HOUSTON -- Rice senior Marissa Topolski
recorded both a goal and an assist, and true freshman goalkeeper Bella Killgore
posted four saves, to help lift the Owls soccer team to a 3-1 Conference USA victory over visiting UTSA Sunday evening at Holloway Field.
Rice improved to 3-5-0 on the season and 1-1-0 in its opening weekend of C-USA league play. UTSA is now 4-4-1 overall and 0-1-1 in conference. The Owls held up against Roadrunner offense that held an 18-13 advantage in shots and a 3-2 margin in corner kicks.
The Blue & Gray opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Junior midfielder Erin Mikeska converted on a penalty kick after a UTSA foul in the area. The goal was Mikeska's first of the year and the first PK attempt for the Owls this season.
Rice was quickly back on the offensive with Topolski leading a Rice breakaway from the left wing in the 17th minute. When the Roadrunner defense shifted to contain the Owls' current shots-leader, Topolski served to Ashley Burgess (who had just subbed into the game) charging inside the 18. Burgess quickly settled the pass, shot and scored for her first goal of the season and 2-0 advantage.
UTSA would not go away so easily, and pulled to within one in the second half. In the 61st minute Lexi Bolton scored her fifth goal of the season from close range after a sharp pass from Ellis Patterson on the left side.
The Roadrunners continued to apply offensive pressure, but Killgore did not allow another score on the way to finishing with four saves. In the 88th minute, senior Darcy Mickalow threaded a pass through traffic to Topolski just outside the keeper's box. Topolski was close, but did not have the best angle outside the left post. She lined a hard attempt that deflected into the right-side netting after nicking the right post.
Rice has wrapped-up its two-game homestand and next plays C-USA foe UAB on the road in Birmingham, Ala., on Sept. 30. A postgame video interview with Rice head coach Nicky Adams is available at the above link.