The Houston Dash picked up their second away win of the year and finished off a three-game road stretch with seven points after knocking off the Portland Thorns 2-0 this afternoon at Providence Park.
Forward Rachel Daly, who is now one game way from 100 regular season appearances with the Dash, put Houston up in the final minute of the stoppage time to give the Dash the lead heading into the locker room. It was her second goal of the season and her 40th for the Dash in all competitions.
Forward Nichelle Prince collected a long outlet pass from defender Ally Prisock just past the midfield line and slipped a through ball to Daly in behind the Thorns back line. The England international ran onto the ball and cut back into the middle of the penalty area before tucking a shot inside the near post.
GOAL: Rachel Daly dominates the Portland defense to take the lead!
Midfielder Sophie Schmidt scored her first goal of the year to put Houston ahead 2-0 in the 66th minute. The Canadian international combined with right back Haley Hanson for a nifty give-and-go inside the penalty area before beating the Portland goalkeeper with a high shot to the near post from a very tight angle.
GOAL: Sophie Schmidt doubles the lead with a banger!
Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell was credited with four saves in keeping her second clean sheet of the season, including two crucial saves in the first half to keep the game scoreless early on. Campbell came up with a big save in the 11th minute off of forward Yazmeen Ryan at close range, and then denied forward Morgan Weaver in a one-on-one situation in the 36th.
Defender Katie Naughton lent a hand to Campbell and made a save at the line in the 16th minute. Portland forward Morgan Weaver found space inside the penalty area and played a shot toward an empty goal, but Naughton recovered quickly and cleared the ball off the line at the last moment.
Early in the second half Portland forward Christine Sinclair collected the ball inside the penalty area and lofted a ball back across the face of goal for Ryan. Ryan’s header hit the crossbar and bounced out, allowing Houston to clear the ball and maintain the lead.
Defender Haley Hanson, playing higher up the pitch as a wingback in a 3-5-2 formation, created a chance in the 20th minute along the right flank that forced a save from Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby. The ensuing corner kick fell inside the penalty area and midfielder Shea Groom was quickest to react, turning a shot on frame that forced another save from Bixby.
Houston created another dangerous chance in the 31st minute when Prince took a shot from distance which forced Portland’s Bella Bixby to make the save and push it up and over the crossbar for a corner.
The Dash will return home on May 29, after three weeks on the road, to host the NWSL Challenge Cup champion North Carolina Courage. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. CDT and tickets are available starting at just $12 at HoustonDash.com.