The Houston Dash closed out their home schedule with a dominant 4-1 win over the North Carolina Courage tonight at BBVA Stadium. It was Houston’s second consecutive home win in the NWSL Fall Series and the club’s first win over North Carolina.
Goals from midfielder Sophie Schmidt and Veronica Latsko gave the Dash a 2-0 halftime lead, and midfielders Kristie Mewis and Shea Groom put things away with goals of their own in the second half.
Mewis turned in a dominant performance to earn Budweiser Woman of the Match honors, assisting on three of Houston’s four goals and scoring one herself. Mewis now has three goals and four assists on the year across all competitions.
Midfielder Sophie Schmidt scored for the fourth consecutive game in all competitions and gave Houston the lead in the 30th minute. Following a corner kick, Mewis dribbled to the touchline and found Schmidt inside the six-yard box where she redirected the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the game.
Midfielder Shea Groom sparked the second goal of the game seven minutes later after she won the ball off a Courage defender outside the box and slipped a ball to Mewis. Mewis found forward Veronica Latsko, who calmly finished at the near post for her second goal of the Fall Series.
Mewis added a goal of her own in the 60th minute. Latsko held the ball at the top of the box to create room for Mewis, who slipped into a pocket of space between North Carolina’s lines. The midfielder dribbled into the box before beating the North Carolina goalkeeper with a low shot to the far post, her second goal in the Fall Series.
Lynn Williams pulled a goal back for the visitors with 15 minutes to play. Williams’ initial effort bounced off the cross bar and the Courage recycled the ball to the flank. Ryan Williams found Williams inside the box and her looping header found the inside of the near post.
The fourth and final goal for the Dash came in the 83rd minute after Mewis drove to the byline before cutting back to Groom inside the six-yard box where she tapped the ball home for her second goal of the Fall Series. Across all competitions, the Texas A&M alumna has five goals in 10 matches.
The Verizon NWSL Community Shield is an 18-game series involving all nine teams in the league. The teams are divided into three-team pods, with Houston grouped with North Carolina and the Orlando Pride. Each team will play four matches – home and away against each of the other two teams in their pod – and the team with the highest point total at the conclusion of the series will be declared the winner.
As part of the Community Shield, each of the NWSL’s nine clubs will partner with small businesses or programs in their community, and the team with the most points at the end of the Fall Series will be awarded the Verizon Community Shield and the opportunity to present a grant of $25,000 to their community partner, made possible by Verizon. $15,000 and $10,000 will be presented to the second and third-place teams, respectively.
Houston will close their participation in the Fall Series on Friday when the Dash face the Orlando Pride at 4 p.m. CT at Exploria Stadium.