shots and fellow rookie Lauren Hughes came off the bench to take seven shots in just 64 minutes of work... Rice put in plenty of work to create offensive opportunities that led to a final 40-10 advantage in shots, as well as a 12-1 margin in corner kicks. Credit ECU goalkeeper Christiane Cordero with making 12 saves, including four in the two overtime periods. In one sequence in the 69th minute, Rice sophomore midfielder Quinney Truong attempted a shot from 10-yards out. Cordero punched the ball away for a save, but the full play wasn't quite finished. Owl sophomore Gabriela Iribarne quickly gathered the deflection and attempted a follow-up shot of her own, but the Pirate defense alertly filled-in behind Cordero to block away that attempt and save a potential score... The Owls also bounced two attempts bounce off the crossbar as part of a 20-shot second half. Barrow hit the framework in the 52nd minute and freshman defender Jasmine Isokpunwu saw her lone attempt of the day do the same in the 71st... Rice head coach Nicky Adams was able to stay positive thanks to an eye on a bigger picture - like how well the Owls put together offensive chances against a Pirate defense that is one of the tops in the conference and who entered the day allowing just 13.1 shots per game. It's also of note that where Rice had been an austere 0-5-1 in the last six combined games against both of the teams the Owls faced this weekend (East Carolina Sunday and Marshall on Friday), the Blue & Gray pulled-out an unbeaten 1-0-1 weekend. Adams, who has seen a lot in soccer over the years, stated that win-lose-or-draw it's not uncommon for the game to be uncommon... "Sometimes these games are funny," coach Adams said, though clearly looking for just a little more actual humor on this particular occasion. "I thought our team was absolutely fantastic this entire weekend. It felt like we did everything right today. I'm excited for the way we played. I feel for our players, who felt they deserved to win today, but we're doing the right things... "I thought this weekend was where we wanted to see clear signs of improvement, and I think we've shown that, absolutely," she added. "I'm proud of the individual responsibility that our players took over the course of this week to make sure that we had a great weekend." Almost lost among all the offensive shot-counting was a quiet but solid effort by the Rice defense. Owl sophomore goalkeeper Amy Czyz made six saves and the Rice backline of Isokpunwu, Lauren LaGro, Alexandra Trenary and Hayley Williams held the same ECU squad that scored three quick first half goals in the Pirates' game on Friday night to no goals for 110 minutes and just 10 shots... "We didn't get the win we wanted, but we're happy with how we played," LaGro said. "I thought the defense did a great job, playing hard and playing for each other. We gave up a goal on Friday (to Marshall) and we didn't feel good about that. (The defense) really wanted to have shutout today. When you think to how (the backline) played at the beginning of the year, in August, to how we played this weekend it's obvious we've come a long way."... Rice is now 7-5-3 on the season and 4-1-1 in C-USA play. East Carolina moved to 8-5-1 overall and 4-1-1 against the league.

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.

SIZZLING CZYZ: Sophomore goalkeeper Amy Czyz has been sound-and-solid in 15 starts this season. So far Czyz has maintained an .826 save percentage and an 1.01 goals-against average. The California native is ranked 21st in the nation among the current NCAA leaders in goalkeeper minutes (1,339). The NCAA ranks four statistical categories for goalkeepers, including minutes, goals-against average, saves, and saves-percentage. Czyz is one of only two C-USA keepers to rank in all four categories.

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.

ON MEMPHIS: Over the years Memphis has been a consistent resident at the top of the C-USA standings. The Tigers are particularly tough at home where the team owns a 7-1-0 record this season. Memphis has already scored four or more goals in a game four different times.

THE RICE-MEMPHIS SERIES: Memphis leads the all-time series with Rice 4-1-1. The Owls' best two results were a 1-1 tie in 2007 and a dramatic upset win over the Tigers, 2-1, in a televised game in 2009. Both those contests were held in Houston. The fun fact of the series is that not only was Memphis the last C-USA team for Rice to finally play once the Owls joined the league in 2005, the teams did not get around to finally playing each other in soccer for the first time until a year after joining the conference (in 2006).

ON UAB: UAB enters the weekend set of games at 2-12 overall and 1-3 in conference. The Blazers face Houston in a C-USA league match prior to the Sunday showdown with Rice.

THE RICE-UAB SERIES: Rice and UAB series is tied, 4-4-0. The Owls have never beaten UAB in Birmigham, Ala., and haven't scored a goal there since 2008.

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:
Thursday, Oct. 11
Rice at Memphis (Fox Soccer), 7 pm

Friday, Oct. 12
(8) UCF at Colorado College, 5 pm
SMU at East Carolina, 6 pm
Tulsa at Marshall, 6 pm
Houston at UAB, 7 pm
Southern Miss at UTEP, 7 pm

Sunday, Oct. 14
SMU at Marshall, Noon
UTEP at (8) UCF, Noon
Southern Miss at Colorado College, 1 pm
Tulsa at East Carolina, 1 pm
Houston at (RV) Memphis, 1 pm
Rice at UAB, 1 pm



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