Rice Soccer started its 2021 season with an emphatic victory against Sam Houston, blanking the Bearkats 4-0 at Holloway Field.
The blast of the opening whistle had only just left trailed off before Rice soccer got its 2021 season off to a thunderous start. Vvyiene Spaulding put the Owls in front with a goal in the fourth minute right off a Bella Killgore free kick. The pace would only pick up from there.
Delaney Schultz extended the lead with a goal in the fifth minute then provided a quick encore with a second goal of her own in the eighth minute. By the time the whistle appeared again to signal halftime, Schultz had scored again, beginning the season with a hat trick — all in the first 20 minutes.
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Rice had the advantage in shots (29-6), shots on goal (16-0) and corners (7-2). Killgore didn’t face any shots on target and thus never needed to register a save. It was just about as dominant of a performance as you could ask for from a team that entered the year with lofty expectations.
Rice had only just edged out Lamar in extra time during an exhibition game played earlier in the week. Whatever early-season rust remained from that contest wasn’t apparent on Wednesday night when the No. 16 Owls controlled things from the opening kick.
Now 1-0 on the season, Rice will play six of their next seven games at home with the lone exception coming next week when they’ll bus across town to play Houston Baptist at Sorrels Field. The Owls will host SFA, Houston, SMU and Texas at Holloway before their first conference game against UTEP on September 16.
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