The Houston Dash earned $15,000 for NAACP Houston by virtue of their second-place finish in the Verizon NWSL Community Shield standings. The Dash finished the four-match NWSL Fall Series with a record of 3-1-0.
Earlier in September, the Dash chose NAACP Houston as the club’s Verizon Community Shield beneficiary, the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the country that strives to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.
“For us, something as simple as voting rights or the racial biases in the business world – things that are little but can make an impact. We really wanted to help get rid of that and create change,” said Dash co-captain and goalkeeper Jane Campbell. “The NAACP, to us, does just that. They’re a great organization to support and to play for.”
Last month, the NWSL and Verizon announced the creation of the Verizon Community Shield, which took place during 2020 NWSL Fall Series. Each of the league’s nine clubs partnered with small businesses or programs in their community, with the team that finished with the most points at the end of the Fall Series winning the Verizon Community Shield and the opportunity to present a grant of $25,000 to their community partner, made possible by Verizon. Additionally, the second- and third-place finishers would earn $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, for their community partners.
The Dash capped the year off with a stellar performance throughout the fall series scoring a total of 12 goals against North Carolina Courage and Orlando, the highest scoring total in a four-game span in club history. Head Coach James Clarkson finished his second year with seven victories in ten matches this year.
“We came in at the start of the year trying to prove some people wrong and try to change opinions us, the staff and the players. To see it continue to evolve and get to where it is incredibly exciting. The biggest thing for me, and we’ve spoken to the players about it, is that we still have a lot of room for growth,” Clarkson said on what the next year will bring for the Dash. “We think there’s still a lot of potential for the team to get better. We’ve already identified certain areas where we know we can get better. That’s going to be the goal going into next season is to continue to push on as long as possible.”
Houston’s dangerous offense came greatly from the team’s midfield, where Shea Groom, Kristie Mewis and Sophie Schmidt scored eight of the 12 goals scored throughout the Fall Series. Groom and Mewis earned call-ups to the U.S. Women’s National Team through their stellar play; and Mewis and Schmidt each received NWSL Player of the Week honors during the Fall Series.