Aug. 31, 2011
THIS WEEK: The Rice soccer team (2-1-0) is back home for a pair of weekend games on Friday and Sunday (Sept. 2 & 4). The Owls face SEC power LSU at 7 pm on Friday at the Rice Soccer Stadium. Rice then hosts longtime rival Sam Houston State on Sunday at 7 pm.
CATCH THE GAME LIVE ON OWLVISION ALL-ACCESS: All Rice soccer home games are 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. Join broadcaster Charlie Adams for the Rice call of the home soccer action. More information for watching Rice sports is at the same All-Access Soccer Link (provided above).
QUICK ON THE OWLS: The 2011 Rice soccer team features 16 letterwinners, including seven regular starters, from last season's team that went 8-8-4 and reached the Conference USA Tournament. A total of eight newcomers are on the squad, all of which are freshmen with elite club and high school experience. The Blue & Gray has four veteran seniors, led by Hope Ward in the midfield. Junior defender Amy Beger is a stalwart on the Owls' backline who earned all-region and conference honors last season.
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 soccer staff in January of 2003 and was named associate head coach in 2006. She replaced former head coach Chris Huston, who started the Rice program in 2001, effective for the remainder of the 2010 schedule beginning with a home game against No. 9 BYU on Sept. 18. Adams, a former All-America soccer player and 2001 graduate of Texas A&M, has led the Owls to 7-5-4 record since Sept. 18, 2010... She is assisted by coach John Adams (Cincinnati, 2003), who is in his second year with the team, Allison Martino (Texas A&M, 2008) who is in her first year at Rice, and Owl great Kate Edwards as the new student coach.
SIGN-UP FOR THURSDAY'S FREE SOCCER CLINIC: The Rice soccer coaches and players are hosting a free soccer clinic on Thursday, Sept. 1, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Rice Soccer Stadium. The clinic is open to all age groups and promises to put the FUN in soccer fundamentals... Participants should plan on bringing their own soccer ball and water to the clinic. There will be an autograph session with the Owl players and free posters provided immediately following the clinic... For more details please contact Coach Martino at 713-348-6955, or by email to email@example.com.
PREVIOUS OUTING: Owls Claim 1-0 Road Victory At TCU On Aug. 26
FORT WORTH - Sophomore midfielder Jessica Howard's goal in the 68th minute gave the visiting Rice soccer team the lead, and a solid 90-minute defensive effort by the Owls made it stand up for a 1-0 road victory over longtime state rival TCU on August 26at Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium in Fort Worth... Rice controlled the tempo with a 26-9 advantage in shots and an 8-3 margin in corner kicks. Like the team's home-opening win over McNeese State last Sunday, the Owls didn't have anything to show for their effort on the scoreboard in the first half. On one sequence early in the game, Rice was offside on a breakaway that would have resulted in a 1-0 Owl lead. Rice was playing well, but the 0-0 deadlock at the intermission had head coach Nicky Adams' full attention... "Our first 30 minutes was probably some of the best soccer we've played in a long time," said coach Adams. "One thing we've got to work on, and it's been our nemesis, is putting a game away in the first half. We could have helped take some of the pressure off ourselves by getting early goals, but coaches are never going to get upset when the team is creating shots and opportunities. As long as we're playing forward, taking shots, and getting chances, then the goals will come. We just have to finish... "We're doing a really good job of finding numbers on the attack," Adams explained. "Now we've just got to string it all together. Every week we've been improving and improving, and that's been so encouraging. The girls played with a lot of fight tonight, which is exactly what we needed in a big road game against a very good team."... After a host offensive chances that the team had hustled to create, Rice got on the scoreboard after a set-piece in the 68th minute. Senior forward Annie Kadota served the corner kick into traffic just a few yards in front of the TCU goal. The Horned Frogs attempted to clear the ball away from danger, but Jessica Howard stepped-in for a close-range shot attempt and found the back of TCU net on the left-hand side... The shot was Howard's fifth of the game, the most of any player in the contest, and all of which were in just 57 minutes of playing time. Getting offensive-minded is something of a trend she started Sunday against McNeese State where she came off the bench and let loose on seven shots in just 35 minutes of action. Her final shot taken Friday night proved to be the difference-maker in a narrow 1-0 final. The goal was Howard's first of the season and held-up as the third game-winning score of her collegiate career... Rice freshman goalkeeper Amy Czyz notched her second complete-game shutout victory. Czyz posted a career-best four saves as the Owls moved to 2-1-0 overall... "Amy did a nice job again," coach Adams said. "She's a freshman who plays with confidence and makes good decisions. I thought our backline and our midfield was solid. Our backline of Lauren (LaGro), Hayley (Williams), Rachel (Petmecky) and Amy (Beger) was phenomenal tonight. That was one of their best games as a unit. It's exciting that they're all so young (two sophomores and two juniors), but playing so well."... The win was Rice's first over TCU since 2007, and the first in Fort Worth since 2006. TCU dropped to 1-2-0 on the young season.
NEWS & NOTES: The 2-1-0 Owls are off to their best start to a season since 2008... For the third time in as many matches this year, Rice out-shot and registered more corner kicks than its opponent. This season the Owls have out-shot their opponent by a ratio 2.9-to-1. The team's advantage in corner kicks has been a steady 2.4-to-1, and keep in mind two of the team's three matches have been on the road... Freshman goalkeeper Amy Czyz has posted back-to-back complete game shut outs in each of her last two outings. So far this season the rookie keeper has maintained a .857 save percentage and an 0.33 goals-against average. She is one of only two Owls to play all 270 minutes this year... Credit Owl defenders for helping out their freshman keeper. The foursome of all-conference honoree Amy Beger, former C-USA all-freshman Hayley Williams, junior Lauren LaGro and sophomore Rachel Petmecky have combined to hold opponents to just 7.7 shots per game... Sophomore midfielder Jessica Howard has been getting offensive lately, and it has paid-off for the Blue & Gray. Howard has posted a total of 12 shots in her last 92 minutes of playing time, and she scored the game-winning goal last Friday at TCU... Rice has been distributing the offensive attack equally across the roster. Four different Owls have scored goals, while another three different players have all registered assists.
VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: The Owls are meeting LSU in soccer for the first time. Rice is 3-5-0 in eight previous matches against teams from the Southeastern Conference... The Blue & Gray has met Sam Houston State once before. The Owls topped the Bearkats 2-0 in the season-opener for both teams in 2008.
BIG HOME CROWDS: The 1,481 fans that came to see the Rice-Houston game last season was the Owls' third-largest home soccer crowd in the program's history. Here's a closer look at Rice's big home crowds.
Rice's Largest Home CrowdsYear Attn. Opponent2001 1,752 Army2001 1,487 Texas State2010 1,481 Houston2001 1,360 Houston2005 1,276 Auburn2005 1,273 UTEP2005 1,087 Houston2010 1,047 BYU
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.
OTHER C-USA ACTION: Conference USA's high-flying brand of soccer is in full-swing. The league's weekend slate is as follows:
Friday, Sept. 2
SE Louisiana at Southern Miss 4 pm
East Carolina at Davidson 6 pm
Ohio at Marshall 6 pm
UAB at Belmont 6 pm
Colorado College at Pittsburgh 6:30 pm
SMU at North Texas 7 pm
UTEP at Stephen F. Austin 7 pm
LSU at Rice 7 pm
Tulsa at (1) Notre Dame 7:30 pm
UCF at San Diego State 9 pm
Sunday, Sept. 4
Colorado College vs. either NCSU/Penn State 10:30 am
Tulsa vs. Western Michigan 11 am
East Carolina at Charlotte 1 pm
(25) Memphis at Western Kentucky 1 pm
Mississippi State at Southern Miss 1 pm
(9) Florida State at UAB 1 pm
UTEP at Texas State 1 pm
UCF at (22) San Diego 3 pm
Marshall at (17) West Virginia 6 pm
North Texas at Houston 7 pm
Sam Houston State at Rice 7 pm