The Houston Dash dropped their first game of the 2022 NWSL regular season 1-0 to NWSL newcomers San Diego Wave FC this evening in front of 7,722 fans at PNC Stadium.
The announced attendance was the fourth-largest in Dash history and the biggest for a regular-season opener since the team’s inaugural match in 2014, which drew 8,097 fans.
San Diego scored the eventual game-winner in the 87th minute when forward Katie Johnson got a toe on the second ball to tap it home after midfielder Katie Johnson headed down the initial cross from midfielder Mia Gyau.
Houston had several dangerous opportunities throughout the contest but were unable to put one in the back of the net.
Forward Michaela Abam forced a save from San Diego goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan in the 20th minute when she picked up a pass 25 yards from goal and put her laces through a right-footed blast toward the far post.
The Dash created another great chance in the 39th minute when defender Allysha Chapman and midfielder Marisa Viggiano combined on a nifty one-two at the edge of the penalty area. Chapman got onto the end of the combination and lofted a ball to the back post where forward Nichelle Prince got a touch on the ball but wasn’t able to turn it on frame.
Forward Rachel Daly had a shot carom off the crossbar in the 44th minute after an excellent cross from right back Haley Hanson. Hanson’s cross was intended for forward Maria Sánchez but fell to Daly near the penalty spot. Her high shot was tipped up into the crossbar by Sheridan.
The Dash created several great looks in front of goal early in the second half by getting the ball down both flanks. In the 56th minute an excellent build-up involving several players culminated with a shot from Prince just inside the 18-yard box, but her left-footed effort slid just wide of the far post.
The Dash open a three-game road trip next Sunday in Kansas against the Kansas City Current at Children’s Mercy Park. The Dash return to PNC Stadium on May 29 to host the North Carolina Courage.