Monday, May 28, 2018

Houston Dash make it two-in-a-row with 3-2 win over Washington Spirit

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography,
Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved 
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (May 27, 2018) The 4,000-plus soccer fan who braved the Texas heat and humidity on Memorial Day Weekend witnessed Rachel Daly (shown left) score two goals as the Houston Dash won their second home game in a row in downing the Washington Spirit by the score of 3-2 at BBVA Compass Stadium. 

Daly nailed her third goal of the season in the 45th minute from inside the box; off a cross from Nichelle Prince, to give the Dash a 1-0 lead going into the locker room at halftime. Kealia Ohai doubled the Dash lead in the 46th minute when she rocketed the ball past Washington goalkeeper Estelle Johnson from 20 yards out. The goal was the first of the season for the Draper, Utah native, who played her college soccer for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Ohai stated after the game:

“I actually tried to pass it wide first, but it bounced back to my favorite shot. I said ‘just hit it’ and it curled. I didn’t know if it was going to curl in. I thought it might go wide, but it went in. It was a great feeling. As a forward, it’s difficult when you haven’t scored especially coming back from an injury. You need to get that confidence, so it’s definitely a relief for me. I need to get back on a roll because when I’m not scoring it’s frustrating. But I think [the goal] was the start of the floodgates for me. I needed to get one and get my confidence back. I’m excited to move forward.”  

The Spirit cut the Dash lead in half in the 54th minute when Estefania Banini drilled the ball from the front of the post for the score. It was the first goal of 2018 for the Argentinian. Daly added her second goal 22 minutes later off an assist by Thembi Kgatlana. The two goals were the first multi-goal game as a professional for Daly.

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography,
Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved 
Houston head coach Vera Pauw was forced to rearrange her lineup due to two injuries on Sunday evening when Kristie Mewis left the game in the 19th minute with a left knee injury. Prior to the start of the game, Pauw pulled Kyah Simon from the starting lineup when she experienced tightness in her groin during warm-ups.

Pauw was asked during the post-game press conference, about the team seeming to have more fun during the game. She responded:

I think they’ve always had fun. It’s a battle. It’s always a battle, but when you score then of course you’re happy. It’s looks like they will always have more joy and of course you feel it better than when you cannot get through the goal of the opponent. But it’s important to know that we never lost our trust, that we would get there because every training session, every game, we were getting better and there was no hesitation - in let’s say the steps that we wanted to make.”

Houston returns to BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. to host the first place North Carolina Courage for their second meeting of the regular season. 

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