SAN ANTONIO — The Rice soccer rallied from two deficits to claim a 3-2 Conference USA road victory at UTSA in the league opener for both teams Sunday afternoon in San Antonio.
After UTSA quickly opened the day's scoring with a goal in the eighth minute, Rice found the equalizer in the 23rd. Forward Caleigh Boeckx fielded a pass from Haley Kostyshyn and scored from just outside the keeper's area on the right side. UTSA would not go away so quietly at home and moved back in front, 2-1, with a goal in the 31st minute. In the 48th minute Madison Kent scored in traffic from close range after Mijke Roelfsema's corner kick on the left side. The Roadrunners continued to apply offensive pressure but Owl junior goalkeeper Bell Killgore was able to record three saves in the stanza. Killgore then gave her team the lead by converting on a free kick shot attempt from just outside the center circle in the 66th minute.
For The Record
Rice improved its record to 4-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in C-USA. The 4-0-0 ledger is the Owls' best start to a season since 2006. UTSA is now 1-3-1 on the year and 0-1-0 in conference.
Coach Brian Lee Said
"Today was another good example of the character in our team," coach Lee said. "The ability to go on the road and battle back from 0-1 and 1-2 to get the three points away from home is a very positive sign."
Notes & Stats
• Killgore's goal was the second of her career/season. The Houston native found the back of the opposing net at home on Feb. 4 against the same Roadrunner side. Both goals have been the game-winner.
• After 37 shots for Rice in its previous game, the Owls were held to just five attempts in 90 minutes at UTSA. The Roadrunners out-shot Rice 14-5 for the match. The corner kicks were 5-5.
• There was a Canadian Connection on the Owls' first goal with Ontario native Kostyshyn playing to Alberta native Boeckx. Another Owl Canadian, Ziyana Samanaani, played all 90 minutes in the game.
• In 12 career meetings Rice is now 11-1 vs. UTSA, including a 5-1 ledger when playing in San Antonio.
Rice has another full week off before returning to action on March 7 (Sunday). The Owls were to play a non-conference road clash across town at the University of Houston on Wednesday (March 3), but that contest has been canceled due to Covid issues with the Cougar program U.H. announced on Feb. 28. Rice returns to C-USA league play with a West Division match against preseason favorite North Texas. Start time at Holloway Field is set for 1 pm.