The Houston Dashearned their eighth clean sheet of the season in a 2-0 victory over NJ/NY Gotham FC at Red Bull Arena earlier today. This was the second victory for interim head coach Sarah Lowdon and the team is just outside the playoff line with two matches left in the regular season.
Houston took the lead in the fifth minute of stoppage time to close the first half. The Gotham backline blocked a shot from forward Nichelle Prince, the rebound fell to captain Sophie Schmidt outside the box. Schmidt headed the ball to Prince and the forward flicked the ball into the path of forward Michelle Alozie. The Nigerian international found the top corner of the near post for her third goal of the season.
Alozie doubled Houston’s lead in the 67th minute following a clearance from forward María Sánchez. Alozie found space behind two defenders to create space for a shot that caught Gotham goalkeeper Amanda Haught off her line. Haught ultimately tackled Alozie attempting to clear the ball and received a caution for reckless play.
Goalkeeper Jane Campbell was called into action in the first five minutes of the game after Gotham forward Lynn Williams found space on the nearside of the goal. Campbell, who leads the league in lowest goals against average, made the save to punch the ball away from goal. The Dash backline faced 23 shots in the match, the highest total in a single match this campaign.
Campbell denied Williams again in the 43rd minute following an ambitious shot from outside the box toward the far post.
Houston had two chances to add to the lead in the 55th minute of the game. The first came off a free kick that was won by forward Sánchez. The Mexican international delivered the ball into the box and several players attempted to get the ball into the back of the net but every effort was cleared by the Gotham defense. The Dash retained possession and found Sanchez again on the near side and took a left-footed shot that narrowly missed the inside of the near post.
Gotham appeared to have scored in the opening minutes of stoppage time in the second half, but following a video review Midge Purce was ruled offside.
Gotham was awarded a penalty kick moments later after defender Natalie Jacobs was called for a foul inside the box. Gotham’s Jenna Nighswonger’s penalty kick hit the right post to preserve the clean sheet. The Dash backline ultimately cleared the ball.
The Dash will return to Shell Energy Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 8 for Fan Appreciation Night, as part of a larger Houston Dynamo Football Club Fan Appreciation Weekend, presented by Verizon. Following the match fans and media members are encouraged to stay for a Dash Bash, presented by Verizon, which features a postgame concert with Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc and Rob Base. For more information, visit HoustonDash.com.