Jessica Howard Leads Four Owls Earning All-Conference Honors In Soccer

Jessica Howard
Martel College

Nov. 1, 2011

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Rice soccer standouts Jessica Howard and Lauren LaGro, along with freshmen stars Amy Czyz and Quinney Truong, earned all-Conference USA honors for the 2011 season the league office announced Tuesday (Nov. 1) in Memphis, Tenn.

The C-USA honorees were selected on a vote of the 12 head coaches and announced on the eve of the annual conference tournament. Jessica Howard was named first team all-conference while LaGro was selected to the C-USA second team. Czyz and Truong were named to both the C-USA third team and the league's All-Freshman squad.

Jessica Howard is a sophomore who ranks among the C-USA statistical leaders in goals, points (18), shots (53) and game-winning goals (4). Recognized as a C-USA all-freshman honoree last season, Howard's improved play in the attacking third constantly put opposing defenses under pressure with a .436 shots-on-goal percentage. The Dallas native registered five or more shots in a game six different times this season. She leads the Owls in scoring with eight goals, including four game-winning goals, while both of her assists were on game-winning goals against C-USA foes. Howard has played 80 or more minutes in a game eight times and earlier this season she was named the C-USA Player of the Week.

LaGro is a starting defender who has been a fixture on the backline, including all 19 games this season and the last 39 Rice games in a row. The junior from Dallas rarely comes off the field, leading the team in 1,758 minutes played that is 97.7 percent of the Owls' total time. LaGro has worked 90 or more defensive minutes 17 times, and helped the Rice defenders hold opposing teams to just 11.2 shots per game this season. Though primarily a defender, she also showed her versatility this season by scoring two goals and recording a pair of assists.



The Owls' true freshmen duo of Quinney Truong and Amy Czyz have both made an immediate impact in their first season of Division I soccer. Czyz has started in-goal every game and is the only C-USA player named to's list of the Top 100 Freshmen in The Nation announced earlier this week. The Danville, Calif., native owns six complete-game shutouts and ranks second in C-USA, and among the NCAA leaders, with an 0.77 goals-against average. Two weeks ago she posted a single-game career-best six saves on the road at Marshall. Czyz has played 1,752 minutes in goal, which is all but 47 minutes of the team's total time.

Truong has worked her way into 18 starting assignments in her debut college season. A former club and prep star from Fort Worth, Tex., Truong is sixth on the team with 1,526 minutes played (84.8 percent of the team's total time). She scored the game-winning goal on the road at longtime rival SMU and assisted on goals in home games vs. UAB, Southern Miss and Western Kentucky. Truong has taken 28 shots and maintained a steady .500 shots-on-goal percentage.

Under the direction of head coach Nicky Adams the Rice Owls, 9-7-3 in the regular season and 4-5-2 in conference, meet SMU in the first round of the Championship Wednesday (Nov. 2) at 2:30 pm. The winner of Wednesday's opening round between the No. 6 seeded Owls and third-seeded Mustangs then advances to meet either No. 2 seed or No. 7 UTEP on Friday (Nov. 4) at 5 pm. The tournament concludes with a championship final on Nov. 6 at 1 pm that will be televised by CBS Sports Network. The conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament is at stake in the eight-team, single-elimination event. The 2011 C-USA award winners for soccer are as follows:


Offensive Player of the Year
Christabel Oduro, Memphis

Defensive Player of the Year
Lizzy Simonin, Memphis

Midfielder of the Year
Jessie Ayers, Colorado College

Freshman of the Year
Jessie Ayers, Colorado College

Coach of the Year
Brooks Monaghan, Memphis

All-Conference First Team
F: Lauren DiGregorio, Colorado College
F: Christabel Oduro, Memphis
F: Jessica Howard, Rice
F: Tiffini Turpin, UAB
F: Tishia Jewell, UCF
MF: Jessie Ayers, Colorado College
MF: Kimmy Cummings, East Carolina
MF: Mallory Baum, SMU
D: Lizzy Simonin, Memphis
D: Kaitlyn Eidson, SMU
D: Marissa Diggs, UCF
GK: Elise Kuhar-Pitters, Memphis

All-Conference Second Team
F: Britney Lyman, Colorado College
F: Amanda Malkiewicz, East Carolina
F: Jessica Zavalza, Houston
MF: Lizzy Hildebrandt, Memphis
MF: Stacie Hubbard, UCF
MF: Azia Nicholson, UTEP
D: Beth Wright, Colorado College
D: Lauren LaGro, Rice
D: Claire Hulcer, Tulsa
GK: Aline Reis, UCF

All-Conference Third Team
F: Claire Nicholson, Tulsa
F: Tess Hall, UTEP
F: Katie Dorman, UTEP
MF: Sharis Lachappelle, Houston
MF: Angela DeSumma, Marshall
MF: Quinney Truong, Rice
MF: Jordan O'Brien, Tulsa
MF: Carolyn Polcari, UAB
D: Stephanie Derieg, Houston
D: Courtney Smith, SMU
D: Caitlin Leumas, Southern Miss
GK: Amy Czyz, Rice

All-Freshman Team
Jessie Ayers, MF, Colorado College
Kaeli Vandersluis, F, Colorado College
Kelley Johnson, D/MF, East Carolina
Sharis Lachappelle, MF, Houston
Kylie Davis, MF, Memphis
Natalia Gomez-Junco, MF, Memphis
Amy Czyz, GK, Rice
Quinney Truong, MF, Rice

Rikki Clarke, MF, SMU
Carleigh Williams, D, UCF
Sarah Dilling, GK, UTEP



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