The Houston Dash fell 3-0 on the road to Racing Louisville FC in the third match of 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup group play.
Goalkeeper Emily Alvarado tied the club record for most saves in a Dash debut across all competitions. The mark was previously set by Bianca Henninger in May 2014 against the Chicago Red Stars. The El Paso, Texas native also tied the Dash record for most saves in a Challenge Cup match with fellow teammate Jane Campbell, who made six saves in two separate Challenge Cup matches.
Additionally, Alvarado is the first Mexican Women’s National Team keeper to play in an NWSL game since 2013. The TCU product joins Cecilia Santiago, for the now defunct Boston Breakers, and Pamela Tajonar for Western New York Flash.
In the first minute of the match, forward Diana Ordóñez nearly capitalized on a defensive miscue by a Racing Louisville FC defender. Ordóñez applied pressure on the defender and forced goalkeeper Katie Lund to come off her line for the clearance.
Louisville appeared to have scored in the sixth minute but was called offside by the line official. A subsequent Video Assistant Referee confirmed the call on the field would be upheld.
Alvarado made a big save in the 32nd minute after a misdirected play nearly resulted in a goal for Racing Louisville FC’s Kayla Fischer. Fischer seemed to have an open look on the goal after Alvarado was in the middle of the goal. Alvarado then made a diving save back to the near post to deny Fischer and keep the score even at 0-0.
Forward María Sáncheznearly added her first goal of Challenge Cup play in the 38th minute of match, the shot just missed wide of the far post.
Midfielder Havana Solaun nearly scored her first goal of 2023 a minute later, in the 39th, the Jamaican international’s shot was block by Lund who extended to make save.
Racing Louisville broke the 0-0 tie in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time. The Kentucky based team added a second goal in the sixth minute of second half to extend its lead before half time.
Forward Ebony Salmon had a shot in the 49th minute of the match in the first shot of the second half.
Houston returns home to Shell Energy Stadium to host the OL Reign in regular season play on Saturday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m. CT.