A brace from midfielder Sofia Huerta, keyed by assists from midfielder Kristie Mewis and forward Rachel Daly, propelled the Houston Dash to a 2-1 win over Utah Royals FC tonight at BBVA Stadium. Huerta now has five goals on the season, tying her with Daly for the team lead.

The Dash opened scoring in the 27th minute when Daly dribbled the ball on the right side of the penalty area and through the Utah backline to find Mewis near the penalty spot. After a deflection off a Utah defender, Mewis regained possession and played a brilliant back-heeled pass to Huerta, who turned and fired the ball past Utah goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and into the right side of the net.

Huerta scored her second when she received a long ball from Daly in the 62nd minute. Huerta dribbled down the right wing and into the box, rifling a shot over the shoulder of Barnhart and into the back of the net.

Utah scored to get on the map in the 75th minute when midfielder Erika Tymrak assisted forward Gunny Jonsdottir inside the box.

Houston created the first dangerous chance of the game in the fifth minute when forward Kealia Ohai sprinted towards the goal on the left wing to find Daly, who was beaten to the ball by Utah defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Ohai found the ball again off the rebound, cut back onto her right foot and got off a shot that was saved by Barnhart.

The Royals responded two minutes after when forward Amy Rodriguez dribbled the ball into the box and shot from a right angle towards the goal past Dash defender Allysha Chapman. The ball flew past the left post, missing the net by inches.

Rodriguez continued to be a threat for Utah, putting pressure on the right wing of the field. In the 24th minute, she cut past Dash defender Amber Brooks and fired a shot wide of the right post.

Daly found her chance five minutes before the halftime whistle on a breakaway run when midfielder Sophie Schmidt sent her a ball from behind. The forward ran onto the ball and dribbled into the area. Under pressure from Royals defender Katie Bowen, Daly shot the ball just a few inches wide of the left post of the goal.

Houston maintained the momentum out of halftime, shooting first in the 51st minute. Mewis continued to create chances, sending a ball to Ohai, who dribbled the ball into the box and shot a ball that went wide from the left crossbar.

With tonight’s victory, the Dash drew closer to the playoff line, moving up to sixth in the table and six points out of a playoff spot. The team has 12 possible points available over its last four games, and will look to pile up as many points as possible in hopes of nabbing a playoff spot.

The Dash will travel east as they take on North Carolina for the third and final time on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CDT at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. The match will be televised live across the country on ESPNEWS.


Houston Dash (7-8-4; 27 pts.) 2-1 Utah Royals (9-7-4; 31 pts.)
NWSL Regular Season, Week 22
Friday, September 13, 2019 – BBVA Stadium – Houston, TX

Attendance: 4,538


<p>Houston Dash</p>
<p>Utah Royals</p>

HOU: Sofia Huerta 4 (Kristie Mewis 1) 27

HOU: Sofia Huerta 5 (Rachel Daly 1) 62

UTAH: Gunny Jonsdottir 1 (Erika Tymrak 1) 75


Houston Dash: Jane Campbell; Haley Hanson, Ally Prisock, Amber Brooks, Allysha Chapman; Sophie Schmidt, Sofia Huerta (Cami Privett 90+3), Christine Nairn; Kristie Mewis (Cece Kizer 78), Rachel Daly, Kealia Ohai (C) (Ari Calderon 79)

Unused Substitutes: Bianca Henninger, Lindsay Agnew, Jamia Fields, Ari Romero

Total shots: 9 (Kealia Ohai 4); Shots on goal: 3 (Sofia Huerta 2); Fouls: 6 (Allysha Chapman 2); Offside: 2 (Ari Calderon, Rachel Daly 1); Corner kicks: 0; Saves: 3 (Jane Campbell 3)

Utah Royals: Nicole Barnhart; Rachel Corsie, Becky Sauerbrunn (C), Katie Bowen; Amy Rodriguez, LaBonta, Desiree Scott, Mallory Weber; Vero Boquete (Erika Tymrak 68), Christen Press, Katie Stengel (Gunny Jonsdottir 61)

Unused Substitutes: Abby Smith, Gaby Vincent, Sydney Miramontez, Michelle Maemone, Madeline Wolf

Total shots: 14 (Amy Rodriguez 7); Shots on goal: 4 (Amy Rodriguez 2); Fouls: 5 (Amy Rodriguez 3); Offside: 1 (Christen Press 1); Corner kicks: 1 (Christen Press 1); Saves: 1 (Nicole Barnhart 1)


HOU: Christine Nairn (caution; time wasting) 87


Referee: Luis Guardia
Assistant Referee 1: Maggie Short
Assistant Referee 2: Kaili Terry

Fourth Official: Estefania Estrada

Weather: Sunny, 89 degrees