When the Rice women’s soccer team hits the field tonight to face Marshall in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament, the Owls will have four all-conference selections in the game.
Forwards Holly Hargreaves, Lauren Hughes and midfielder Quinny Truong were named to the Conference USA first team Monday after a vote by the 16 conference coaches. Additionally, Jenny Fichera was named to the conference’s all-freshman team.
The player honors announcement came this morning as Conference USA prepares for a weeklong postseason tournament at Rice’s Holloway Field. The top five teams from C-USA East and West divisions will compete for the conference crown in the single-elimination tournament. At stake is an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Rice (7-7-3, 5-4-1 in C-USA) finished fourth in the West. They take on the fifth place East finisher, Marshall (9-6-3, 4-4-2), at 7 p.m. tonight. The tournament kicks off at 4:30 p.m. today when UAB (11-6-2) battles Tulsa (10-6-3). It could Tulsa’s last soccer game as a C-USA member.
Hargreaves, Hughes and Truong also were all-conference selections last year, though Hughes was second team. This season Hughes earned the upgrade after scoring nine goals and recording eight assists. The Ottawa, Ontario native scored multiple goals in a game three times this season.
Fellow sophomore Hargreaves scored game-winning goals to give Rice wins at Vanderbilt and UTEP. She finished with eight goals during the regular season. Her .583 shots-on-goal percentage was the second-highest single-season total in Rice history.
Truong was recognized after a five-goal, three-assist season. She took 16 shots on goal while playing the second most minutes on the team, only trailing Finchera. The freshman defender from Ann Arbor Mich. played 1,580 minutes of soccer and tallied four assists.
North Texas won three of the five individual awards. Rachel Holden was named offensive player of the year and freshman of the year while Kelsey Hodges took defensive player of the year. Kaeli Vandersluis of Colorado College won midfielder of the year while her coach, Geoff Bennett, was named coach of the year.
Colorado College finished with the best C-USA record (8-1-1) followed by North Texas, Charlotte and UTEP. The Rice-Marshall winner will meet Charlotte at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Here’s the link to the complete tournament bracket.
The Owls did not face Marshall this season. The last match between the two was won by Rice 4-1 on Oct. 5, 2012. Hargreaves and Hughes each scored a goal in that contest.