Soccer Ties With Rice 1-1 in Season Finale

Senior forward Jessica Zavalza

Oct. 28, 2011

HOUSTON - The University of Houston women's soccer team (6-11-2) tied with Rice (9-6-3) 1-1 in the season finale Friday night at Robertson Stadium. With the tie, Houston finishes just three points shy of making the Conference USA tournament for the second consecutive season.

"We just made one error and were punished for it," head coach Susan Bush said."Games like this, it basically comes down to who wants it more. We knew we had to win going into the match, this was a hard way to end the season."

Before the game, Houston's graduating seniors Ryan Bruz, Stephanie Derieg, Lisa Murer and Jessica Zavalza were honored for their accomplishments as members of the University of Houston women's soccer program.

"It was an amazing experience to play for the University of Houston," senior forward Zavalza said. "My teammates became family and I had so much fun playing with them.

Freshman Alexis Weaver scored her fifth goal of the season in the 28th minute following a cross into the box by Kylie Cook, which wound up at the feet of Weaver who drove it past Rice keeper Amy Czyz to give the Cougars a 1-0 advantage.

Rice responded to the goal in the 38th minute as Julia Barrow slipped a shot past Sydney George to tie the game, following a Rice corner kick. Neither team scored in the second frame, thus sending the game into overtime.



In overtime, goalkeeper Sydney George made a spectacular season saving save, as Rice's Jessica Howard shot a laser towards the top of the Houston goal and the outstretched George swatted it away. Cami Koski then came in relief for George in the 75th minute. George recorded six saves on 12 shots, while allowing just the one goal and Coski registered one save in 35 minutes of action.

With a tie game, Rice went conservative, backing into a 1-5-4 defense, as they came into the game needing a tie or a win to secure a playoff spot. The plan proved to be successful as Houston was unable to penetrate the Rice defense and the game resulted in a 1-1 tie.

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