he Houston Dash host OL Reign for the final home game of the regular season at PNC Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 24. The 2022 NWSL Playoffs are on the line, as both teams can potentially clinch a spot in the postseason depending on the result.
Houston can clinch the first playoff berth in team history with a win on Saturday night.
The match will stream live on Twitch. Fans interested in attending the game can purchase tickets here.
The Dash are coming off a crucial 1-0 win over Chicago last Saturday which helped Houston keep pace in the packed playoff race. With just two games left in the season for everyone, the top eight teams are separated by just eight points. The field is so tightly bunched that no team has mathematically clinched a spot yet.
Forward Ebony Salmon is nearing team history as well, as she needs just two goals to tie the team single-season scoring record of 11 set by Kealia (Ohai) Watt in 2016. Salmon has scored nine goals in just 11 games with the Dash this year.
Houston and OL Reign faced off earlier this season in Seattle on Aug. 7 at Lumen Field. Houston found itself trailing less than 20 minutes into the match after OL Reign’s Megan Rapinoe scored to give the home team the lead. Houston was awarded a penalty for a hand ball in the box. Salmon converted the penalty kick to tie the game in the 53rd minute. Two minutes later, Salmon scored the game winner to give Houston the 2-1 lead and its first win in Seattle.
OL Reign is coming off a midweek match up against NJ/NY Gotham FC in Harrison, New Jersey. The Reign beat Gotham 1-0 off a second half penalty kick. The match between Reign and Gotham was scoreless until the 58th minute of the match when Rapinoe, who entered the match just two minutes prior, converted a penalty kick to give the road team the lead.
Here are three key points ahead of Saturday's match:
- JANE CAMPBELL’S 100: Dash captain Jane Campbell hit 100 regular season starts and appearances against Angel City FC on Sept. 11. The shot stopper from Kennesaw, Georgia was drafted No. 15 overall in the 2017 NWSL College Draft by the Dash. Campbell played collegiately at Stanford where she was named the starting goalkeeper as a freshman. Campbell was a finalist for the NWSL Rookie of the Year award in 2017 after making 16 starts in 16 appearances. This season Campbell has tied a career high with six shutouts so far.
- VERSATILITY IS KEY: Forward Nichelle Prince played in the midfield in Houston’s 1-0 win over Chicago last Saturday. The Ajax, Ontario, Canada native has primarily played on the right wing this season. Saturday’s match was the first time this season she has played in the midfield. Prince earned the assist on the game winning goal scored by forward Ebony Salmon in the 25th minute. Rookie forward Ryan Gareis, who earned her fourth start against Chicago, has played as both a winger and a defender this season. Forward Maria Sanchez has also played several different positions this season, including in the midfield.
- OL REIGN’S RUN OF LATE: The Reign enter Saturday on a five-game unbeaten streak and could clinch a playoff spot of their own with a win or a draw. The last loss the Reign suffered was on August 7 at home against the Dash. OL Reign has scored 11 goals in the last five games. Five of the 11 goals have been scored by forward Megan Rapinoe, who has been a main stay on the U.S. Women’s National Team.