Southern Miss opened conference play this weekend with two losses against Rice and North Texas.
After dropping both games, the Golden Eagles are now 5-7. The Rice Owls started strong in the first half and carried the momentum to hold the Golden Eagles off the scoreboard in the Conference USA opener.
Midfielder Gabriela Iribarne was the first Owl to put points on the board in the 16th minute, with a header that Jenny Fichera assisted on with a beautiful pass in the box. With the momentum in their favor, the Rice Owls continued to use it and go on to shut the Golden Eagles out 4-0.
Three minutes after Rice’s first goal, Fichera was called on for the team’s first penalty kick. Fichera scored, putting the ball just over the outstretched Brittany Taylor. The converted penalty kick gave the Owls a 2-0 advantage.
Southern Miss looked like they figured out how to slow down the Rice attack, until the 32nd minute of play. Samantha Chaiken scored, the score was set up by a Nia Stallings’ pass.
Right before half, the Rice Owls were able to push their lead to 4-0 when Stallings made another pass, this time Lauren Hughes being the beneficiary, that led to an Owls’goal.
Both teams went scoreless in the second half and Southern Miss fell to 0-1 in C-USA play.
After losing 4-0 to Rice, the Golden Eagles wanted to show improvement in their play, but for the second consecutive game, they allowed an opponent to score four goals. USM had nine shots, four shots on goal, all landing outside the goal.
The first goal came in the 32nd minute when Kaylah Hunter scored after receiving a Leah Cox cross pass inside the box. The Mean Green added another goal right before half, when Kelci Slaughter found the inside of the goal, pushing the score to 2-0 at half time.
The Mean Green’s next goal came in the first minute of play in the second half. Amber Haggerty scored in the 46th minute; Karla Pineda assisted on the play. The final score came in the 52nd minute when Rachel Holden scored off of a Marchelle Davis pass.
Southern Miss is now 0-2 in C-USA play.
The Golden Eagles return home this weekend to continue C-USA play. At 4 p.m. Friday, the Golden Eagles host the UAB Blazers, then play the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Sunday at 1 p.m.