web_092422_RECAP_HOUvRGN_16x9

The Houston Dash dropped their final home game of the regular season, losing by a final score of 2-0 to OL Reign tonight in front of a season-high 7,798 fans at PNC Stadium. 

 The Reign took the lead in the 29th minute following a second chance goal score by forward Bethany Balcer. Forward Megan Rapinoe played the ball into the box for three streaking attackers. Houston defender Allysha Chapman cut out the initial ball, but the ball deflected off another player and rolled dangerously in front of the goal. Balcer was the first to it and tapped it into the back of the net.   

OL Reign extended its lead in the 75th minute when forward Veronica Latsko scored.  

Houston opened the second half aggressively, creating three chances inside the first five minutes. Forward Michelle Alozie creating a chance down the right flank in the 47th minute. Her initial centering ball was blocked, but the rebound fell to midfielder Marisa Viggiano, whose shot whistled over the crossbar.  

A minute later, midfielder Sophie Schmidt forced a save with a right-footed blast from outside the penalty area. Then in the 50th minute, forward Maria Sánchez hit the woodwork with a free kick from the right corner of the box after Alozie won a foul. 

Forward Valérie Gauvin, who was a halftime substitute, turned a centering pass on target with her first touch from the top of the penalty area, forcing a save from OL Reign goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce. 

The Dash had a shout for a handball go unanswered in the 73rd minute when Sánchez’s shot from distance appeared to deflect off the arm of an OL Reign defender, but referee Matt Thompson waved off the shouts and play continued.  

Tonight’s crowd of 7,798 was the largest of the year, surpassing the crowd for the regular season home opener against San Diego on May 1, and was the fourth-largest for a Dash home game in team history.  

Houston closes out the regular season on the road in Washington D.C. against the Spirit on October 1. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT, the game will be streamed live on Paramount+ and on Twitch for international viewers.