The Houston Dash earned their third consecutive victory with a 4-1 win over the North Carolina Courage tonight at BBVA Stadium.
With the win, the Dash move into a tie for third place in the league alongside North Carolina; however, the victory today gave the Dash the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Courage after sweeping the season series.
Dash captain Rachel Daly earned Player of the Game honors and finished with a brace against the Courage. With five goals over her last three appearances, Daly is now tied with OL Reign forward Bethany Balcer for the league Golden Boot with nine goals each. The forward is one goal away from matching her personal best of 10 goals in a single season, which she did in 2018.
North Carolina took an early lead after Jessica McDonald got on the end of a long ball from Kayleigh Kurtz in the fourth minute. The Courage forward needed just one touch to get a shot off on goal and past Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell to give North Carolina an early lead.
The Dash did not waste time making up the deficit, scoring just two minutes later. After the ball was knocked around inside the Courage’s 18-yard-box, forward Bri Visalli got on the ball with enough space to get a shot off and coolly curled a shot into the upper right-hand corner of the goal. The goal was Visalli’s second of the season, with her first coming on Sept. 26 against Racing Louisville.
Houston took the lead in the 24th minute courtesy of a goal by the team captain, forward Daly. After Visalli found forward Nichelle Prince racing through the Courage’s defense, Prince got a cross off to Daly, who leapt in the air before smashing home a volley that the keeper had no chance of stopping. Tonight’s match marked Daly’s first at BBVA Stadium in a month due to international duty.
The stellar offensive performance by the Dash continued throughout the half. In the 26th minute, midfielder Kristie Mewis perfectly placed a cross in front of the North Carolina goalkeeper and directly to the head of midfielder Shea Groom, who elevated to head home Houston’s third goal of the half.
This marked just the second time this season that Houston has scored three times in a half.
The Dash remained aggressive in the second half and their fourth goal of the game came in the 57th minute, when Visalli found Daly directly in front of net to knock the ball in for her second goal of the game.
The next game for the Dash will be on Wednesday, Oct. 13 against Kansas City NWSL at Legends Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and fans can stream the game on Paramount +.