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Soccer snaps unbeaten streak

(10/07/14 4:53pm)

The Rice University soccer team headed out on the road this past weekend to face two more Conference USA opponents. On Friday, the Owls defeated the University of Texas, San Antonio 3-0. Rice then traveled to face off against the University of Texas, El Paso on Sunday; the Owls lost to the Miners 1-0 in overtime. The Owls are now 7-2-2 on the season and second overall in C-USA with a 3-1 conference record.

Soccer outscores opponents 10-0

(10/01/14 9:57am)

The Rice University soccer team (6-1-2, 2-0 C-USA) played at home this past weekend to open their 2014 Conference USA schedule. The Owls took two more victories to add to their streak of unbeaten matches, which now stands at eight games. Rice defeated the University of Southern Mississippi 4-0 at home on Friday night. The Owls followed up that performance with a 6-0 defeat over Louisiana Tech University, in which junior Holly Hargreaves scored four goals.

Soccer defeats Air Force Academy

(09/24/14 8:06am)

This past weekend, the Rice University soccer team hosted and defeated the Air Force Academy Falcons for the first time in school history. In the 21st minute of the match, Air Force struck a crossed-in ball past Rice goalkeeper Amy Czyz to take a 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later, the Falcons added a second goal, giving them a 2-0 cushion early in the game. In the 30th minute, Rice sophomore Jenny Fichera fired a shot and found the top of the net, just avoiding the diving hand of the Air Force goalkeeper, making the halftime score 2-1 in favor of Air Force.

Soccer defeats Vanderbilt

(09/10/14 3:47pm)

The Rice University soccer team returned home to Holloway Field after winning back-to-back games on the road last week. On Friday, Sept. 5, the Owls played their second straight Southeastern Conference opponent, the Vanderbilt University Commodores. Rice shocked Vanderbilt by tying the game in the 90th minute of play and then won the game in the first minute of overtime with a header off a corner, resulting in a final score of 2-1.

Veteran Owl soccer team battles in early games

(08/29/14 3:55pm)

The Rice University women’s soccer team kicked off their 2014 season with two overtime matches this past week. The 2014 team has many key returning players including senior goalkeeper Amy Czyz and juniors Holly Hargreaves and Lauren Hughes, who led last year’s team in scoring with nine goals each. Other returning players for the Owls are midfielders senior Quinny Truong and junior Danielle Spriggs.

Women's basketball loses to MTSU

(02/10/14 6:00pm)

The Rice University women's basketball team traveled to Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Saturday, Feb. 8 to play No. 25 Middle Tennessee State University. The Owls were defeated 65-54 by the Blue Raiders and have now lost a season-high five games in a row. Rice shot 34 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers in the contest. Senior forward Jessica Kuster scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Owls. This double-double gave Kuster a total of 60 in her time at Rice, and she is currently tied for second in this category in Conference USA history. Three other Owls scored in double digits in this game, including 11 bench points for sophomore forward Megan Palmer. After starting 3-1 in C-USA play, the Owls have slipped to 10-12 overall and 3-6 in conference with seven regular season games remaining.Head Coach Greg Williams said the Owls played well defensively at Middle Tennessee, but the offense struggled. He said the game was an exciting battle between two of the best scorers in all of women's basketball."We did a very good defensive job on Ebony Rowe, holding her to 12 points," Williams said. "It was a classic matchup between two players who have averaged a double-double [over their entire careers]."Williams said his team will get back on the winning track with a few adjustments offensively."We are struggling to score, and until we get more consistency from more players, we will find each game a big challenge," Williams said. "Our league is very competitive, and our margin of error is very tight. Our defense has been keeping us in games, but we have to shoot the ball better to get back on the winning track."Palmer said she does not believe the final outcome against Middle Tennessee was indicative of how the Owls played."We knew we needed to come out and do all the little things, such as hustling for loose balls, rebounding and communicating on the court," Parker said. "I believe that we did a great job with these things, but we just couldn't get our shots to fall. The score does not reflect how hard we fought in this game."Palmer said the coaching staff has been telling her and her fellow teammates to keep working hard despite the losing streak. The teams with the most heart are the ones that come out on top every week, Parker said."The message from all of the coaches is to keep working hard," Palmer said. "The teams that work the hardest and play with the most heart are going to win. Right now, we can only learn from our losses and move on."The Owls are scheduled to play the University of Tulsa on the road Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. Tulsa is 10-10 overall and 4-5 in C-USA play. Last year, the teams played twice in the regular season and split the series.Palmer said there is a rivalry between Rice and Tulsa, and she wants the Owls to secure the win in order to break the team's losing streak and get some revenge."There is definitely a bit of rivalry there due to the fact that they ended our season last year by beating us in the conference tournament," Palmer said. "This is a game where we need to go into their building, play hard and get some revenge."

Women's basketball drops four in a row

(02/04/14 6:00pm)

The Rice Owls women's basketball team hosted two home games this past week against Tulane University and the University of Southern Mississippi. On Wednesday, Jan. 29, the Owls played the Green Wave and lost 62-55. Coming into the game, senior forward Jessica Kuster was 14 points away from breaking the all-time Rice scoring record. At the 3:23 mark, Kuster made a 3-pointer, giving her the outright record for points scored. She currently has 1,881 points and broke a record that had previously been held for 32 years. Kuster also holds the Rice record for career rebounds and field goals made.On Saturday, Feb. 1, the Owls hosted the Golden Eagles and lost 74-58. The Owls had 23 turnovers in the game, leading to 29 points for Southern Miss. The Owls trailed by as many as 27 points early in the second half and managed to close the gap to 11 points with approximately 3:30 to go but failed to complete the comeback. Kuster led the team with 29 points and 12 rebounds, while junior forward Christal Porter scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Porter achieved her second double-digit scoring game in the last three games. Kuster secured her 18th double-double of the season and is currently second in the NCAA in that category. The Owls fell to an overall record of 10-11 and 3-5 in C-USA play.Porter said Kuster deserves all the success that comes her way. Porter said that along with her teammates, she works hard every week for the sake of making Kuster's senior year successful."Her success is awesome, well-deserved and [earned]," Porter said. "We want to give our best for her because she is a great leader."Porter said the Tulane game was hard-fought, but the Owls struggled to close it out in the second half. She said the Owls' defense was effective, but their offense failed them."I think we definitely played well against Tulane, who is one of the better teams in our league," Porter said. "We had a good defensive scheme against them, and it was well-executed. We were tied at halftime but just had a hard time scoring [in the second half], so that's what we have to work on in the future."Porter said the upcoming game against Middle Tennessee State University will be very intense and competitive. She said Rice has the talent to take down the No. 25 team in the nation."Well you know that [they're] a great team, but I think we have a great chance of beating them," Porter said. "I feel that our team has the talent. Even though we haven't been playing our best basketball in the last couple of games, I know we can play on their level. It will definitely be a good matchup."Rice travels to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to take on Middle Tennessee at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8.

Women's basketball loses on road trip

(01/27/14 6:00pm)

The Rice Owls women's basketball team embarked on a six-day road trip to North Carolina to face East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. On Wednesday, Jan. 22, East Carolina defeated Rice 53-47. ECU entered the contest with a 15-2 overall record and a home winning streak of 22 straight games. Rice cut the margin to two points late in the second half but did not complete the comeback. Senior forward Jessica Kuster led the Owls with 11 points and 17 rebounds, shooting 2-14 from the field.On Saturday, Jan. 25, Rice traveled to Charlotte and lost to the 49ers 58-53. The Owls led by four at halftime but shot only 27 percent from the floor in the second half. Kuster earned her 16th double-double of the season with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Kuster is now only 14 points away from breaking the all-time Rice career scoring record of 1,851 points. After consecutive losses, the Owls have fallen to an overall record of 10-9 and 3-3 in Conference USA play.Kuster said the two road losses this past week came from mental mistakes. She said the team can make a strong run in conference if it plays at its full potential."I think that right now, we lost focus a bit and were [too content] with our [good] conference start," Kuster said. "We are a very capable team and need to get back to how we know we can play. If we do, we can definitely make a run."Junior point guard Reem Moussa said she was proud of the Owls' defensive effort despite the losses. However, she said there were problems moving the ball on the offensive end of the court."I think defensively, we did really well in both games and held the teams to 53 and 58 [points]," Moussa said. "We gave a great defensive effort, [but] our biggest problem was offensively."Head Coach Greg Williams said the Owls' defense was effective but that he was disappointed in the team's inability to score. He said the team had its chances but did not take advantage of them."We played very well defensively and held both teams under 60 in their own gyms," Williams said. "[However], we did [not] shoot the ball very well and couldn't generate a lot of offense to secure the [victories]. We knew it was going to be a challenge, and we had our chances."The Owls will play Tulane University Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in Tudor Fieldhouse. Williams said the Green Wave has a high-powered offense, so the Owls will have to play better and protect their home court to win."Tulane is an established team and is second place outright with a 5-1 conference record," Williams said. "We traditionally have really great games with them. They have [a lot] of scoring options, making them one of the best offensive teams in the conference."Williams said he thinks his team will be challenged in the upcoming games on Rice's schedule, but that the Owls are ready."Every game is important and every game is a dogfight," Williams said. "We have two big challenges this week against Tulane and then Southern Miss. After that, we travel on the road to Middle Tennessee, the only undefeated conference team remaining. We are preparing heavily for these teams."Following the game against Tulane, the Owls will stay at home to play the University of Southern Mississippi on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. 

Kuster leads women's basketball to 3-1 in C-USA

(01/20/14 6:00pm)

The Rice University women's basketball team won two home games last week against Conference USA opponents Louisiana Tech University and Marshall University. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, the Owls defeated Louisiana Tech 82-68. The 82 points were a season high for the Owls, who shot 49 percent from the field. Senior forward Jessica Kuster led Rice with 21 points and 15 rebounds, and freshman forward Jasmine Goodwine scored 19 points off the bench. With approximately 11 minutes remaining in the second half, Kuster recorded a rebound to become the all-time Rice rebounding leader with 1,211 rebounds. She is currently second in all-time scoring with 1,800 points and needs only 52 more to move into first.On Saturday, Jan. 18, the Owls played against C-USA rival Marshall, winning 74-68 in overtime. This was the second year in a row the Owls went to overtime with Marshall and won the game. With 26 points and 17 rebounds, Kuster led Rice and secured her 14th double-double of the season. Freshman guard Maya Hawkins contributed 20 points and hit six 3-pointers in the contest. Kuster forced the game into overtime with two free throws in the last 30 seconds. She was named the C-USA Player of the Week for her two-game performance. The Owls have won six of their last eight games, improving their record to 10-7 overall and 3-1 in conference play.Kuster said the team has developed good momentum and is playing excellent team basketball at the moment."I think we have kind of hit our stride at the right point in the season." Kuster said. "Everybody on this team has been [playing well], and now that we have come together and combined our [individual] games, we have been winning as of late."Goodwine provides a boost off the bench for the team. She said she clearly understands her role on the team and plays hard and with dedication."I just go out there and try to play hard and put out as much effort as I can," Goodwine said. "My job is to be a rebounder and score whenever I can, [so I] basically go out there and work at helping the team in any way."Kuster said all of her individual success is nice but is less important than securing team victories and continuing to win games. As the only senior on the team, Kuster said she knows she must be a leader more this season. "Being the only senior, I have to take on a bigger role than I have in previous years, and I'm trying to do that more now," Kuster said. "I think we have kind of figured out our roles and who does what for the team."As for surpassing the Rice rebounding record, Kuster said she did not know how much her accomplishment meant until after the game."After it happened, I was pretty excited about it, but then I got contacted by so many people, and [that's when] I really knew what it meant," Kuster said. "[However,] we still have lots of games left, and if we don't do well this year than it really doesn't have a lot of meaning."Rice will head out on a road trip to play East Carolina University on Wednesday, Jan. 22, followed by a game at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte on Saturday, Jan. 25.

Women's basketball starts C-USA 1-1

(01/13/14 6:00pm)

The Rice University women's basketball team opened up its Conference USA season with a road victory 59-41 against Florida International University on Jan. 8, bringing the Owls to a three-game winning streak. However, the Owls lost their next game to Florida Atlantic University 97-69, breaking the streak.Senior forward Jessica Kuster led Rice against the FIU Panthers with her 12th double-double of the season. Kuster put up 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while the Rice defense held the Panthers to just 21 percent shooting from the field. The Owls improved to 8-1 this season and have held their opponents to a field goal percentage of 39 percent or less.The Owls stayed in Florida after their Wednesday game to prepare for their Saturday matchup against the FAU Owls. In the battle of the Owls, Rice came up short, losing 97-69 to FAU and falling to an overall record of 8-7 with a C-USA record of 1-1.Despite the loss, Kuster led Rice with 21 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Nakachi Maduka had a career-high 19 points on a 7-for-10 shooting night. Coming off of a knee injury that sidelined her for the first half of the season, freshman guard Maya Hawkins started for the first time in her college career. She scored 16 points and completed four assists in 37 minutes of play.Hawkins said her team provided a huge lift both on and off the court. "[Having my] teammates encourage me throughout my rehab, along with my coaches, really meant the world to me," Hawkins said. "When I found out that I was going to be starting, I was excited and nervous at the same time, but [I] felt that I was prepared for the task at hand, and I wanted to make the most of it."Hawkins said the team has played well on the road lately and is clicking at the perfect time."Playing on the road is always tough, but I feel that we did extremely well while we were away from our home gym," Hawkins said. "This team has always had a strong bond off the court with one another, [and] I feel that over the course of this season, we have brought that connection onto the court. We are playing together as a team right now ... and it is amazing to watch."Following the loss, the Owls will head back to Tudor Fieldhouse to host Louisiana Tech University in Rice's conference home opener. Rice is 4-2 at home this season and is looking to defeat the Bulldogs, a team that is 5-10 this season and winless in conference play.Hawkins said she expects Louisiana Tech to be a formidable opponent even though its record may suggest otherwise. "We haven't fully scouted them yet, but I expect them to be an exceptional team," Hawkins said. "There are no weak teams in our conference this year, so we have to be prepared at all times to face challenging opponents."After the game against Louisiana Tech Wednesday, Jan. 15, Rice will stay at Tudor Fieldhouse to face Marshall University Saturday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. Last year, Rice defeated Marshall 71-61 in a game during which Kuster contributed 16 points. Marshall is currently 7-8 this season and 0-2 in conference play. 

Women lose at Colorado

(12/03/13 6:00pm)

This past weekend, the Rice Owls women's basketball team traveled to Boulder, Colorado and participated in the Omni Hotels Classic Tournament. The Owls went into this tournament with an overall record of 3-4. The Owls were playing on shortened rest after a 79-74 overtime loss against Sam Houston State University on Tuesday night.In the first game of the tournament, the Owls defeated Samford University, 57-52. Senior forward Jessica Kuster scored 14 points for the Owls while the Rice bench contributed twenty total points to secure the victory. Freshman forward Jasmine Goodwine grabbed eleven rebounds and added nine points in a game where ten different Rice Owls scored. With the victory, the Owls improved to 4-4 on the season and advanced to play in the championship game against the University of Colorado, Boulder. The Buffaloes came into the game a perfect 5-0 on the season. The championship game was played in the Coors Event Center in Boulder, Colo. Nov. 30th. Despite the Owls' best efforts, they fell short to the Buffaloes, 75-58. The Owls played well for the first half, trailing only by four points at halftime. However, midway through the second half, Colorado went on a 14-0 run which put Rice in an eighteen-point deficit that proved to be too much. Kuster had a game-high thirty points for the Owls, shooting nine of 16 from the floor and making 11 free throws. This was the third time that Kuster has scored 30 or more points in a game this season. Junior forward Megan Shafer had a team-high seven rebounds and added eight points for the Owls. Rice's record fell to 4-5 on the season with three of those losses coming against ranked teams: Baylor University, Michigan State University and Colorado. The Owls return back home to face Texas State University on Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. The Bobcats from San Marcos, Texas are part of the Sun Belt Conference and are coming into the game with an overall record of 1-5. Despite losing five games in a row, the Bobcats have been led by senior center, Ashley Ezeh, who leads the team with 11 points per game. Rice will continue to look for Kuster who has recorded a nation-leading seven double doubles thus far in the season. The Thursday night game will be the 13th time the two teams face off. Rice leads the all-time series 9-3. The Owls defeated Texas State on the road last year 73-61. Kuster had 19 points in that matchup while Rice managed to hold Bobcats' center Ezeh to only three points. Following this game, the Owls will be off for nearly two weeks until they host the University of Houston Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse.

Women's basketball falls to Bears

(11/18/13 6:00pm)

The Rice Owls women's basketball team traveled to Waco to face Baylor University Monday, Nov. 18. Coming in as the ninth-ranked team in the nation, Baylor defeated the Owls 79-46 for its 60th consecutive win at home.At the beginning of the game, the Owls kept up with the Bears. After the first eight minutes, the Owls were only trailing 11-9. Baylor went on a 34-9 run to finish the first half to pull further ahead, 45-18 and held on to that lead until the end of the game.Senior forward Jessica Kuster led Rice with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman forward Jasmine Goodwine contributed 10 points in 24 minutes of play. The Owls shot 21 percent from the field in the first half. Despite the loss, Kuster earned her fourth consecutive double-double this season, which is the 44th of her Rice career.The Owls now return home to face Southern University and A&M College Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Jaguars began the year 3-0 but are coming off a loss to Florida State University last Friday, Nov. 17. Following Thursday's home game, the Owls will travel to East Lansing, Mich. to play Michigan State University Nov. 23 before returning to Tudor Fieldhouse Nov. 26 to face Sam Houston State University.During Thanksgiving break, the Owls will go to the Omni Hotels Classic in Boulder, Colo. Rice will play against Samford University and could face the University of South Alabama or the host University of Colorado, Boulder, depending on the result of the first game.After winning the first two games of the season, the Owls have dropped their last two to fall  to 2-2 on the season. Rice returns to its home court, where it went 14-2 last season in hopes of improving its overall record to 3-2.