No. 23 Rice soccer clinches C-USA regular season championship

By John Sullivan

The No. 23-ranked Rice soccer team defeated the University of North Carolina, Charlotte 1-0 Sunday on the road in North Carolina to improve to a perfect 9-0-0 in Conference USA (C-USA), and soon after that the Owls officially clinched the 2017 C-USA regular season championship as other league matches became final.

Rice soccer team celebratesNow 12-2-1 for the full season, and riding a program-best 10-match win streak overall, Rice soccer won the outright regular season conference championship for the first time. In 2012 the Owls shared the C-USA regular season crown with then- league member Colorado College. The Blue & Gray have also won the C-USA Tournament in both 2005 and 2014; these tournaments are also league championships but separate from the regular season.

The C-USA regular season standings are determined by getting three points for a win and one point for a tie. Rice amassed 27 points from its nine conference wins, and no other league team can catch the Owls heading into the upcoming final week of the regular season.

“I am extremely proud of this team for the grit and fight that they have been showing, today and for the full season,” said Nicky Adams, who is the Owls’ head coach and has was won three of the team’s four conference titles in her seven years at the helm of the program. “I thought Charlotte put us under an immense amount of pressure. They are a fantastic team and created a lot of problems for us.”

The Owls next return to action at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 when they play the University of North Texas to wrap up C-USA regular season play. Adams may be happy to have the regular season decided, but said things are far from finished.

“It is pretty awesome being able to solidify a conference championship before the end of the regular season, but we still have a few more of our team goals that we are looking to accomplish,” Adams said. “We have an extremely tough opponent coming up on Friday at North Texas. What we’ll do is regroup after this tough road trip, and come back even more motivated to have good training sessions before our final game heading into the conference tournament.”

About Special to Rice News

The Rice News is produced weekly by the Office of Public Affairs at Rice University.