Forward Holly Hargreaves characterized the whole weekend as awesome for the Rice women’s soccer team.
The Owls shut out two conference opponents, while Hargreaves made history with a four-goal outburst during Rice’s 6-0 home win over Louisiana Tech.
The junior now has scored the most goals in school history. Hargreaves’ first goal Sunday was the 22nd of her career, tying the Rice record held by Sarah Yoder, Erin Scott and teammate Lauren Hughes, who had just scored No. 22 in Friday’s 4-0 shutout of Southern Mississippi.
Hargreaves broke the record with 21:41 on the clock when she hit a high chip shot over La Tech goalkeeper Kylee Seto. She then scored two more goals in 40th and 67th minutes to put Rice up 4-0.
“Holly was fantastic, she’s so dynamic and does so many things so well,” Rice coach Nicky Adams said during a post-game video interview. “What was special about those goals was the right decisions she made. She had 9 shots and 7 of them were on target. She was feeling it today. She scored off a header, a chip, a hard low shot and a high shot. She’s a special player.”
Hargreaves credited her teammates for putting her in opportunities to score. Quinny Truong, Jenny Fichera, Samantha Chaiken, Nia Stallings and Danielle Spriggs tallied assists on the four Hargreaves’ goals.
“I scored mainly because the assists from my teammates, who are amazing players,” Hargreaves said. “It was a well connected game and it ended pretty well for us.”
Hughes scored in the 74th minute after a long pass from Gabriela Iribarne for her 23rd career goal. She jumps into second place on the Rice all-time list, passing Yoder, who played from 2001 to 2004 and Scott, who played from 2006 to 2009.
Rice improved to 6-2-1 with the weekend sweep, which marked the opening of Conference USA season. La Tech fell to 8-3-1. Southern Miss left town 5-5.
“This was a fantastic weekend to open up conference,” Adams said. “I was really proud of our team. We executed our game plan Friday and Sunday. La Tech makes it difficult on teams because they put so many numbers behind the ball, it felt like a brick wall sometimes back there. I thought our players did a really good job of maintaining patience. Overall, I’m very pleased. You can’t be upset with a 10-goal weekend and two shutouts.”
Goalkeeper Amy Czyz registered two more shutouts, her fourth and fifth of the season. She has only allowed six goals in nine games.
“I think Amy is playing outstanding right now,” Adams said. “She is organizing. We can make substitutions on the backline, and Amy will keep everyone organized.”
Rice will look to keep the shutouts going Friday at UTSA and Sunday at UTEP.
“The whole team is playing incredible,” Hargreaves said. “It starts with the defense. With our defense so strong it gives our offense a chance to get forward. Everyone has been taking care of their opportunities.”
Most Career Goals Rice soccer
- 25, Holly Hargreaves, 2012-current
- 23, Lauren Hughes, 2012-current
- 22, Sarah Yoder, 2001-04
- 22, Erin Scott, 2006-09