There is probably no better training than blocking shots from Carli Lloyd, the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, yet there are other players on this roster that challenge goalkeeper Lydia Williams to perform at a high level day in and day out.

In addition to Lloyd, Morgan Brian, Andressa and two NWSL Players of the Week in Rachel Daly and Chioma Ubogagu bring out the best in Williams, who is tied for the most saves in the league this season.

“My role is to bring it all together, to have the defense that we have plus the midfielders and forwards, we have to put it all together to walk away with any positive result. As you can see, game-by-game we are getting better with that,” Williams said. “When you look at it, I’m the last line of defense and it helps to consistently go about training as you would a game.”

While the training schedule varies, Williams’ approach remains consistent. This consistency allowed the 27-year-old to finish with five saves in Houston’s 2-1 victory over FC Kansas City last Saturday.

“I like to have a pretty hard session leading into the game, the day before, I try to ease it off and prepare for whatever happens,” Williams said. “This game against [FC] Kansas [City] was harder than Sky Blue [FC] but every game is different. We prepare the same way but expect something different on game day.”

Head coach Randy Waldrum praises the security Williams provides and the depth at the position. Williams and Bianca Henninger competed for the starting role during the preseason against NCAA and NWSL competition.  

“I’ve said this about our goalkeeping depth before and it is the same today, we have two of the best goalkeepers in the league with Lydia and Bianca,” Waldrum said. “Both players offer leadership, experience and other intangible attributes that you just can’t coach. It’s tough because we only have one spot and we find ourselves in this situation in other parts of the pitch, but that’s what you want at the professional level.”

The next test for Williams and the Dash is the undefeated Washington Spirit at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 at the Maryland SoccerPlex. This will be the first of two meetings between the clubs in three weeks. The Spirit visit BBVA Compass Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27.

“They are performing really well as a team,” Williams said. “I think that as long as we remain compact and force them to the outside areas, deny them space in the middle of the park, that will go in our favor.“

Williams and the Dash return to BBVA Compass Stadium to host Alex Morgan and the Orlando Pride at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20. For tickets to this and all Houston Dash games, visit HoustonDashSoccer.com/tickets