Houston native Michaela Abam scored the equalizer on her Houston Dash debut to give the team a 2-2 draw against the Washington Spirit at BBVA Stadium this evening. This was the first time the team rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a result.
Abam signed with the club this morning and the Dynamo Dash Youth product found the back of the net after she beat a Spirit defender to the ball at the top of the box. The Houston native gained control of the ball near the penalty spot and beat Washington goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe at the far post for the equalizer. The play began with a long ball from Dash captain Rachel Daly in the 82nd minute that was brought down by Veronica Latsko.
The Dash entered the final 30 minutes of the game down 2-0 and Latsko pulled a goal back in the 61st minute off a corner kick. Daly’s corner kick found Makamae Gomera-Stevens inside the box and the ball fell to Latsko for her third goal of the season.
Washington took the lead in the eighth minute after the Dash cleared a corner kick. The second ball fell to Dorian Bailey just outside the box and the midfielder scored off the volley at the near post.
Tori Huster doubled Washington’s lead in the 54th minute after she won the ball near midfield. The NWSL veteran dribbled to the edge of the box and beat the Dash goalkeeper at the bottom corner of the far post.
Houston faced heavy pressure from the Spirit in the opening half. The visiting side hit the woodwork twice in a three-minute spell that began with a header from Tara McKeown in the 20th minute. The rebound fell to the Spirit, but play was halted following a handball. Washington just missed the bottom of the crossbar three minutes later with a long-range effort from Ashley Sanchez.
The Dash took control of the game in the final 15 minutes of the first half, beginning with a free kick outside the box. Shea Groom was fouled about 20 yards away from goal and Daly took the free kick that went wide of the far post. Houston finished with three blocked shots and one save in the final 15 minutes of the first half.
Daly sparked two opportunities for the Dash in the final five minutes of the second half. The first finished with a shot wide of the near post from Abam. Daly found Latsko inside the box in the 86th minute and her effort also went wide at the near post.
This was Daly’s first game with Houston since a 1-0 victory over Kansas City NWSL on June 6. Daly represented team Great Britain at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Midfielder Sophie Schmidt also returned to the Dash after winning the gold medal with Canada at the Olympic Games.
Houston will depart for Oregon on Saturday, Aug. 14 to prepare for their first appearance in an international tournament. The Dash will represent the NWSL at the Women’s International Challenge Cup beginning with a showdown with the Portland Thorns on Aug. 18. The winner will advance to the final and meet the winner of the FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais.