In its first five games, the Rice women’s soccer team has scored five goals and given up five goals.
So it’s probably not much of a stretch to imagine the Owls are sitting right at .500 with two wins, two losses and a draw.
But considering that three of those five matches were against Big 12 or SEC opponents, perhaps 2-2-1 is actually above average. The Owls tied LSU 1-1 on the road and dropped matches to Baylor 1-0 and TCU 2-0 at home.
The high point arguably has been tying the Tigers in enemy territory. LSU drew a record record-breaking crowd of 2,624 fans to the Rice game Aug. 24.
“It’s not a win but I’ll tell you what, for us to go earn this result – against an SEC team that is getting votes for the Top 25, on the road, in the rain, and then down a player for two overtime periods… that is pretty big time,” said Rice coach Nicky Adams in a news release after the LSU game. “I thought our girls kept their composure and at the end we have something to build on.”
The Owls ended that road trip with a 2-0 victory over McNeese State. Their most recent match was a 2-1 win over Texas State Sunday.
In that contest, freshmen Holly Hargreaves and Lauren Hughes both scored goals. In fact, the two freshman have scored every goal this season. Hargreaves has three and Hughes two.
“Lauren and Holly have done such a great job for us since they reported on campus,” Adams said after Sunday‘s victory. “They just give us another element to our game, stuff that we’ve been missing in years past. We’re glad to have them. You know what? We’ll take a goal a game from them every time. They are creating so much and working hard together.”
Hargreaves is a native of New Hope, Pa., who attended high school at The Hun School of Princeton, N.J., and picked Rice over East Coast schools.
“The freshmen have done well, but we’ve had a lot of help,” she said. “The upperclassmen have been so helpful, bringing us along. I think the whole team is picking each other up. That’s what has been the best part.”
One of those upperclassmen, senior midfielder Julia Barrow has notched two assists, Meanwhile, sophomore goal keeper Amy Czyz has recorded 27 saves.
Statistically speaking, it won’t knock anyone’s socks to find that Rice is just about even with its opponents. Rice has taken 79 shots, compared to 76 for its five foes. Corner kicks (18 for Rice, compared to 19 ) are just about even, too, as are fouls (40 to 38).
So if the Owls can play even with SEC and Big 12 (and Southland/WAC) teams, that could bode well for Conference USA matches. But that’s down the road, first off is more Big 12 opponents. After a game at Stephen F. Austin Friday, Rice faces Oklahoma State Sunday and hosts Oklahoma Sept. 14.