Houston Dash defeat Kansas City NWSL for first victory of the year

The Houston Dash snapped a two-game scoreless streak in their 3-1 victory over Kansas City NWSL at Children’s Mercy Park this evening.

Dash midfielder Kristie Mewis was one of six international players to return to the team after the FIFA window earlier this month. The midfielder finished with a brace and gave Houston the lead in the 25th minute after she controlled a ball cleared by the Kansas City backline at the top of the box. The U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder dribbled away from two defenders to create space for a left-footed shot that beat Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.

Houston doubled its lead in the final minutes of the first half after forward Rachel Daly was dragged to the ground inside the penalty area by defender Rachel Corsie. The England international converted from the penalty spot for her first goal of the year and her 28th goal for the Dash in all competitions. Daly is now tied with Kealia Watt for the most goals scored in team history. 

This was Daly’s first game with the Dash since the 2-0 victory in the NWSL Challenge Cup final against Watt and the Chicago Red Stars on July 26, 2020. That was the first league title in team history and the triumph was named the 2020 McDonald’s Moment of the Year in the Houston by the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority this evening at the annual Houston Sports Awards gala.

Houston forward Nichelle Prince intercepted a ball in the 71st minute for Houston’s final goal of the game. The Canadian international dribbled past a defender to the end line and found Mewis in the middle of the six-yard box for her second goal of the game.

Kansas City forward Michele Vasconcelos denied Houston its third clean sheet of the competition late in the second half. Midfielder Lo'eau LaBonta split the backline and fed Vasconcelos in the 78th minute for the final goal of the game.

Prince intercepted the ball twice in the first half and her first effort in the 16th minute caught the Kansas City backline on its heels. Prince found Daly near the penalty spot, but the England international was ruled offside. Houston knocked on the door four minutes later off a free kick after Mewis found defender Katie Naughton inside the box, but her header went over the crossbar.

Mewis drew a defender to open space for Daly at the top of the box in the 66th minute, but her effort hit the crossbar.

Dash and USWNT goalkeeper Jane Campbell returned from international duty and finished with three saves against Kansas City.

Houston closes their Challenge Cup campaign at BBVA Stadium against Lindsey Horan, Crystal Dunn and the Portland Thorns on Sunday, May 2.

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