Laura Ruth and Gilbert Narvaez have been supporting women’s soccer long before they moved to the Bayou City. However, when life brought them to Houston in 2018 they almost immediately became Dash365 members.
The love for soccer runs deep for Laura who played the sport growing up. She was inspired by the United States Women’s National Team winning the FIFA World Cup in 1999, not only to play but support the game for the rest of her life.
“When we moved to Houston, it was a priority,” Laura said. “We're finally living somewhere where we could watch professional women's soccer and can start going to games. We got hooked at our first game. It was very shortly after that, that we inquired about season ticket membership.”
For the Narvaez’s the 2022 Challenge Cup triumph is one of the many memorable moments that they have been able to witness as supporters of the Dash.
“2020 was hard, it was weird watching everything from home, we absolutely loved watching (the tournament) and watching the team come together in a way we've not seen before,” Laura said.
However, the couple agrees that the best way to watch the Dash is in person at PNC Stadium.
“We just really love being in the stadium. We love sitting behind the goal,” Laura said. “We can either see amazing saves by Jane (Campbell), or we get to see them score up close and personal. We love the people we've met in our section. It's been a really great experience.”
Gilbert, who is a Texas native, says he wasn’t the biggest soccer fan until he met Laura and her passion for the game was contagious. Now they both say they love getting to see the international talent, the competitive play. Gilbert is most proud of how dedicated and loyal the players are to representing the city of Houston.
“It's the driving force of having players that want to be there,” Gilbert said. “They show up, they really do want to represent Houston. It's having players that want to be there and represent the community. For us, it’s just showing that we're behind them for it through thick and thin. The passion and effort will always outweigh the performance.”
With the Dash vying for its first ever playoff berth with seven games left in the regular season, Laura and Gilbert say they are ready to back the team up and support them through the final stretch. Both agree that the Dash are on the cusp of something great. Laura says she wants to see more people coming out to help create an incredible environment.
“I feel like the Dash is the best kept secret in sports in Houston,” Laura said. “I'd love to see more community involvement. I'd love to see more people in the stands, because they're a phenomenal team. They do a lot for our community and they deserve our support. But that's my soapbox.”
Gilbert and Laura Narvaez will be honored at the Seat Geek Members of the match on Wednesday, August 17 against NJ/NY Gotham FC, a recognition they are thankful to receive.
“We love supporting other professional sports as well,” Laura said. “Nothing comes close to being a Dash fan.”