The Houston Dash fell to the Washington Spirit by a final score of 1-0 this afternoon at Audi Field.
The Spirit broke the scoring open in the 76th minute, when forward Trinity Rodman ran onto the end of a long pass from defender Sam Staab. The rookie forward got behind the defense and struck a low shot past goalkeeper Jane Campbell at the near post to give the Spirit a 1-0 lead.
Up until that point, the match had been a largely defensive stalemate, thanks in large part to the heroic goalkeeping efforts of Campbell. The Spirit had a great chance to take the lead in the fifth minute of the game, when Ashley Hatch got a header off right in front of the net, only to be denied by Campbell.
Campbell finished the day with four saves and ended her season with 19 goals in 18 games for the lowest goals-against average of her career at 1.05 per 90 minutes.
During a back-and-forth early portion of the game, the Dash generated a dangerous scoring opportunity in the 21st minute when midfielder Shea Groom found forward Nichelle Prince sprinting up the right wing. Prince found herself with enough space to get a shot off, however the Sprit goalkeeper deflected the pass to keep the score level.
The Dash recorded a shot on goal in the 33rd after forward Jasmyne Spencer drew a corner kick. Midfielder Kristie Mewis took the corner kick, finding midfielder Sophie Schmidt outside of the 18-yard-box. Schmidt lined up a shot from distance, but the kick fell into the awaiting arms of the Washington goalkeeper.
Campbell kept up her stellar performance in the second half. After a largely defensive first ten minutes of the half, Rodman weaved her way through the Houston defense to get a shot off from the top of the box in the 55th minute. Campbell, however, stood firm and corralled the ball.
The Dash nearly tied the game up in the 82nd minute, when Mewis gained possession away from the Spirit inside of the Dash’s attacking third. Mewis got a shot off on goal, however the Washington goalkeeper covered up the ball and maintained the Spirit lead.
Forward Veronica Latsko nearly tied the game up in the first minute of second half stoppage time when she got behind the Washington defense. However, Latsko’s shot was saved by the Washington goalkeeper and the Spirit were able to see out the final moments to capture the victory.
The loss ended Houston’s playoff aspirations, as the Dash finish seventh in the final NWSL table with 32 points from 24 matches.