MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Rice senior goalkeeper Maya Hoyer posted a season-high five saves, including key stops in each of the two overtime periods, to help the Owls soccer team rally from a 2-0 deficit and force a 2-2 double-overtime tie with Conference USA foe Middle Tennessee Thursday evening in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Rice is now 4-4-1 on the season and 1-0-1 in C-USA league play. With the draw the Owls picked up their fourth point of the season in the C-USA standings (where three points are awarded for a conference win and one for getting a tie). Middle Tennessee moved to 4-5-1 overall and has an identical 1-0-1 C-USA ledger.
"Credit to MTSU for coming out flying, but I'm very happy with our fight and resolve to battle back," said Rice head coach Brian Lee. "Road points are big."
Middle Tennessee was quick to jump on the scoreboard twice early in the contest. In only the 8th minute of the game the Blue Raiders converted on a penalty for a 1-0 advantage. Middle then stretched the margin to 2-0 with a goal by Claire Ramet in the 10th minute.
Down but not out, Rice battled back. True freshman Izzy McBride notched her first collegiate goal by scoring on a penalty kick in the 31st minute. The Blue & Gray then tied the match in the 54th minute. Surrounded by a swarming Blue Raider defense, senior Haley Kostyshyn broke free with the ball and tallied her team-leading fourth goal of the season to draw it even, 2-2.
Both teams battled for scoring opportunities for the remainder of regulation plus two 10-minute overtime periods. In the closing seconds of the match, the game's 110th minute, Owl senior Louise Stephens just missed on a heart-stopping shot from the left wing. Hoyer was sound and solid finishing the night with five saves after subbing into the match to start the second half.
"Maya made a couple of huge saves," coach Lee explained. "Now its time to rest up and get ready for UTSA on Sunday."
The Owls have one game on the current C-USA road swing. Rice plays at state foe UTSA on Sunday (Sept. 29). Start time against the Roadrunners is set for 1 pm in San Antonio.