Rice Photo Gallery
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The only two-time All-America honoree in the 19-year history of the program, Kentucky senior defender Barry Rice has been selected one of the top-15 high school players of the decade, announced by ESPN Rise.
Rice, a native of Parma, Ohio, and four-year letterwinner at St. Ignatius in Cleveland, Ohio, is among the ESPN listing of the top 15 high school soccer players of the decade.
Rice joins a slew of recognizable names on the ESPN All-Decade team, including 2006 MLS No. 1 pick Marvell Wynee (High School class of 2004), former NCAA Players of the Year Danny O’Rourke (class of 2001) and Marcus Tracy (class of 2005), USA national team’s Maurice Edu (class of 2004) and Charlie Davies (class of 2004), and current MLS veterans Pat Phelan (class of 2004), Marvell Wynne (class of 2004), Patrick Ianni (class of 2003), Adam Cristman (class of 2003), Jason Garey (class of 2002) and Ned Grabavoy (class of 2001). Current NCAA standouts Hasani Sinclair (class of 2009; currently at South Florida) Enzo Martinez (class of 2009; currently at North Carolina) and Dillon Powers (class of 2009; currently at Notre Dame) round out the listing.
While playing for coach Mike McLaughlin at St. Ignatius from 2002-05, Rice helped the team claim back-to-back state championships as a junior and senior. A National Soccer Coaches Association All-American in high school, Rice anchored the St. Ignatius defense that allowed only eight goals en route to a perfect 23-0 season, with Rice totaling five goals and six assists. Following the year, Rice earned first-team All-State and Cuyahoga Player of the Year accolades.
The success for the 5-foot-11 defender continued the moment he stepped foot on campus in Lexington as a freshman in 2006, starting all 21 games for the Wildcats and totaling five assists and one goal, earning All-Conference USA Freshman honors. In 2007, Rice stepped up for an injury-ravaged offensive attack, leading the team with seven goals and one assist, despite playing on the backline for UK. As a junior, Rice helped lead UK to a school-record 10-match unbeaten streak to end the season, adding two goals and one assist and earning C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. Following the 2008 campaign, Rice earned his second consecutive C-USA Defensive Player of the Year honor, marking the only two-time recipient of the award in the history of the league. As one of three team captains for the second consecutive year in 2009, Rice again had an excellent season, totaling two goals, while helping UK post a conference-pacing 0.78 goals-against average.
Overall in his UK career, Rice owns 31 points (12 goals and seven assists), ranking sixth all-time with seven game-winning goals. His 78 career games checks in seventh-best in UK history.
Over the last two seasons, Rice’s athleticism and instincts on the backline created the necessity for a new statistic to be kept, the percentage of contested headers won vs. contested headers lost. In 2008, Rice won 189-of-218 contested header attempts, an 87-percent clip, which was highlighted by a shutout of Memphis in the regular-season finale, where he won 32-of-36 contested header attempts. In 2009, Rice won 126-of-155 contested header attempts (stat tracked in 16 of 18 UK games), an 81-percent mark.
A three-time first-team All-Conference USA selection, Rice was named All-America in 2008 by College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer. In 2009, Rice finished his career earning All-America accolades from the NSCAA, College Soccer News and Goal.com. One of three all-time All-America honorees in school history, Rice’s accolades in back-to-back seasons marks a first in the history of the program.