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HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 5, 2018) The Houston Dash finally broke their 2018 scoring drought against Utah Royals FC on Sunday evening. Forward Veronica Latsko did what she has done twice previously this season. However, the goal was not enough, as the Dash dropped a 2-1 decision to Utah at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Midfielder Sophia Huerta, in a display of pure athleticism, got possession of the ball and aptly kicked it to Latsko, who headed it past goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart in the 41st minute for the score. “Oh my goodness, I was so incredibly tired on that goal." stated Latsko. "Pretty much, it was all (MF) Sofia (Huerta). She’s incredible and an amazing player who can target any player with an amazing ball, and I saw the perfect ball coming in and I was just like, ‘Please just go into the back of the net,’ and it did. So really, I didn’t have to do much; I just had to head it.”
It was the third goal of the season for the rookie, who played her college soccer at the University of Virginia. She was selected by the Dash as the 38th overall selection in the 2018 NWSL College Draft. Huerta's assist was her third as a member of the Dash. She has two additional assists in 2018, as a member of the Chicago Red Stars.
Houston head coach Vera Pauw stated after the game:
“I am very, very disappointed, because again we gave it away ourselves, and if we would of won here, then it would of been a logical result – if we don’t make those mistakes, then we would of been three points away from the playoffs, so I’m really disappointed. If we don’t make mistakes, we win. It’s now four games that we have given away, that is 12 points. We have given it away ourselves, and that’s with little mistakes and huge mistakes, and every time the same mistakes, and at a professional level you cannot do that – you will not make the playoffs.”
Both the Royals' scores came in the second half. Christian Press scored in the 77th minute, followed seven minutes later with a Katie Stingel goal.
The win pushes Utah into sixth place with 25 points. Houston drops to seventh place with 23 points. The North Carolina Courage lead the NWSL with 49 points, followed by Seattle and Orlando, each with 30 points. After tonight's match, the Dash have five games remaining on their schedule, with their next match occurring on Saturday, August 11 at Sky Blue FC. Houston and Sky Blue have met once this season, on May 5, with the Dash coming out on top 3-2
They will return to BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday, August 17 to host the Washington Spirit. In two previous meetings this season, the Dash came out on top; a 3-2 decision on May 27 and a 1-0 win on July 21.