Dash drop season opener 1-0 at NJ/NY Gotham FC

The Houston Dash dropped a 1-0 result to NJ/NY Gotham FC in both teams’ NWSL regular-season opener at Red Bull Arena this evening. It marked the first NWsL regular-season match for the Dash since October 12, 2019, a span of 581 days.

Houston outshot Gotham 21-9 on the night, had four shots on goal to Gotham’s two and won 26 combined crosses and corner kicks to Gotham’s seven, but Gotham capitalized on a takeaway near midfield to nab the match’s only goal.

Gotham found the net in the 30th minute through forward Midge Purce against the run of play. Although the Dash had outshot Gotham 11-3 through the first half hour, forward Evelyne Viens picked up the ball near midfield and played it wide to Purce on the right flank. Purce feinted inside before cutting back to her right foot for a shot that tucked just inside the far post

Houston forward Nichelle Prince created many of the Dash’s most dangerous chances on the night, beginning in the 14th minute. The Canadian international drove down the right flank and played a dangerous ball to the top of the six-yard box. Forward Rachel Daly got on the end of the ball and got a shot off, but it was blocked before it could find the goal.

Coming out of the halftime break, it was Prince causing havoc in the Gotham back line again in the 57th minute. The forward drove to the byline and played a dangerous ball across the mouth of goal for Mewis, but she wasn’t quite able to turn the ball on frame despite a sliding effort.

Forward Rachel Daly led the Dash with nine shots on the night, including a clever backheel in the 21st minute that caught the Gotham defense napping but rolled just wide of the near post. A minute prior to that, forward Veronica Latsko had a dangerous look off a corner kick from midfielder Kristie Mewis. Mewis’ service sailed over everyone before finding Latsko running in alone at the back post. Latsko’s first-touch shot forced a Gotham defender to scramble to deflect it out of play.

Houston’s final look at goal came in the 87th minute when Daly found midfielder Gabby Seilerwith a cross. Seiler’s headed shot from six yards was on target, but was saved by Sheridan.

The Dash will open their 2021 home slate next Sunday, May 23 when they return to BBVA Stadium to host Kansas City NWSL.