The Houston Dash are back at PNC for the second time in five days as they look to sweep the season series against NJ/NY Gotham FC. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT and the game will air live on CBS Sports Network. Tickets for Wednesday’s game are available here.
Wednesday’s match will be the second game of three across an eight-day stretch. Additionally, the Dash will face off against NJ/NY Gotham FC for the second time in less than a month. Houston traveled to Harrison, New Jersey on July 31. Goals from Shea Groom, Ebony Salmon and Sophie Schmidt led Houston to a 4-2 triumph in the first meeting of the season between both teams.
The Dash are looking to extend its unbeaten streak under interim head coach Juan Carlos Amoros to five games. The Dash enter Wednesday’s game tied for the second-best record in the league and look to build a buffer as they target to earn their first ever playoff berth. Houston is coming off a 0-0 draw at home against Racing Louisville FC last Friday. The draw marked the fifth clean sheet of the season and the second regular season tie against Racing. Rookie Ryan Gareis made her second start of the season and the first at left back in place of Allysha Chapman, who missed Friday's game due to concussion protocol. Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell made her 96th regular season career start on Friday and finished with a season-low zero saves. The Dash backline limited Louisville to three shots at PNC Stadium.
Gotham is coming off a 4-1 loss against OL Reign at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington. Gotham found itself trailing 15 minutes into the match after USWNT and Reign midfielder Rose Lavelle scored the opening goal. Just before the end of the first half, Gotham conceded a foul inside the box and the referee awarded OL Reign a penalty kick, which forward Megan Rapinoe converted. Rapinoe completed the brace in the 69th minute to put OL Reign up 3-0. Gotham found a spark of energy from Taylor Smith who scored Gotham’s lone goal in the 72nd minute. Gotham conceded an own goal less than a minute later to drop the first of two games on the road.
The Dash are back on the road in a rematch of the season opener against San Diego Wave FC on Saturday, Aug. 20. Kickoff is set for 9:00 p.m. CT on Paramount+.
Here are three key points ahead of Wednesday's match:
- DASH MAKE FINAL PUSH: After Wednesday evening there will be six regular-season games left in 2022. The Dash, who currently sit in second place in the NWSL, are looking to earn their first ever playoff appearance in club history. Houston will have three home games left against the Washington Spirit on Aug. 27, Angel City FC on Sept. 11 and close out the home game slate against OL Reign on Sept. 24. Houston will travel to San Diego on Saturday, Chicago on Sept. 17 and close out the regular season in the Nation’s Capital against Washington on Oct. 1. The top six teams qualify for the postseason with the top two earning a bye in the opening round.
- HOUSTON’S CORE KEY IN RECENT SUCCESS: In Friday’s 0-0 draw against Racing Louisville FC midfielder Sophie Schmidt and defender Katie Naughton led the team several key categories. Schmidt was tied for the most chances created with Natalie Jacobs, Maria Sanchez and Nichelle Prince, and led the team in duels won with 14. Schmidt also had six touches in the opposing box and had 14 passes in the final third. Naughton, who leads the team from the center back position had three clearances, one interception and won all of her tackles. Naughton, who signed a three-year contract extension on August 11, also won possession 10 times on Friday. The veteran presence in both the backline and midfield helped the Dash force nine saves and made sure Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell was not called into action. The Dash faced no shots on goal on Friday and the team secured their fifth clean sheet of the season.
- GOTHAM’S NEW LEADER: On Saturday, Gotham announced that Hue Menzies would be taking over as interim head coach of the team after the club parted ways with Scott Parkinson. Menzies was named the Concacaf Women’s Coach of the Year in 2018 after he led Jamacia to qualify for its first FIFA Women’s World Cup. Menzies brings experience at various levels including coaching at the University of Texas and Jamaican Women’s National Team.