The Houston Dash dropped a 2-1 decision to the Washington Spirit this evening at BBVA Stadium. Although the match was played in Houston, technically the Dash were the visitors. The contest was originally scheduled to be played at Segra Field, the Spirit’s home ground, but was relocated to Houston on Saturday evening due to ongoing construction at the facility.
The Dash struck first, scoring in the ninth minute through forward Rachel Daly after an excellent buildup. Daly started the play, picking up the ball just inside midfield and laying it off to midfielder Shea Groom. Groom returned it to Daly, who played wide to forward Nichelle Prince 25 yards from goal. Prince played through the line to Groom, who had continued her run into the penalty area, and she quickly centered the ball to Daly for a headed goal.
Washington equalized in the 21st minute through midfielder Ashley Sanchez. The midfielder collected a pass outside the area and carried the ball to the top of the box before firing a right-footed shot that just snuck under the crossbar to level the score at a goal apiece.
The Spirit took a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute when forward Ashley Hatch ran on to a ball played over the top of the Dash defense, took a touch past the goalkeeper and passed it into the net.
Up a goal and down a player, Washington put all their effort into defending over the final 20 minutes, making it difficult on the Dash to find the space needed to create the tying goal
Houston was tantalizingly close to leveling the match in the 84th minute off a corner kick. Midfielder Sophie Schmidt lofted the ball to the back post where center back Katie Naughton rose to head it on target. Washington goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe saved the initial effort and forward Veronica Latsko was first to react to the rebound, but wasn’t able to turn her close-range shot on target.
Both teams also had goals overturned by offside calls, with Houston having a goal called back in each half and Washington one overturned in the final minutes.
Of note for Houston, Nichelle Prince became just the fifth player in Dash history to reach 50 appearances in NWSL regular-season play for the Club this evening. She joins Kealia Watt (114, 2014-19), Amber Brooks (91, 2016-19), Rachel Daly (83, 2016-present) and Jane Campbell (67, 2017-present).
Houston will close out their current three-game homestand on Saturday, May 29 when they welcome the Chicago Red Stars for a 6:30 p.m. CDT kickoff. Tickets for that match are available at HoustonDash.com/SingleGame, and the match will be televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network.