HOUSTON - The Conference USA regular season champion Rice soccer team, 12-3-2 overall and unbeaten in league play with a 9-0-1 C-USA record, has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament it was announced on Monday (Nov. 6).
Rice is scheduled to face Big 12 power Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The match is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 10, in Waco.
The Owls are making their fourth-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, and all have been in the state of Texas. Rice most recently played in the 2014 NCAA's in Austin after winning the automatic bid as the C-USA tournament champion. In 2005 the Owls faced the Cal Bears in the four-team Austin regional. In its NCAA Tournament debut in 2004 the Blue & Gray played Illinois at Texas A&M after making the field as an at-large team with a school record 14 wins.
Rice is just two victories away from matching its school-record win total and the team has only been defeated three times, twice by a single goal. On August 24 the Owls and Baylor finished in a 0-0 double-overtime stalemate. Rice later found its stride to win a school record 10-straight matches on the way to an 11-game unbeaten streak heading into the C-USA Tournament.
Among a host of 2017 awards and team milestones, some of the most notable included senior Samantha Chaiken as the C-USA Midfielder of the Year for the second-straight season, sophomore Maya Hoyer as the league's Goalkeeper of the Year, and Nicky Adams as the C-USA Coach of the Year for the second time in her seven years at the helm of the program.